FROM MY HEART

Dear Friends,

In January of 2012 I, Bert, was not in a good way. I went to a minister’s prayer retreat desperate for guidance and direction from the Lord. You see, someone had offered me a ministry position and asked me to dissolve Holy Fire Ministries. I turned it down immediately knowing it was not the will of the Lord.

Months later we were struggling financially and nothing was moving in the ministry. I wondered if I should not have taken the ministry position offered. In the midst of trials the soul will always doubt, just as John the Baptist wondered about the Messiah’s identity in prison (Mt. 11:2-3).

We thought about doing something else – maybe returning to the mission field, pastoring a church, and other ministry opportunities. Although we had done ministry most of our adult lives, I even contemplated leaving the ministry altogether and just starting a new career. It’s hard to believe that this was just 4 years ago. It was a real struggle. It was not a question of doubting my calling but I was being pressed to provide for my family.

Expenses were increasing without our income following suit. We had a son who was on his way to college, still did not have any personal medical insurance, nothing in our budget for vacation/rest time, the ministry had no allotments of any kind for attending conferences or special events, and of course, no retirement funds, though it is not our mind-set to ever retire. We have a calling, not a career.

We had been in ministry 25 years – on the mission field in West Africa, in a great revival in Pensacola, Florida, but the traveling ministry had always been a struggle. As Hannah of old, I wrote down my complaints before the Lord. Everywhere I looked I saw I dead end.

Then the Lord seemed to whisper to me, “What did I tell you?” My mind immediately reflected back on the training I received from brother Hagin when he would say things like, “If things aren’t working go back to the last thing the Lord told you to do”.

Here it was: “Writing is to be your life’s greatest work”. He spoke that to me years ago, but I never believed it. You know how it is – I thought it was just me and my mind playing dirty tricks. I couldn’t see this because at the time He spoke it to me I had written only one book and had no major platform, and couldn’t see a market for my writings. But in the stillness of my bedroom at that prayer retreat I made a deal with the Lord. “Ok, Lord” I said, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’m going to give You five years. If You will anoint me I will begin to write. You make the way and give me the wisdom and help I need.”

The rest, they say, is history. The very next month God sent a young man to help me format, design, and begin publishing some manuscripts I had written. It was a bit of a grind at first, but I kept at it knowing the five year ultimatum was just beginning.

Here are the highlights of what the Lord did in response to my obedience to write:

1. In 2013 I started a blog, which without any pushing on my end, caught a little fire and produced 450 followers in two years’ time.

2. In 2014 Charisma magazine got ahold of my articles and with an endorsement from an influential good friend of mine, the door was opened for me to write weekly for them. This has expanded our readership and increased the circulation of our writings.

3. In 2015 Sid Roth read one of my Charisma articles and was moved and asked me to be on his show. The result was a spike in our book sales and some new invitations to minister nationally and internationally.

4. Perhaps the most significant development has been in Carolyn and my prayer times together. From 2013 until now, prolific utterances of the wisdom of God began to flow in these times of prayer. These utterances have been manna from heaven for us with direction and revelation for us and the body of Christ.

5. And finally, the last directive we received from the Lord has been to host and participate in Holy Ghost Forums in an effort to help restore the genuine move of the Holy Ghost back into the Church. Here is a link to our last one in New Jersey. YouTube

When I made that five year pact with God I did not know it would be this good. God has done His part. He is faithful. Our hearts are full of thanksgiving and praise.

This year we are already booked for not only our home state of New Hampshire, but Connecticut, Massachusetts, Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Sierra Leone, West Africa, and Oregon with pending invitations from New York, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, returning to South Carolina, and Montana.

This is where I need to pause and express our sincere gratitude to you our partners.

You see, when we’re on the road I don’t write nearly as much as I do when we are home. God has been so gracious to us in spacing out our travels in such a neat and timely manner that we are home enough to rest, replenish, and write – not to mention the 101 things that need to be done upon arrival from such trips and time on the road.

It is the monthly support and one time gifts that you send in that it makes this all possible. Do you realize that most traveling ministers wind up starting churches because of lack of consistent financial support and partnership? It wears them out to have to be on the road so much of the time. We can gladly and gratefully say that this has not been a big issue with us.

We travel a lot in smaller and medium sized churches, never requiring a minimum offering or crowd, as so many of the bigger influential ministries do. We love the relationship building element of the travel ministry. At times we stay in homes instead of hotels, so as not to be a burden on the smaller churches. That in itself is unconventional in this day and age.

We do this because Jesus spoke to us about the importance of not only public ministry to crowds and congregations but to home ministry and families and individuals. He reminded us that some of His greatest miracles were in people’s homes. We have seen answers to prayer come to people in their homes as we pray with them and encourage them. We marvel at the pure way of Jesus. Sometimes you have to be inconvenienced to bring miracles to people’s lives.

Thank you for letting us bear our heart and soul to you today, and a million thanks for your faithful love and consistent support.

Much love and appreciation,

Your ambassadors,

Bert and Carolyn

P.S. Speaking of writing, look for my upcoming new book, which promises to be the prince of them all – Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation. Please pray for an anointing on this book for all God wants it to be and for all those appointed to be touched with this vitally important message. Presently, it is the greatest burden that Carolyn and I carry.

INTRO: PASSING ON THE MOVE OF GOD TO THE NEXT GENERATION

This is the introduction to my new upcoming book, Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation. It is now in the editing process. Check our posts and website for its soon release. I know it will ignite a fire in you.

Now well into the 21st century we have reached a crisis in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. Although there have been many good ministries birthed in the last few decades, with it has also come a deluge of unsound beliefs, erroneous practices, and extreme and excessive teachings, along with a glaring absence of the moving of the Holy Spirit and a diminishing of the real power and presence of God .

From a defective and cross-less gospel, to a dumbing down and a cheap imitation of the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit, to the gross overemphasis on personal prophecy and prophetic ministry, to New Age goobly gook and psychic themes, to a hollow “’apostolic” movement, we have witnessed an entire spectrum of unfruitful cycles of spiritual junk.

When the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul foretold of the departure from “the faith” (1 Tim. 4:1), and in a similar admonition wrote through Jude to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3), He was not referring to saving faith, but to the entire corpus of New Testament Christianity, which entails doctrine, experience, belief, and practice. In other words, when the Holy Spirit speaks of “the faith” He is referring to the entire package of Christianity.

Too many of us have lacked the wisdom, neglected the light, and failed to pick up what our godly forefathers and spiritual giants passed on to us, and instead have built weak “spiritual” sandcastles that will not pass the test of time, and whose quicksand will suck down its victims.

Many of us have been unskillful at taking the old and blending it into the new. We have neglected the ever-increasing light of the revelation of the Word and the genuine flow and true manifestations of the Holy Spirit from the past and failed to bring into the new. Some have stayed in the candlelight of the truths of centuries past. Others have moved on from the candlelight age to the lantern of a brighter glow of Spirit and truth. But the wise householder has combined the foundation of the progressive light of the Word of God from days of old and the pure strong move of the Holy Spirit to bask now in the light of God’s greater glory (Mt. 13:52).

A Facebook friend of mine wrote me the following concerning the Word and the Spirit that men of old carried:

“The men and women of old knew nothing of the extensiveness of error in the cotton candy gospel of today. They nipped it in the bud. They stated without apology that without holiness we won’t see the Lord. They knew Scripture far better than today’s Bible professors. Sister Pauline Parham, the daughter-in-law of Charles Parham, told me in Dallas in the early 1980s that the old preachers knew the Word far better than the new generation, and powerful moves of the Spirit not seen today were common.”—(Charles Parham [1883-1929] was the first preacher to articulate Pentecostalism’s distinctive doctrine of evidential tongues, and to expand the movement.)

Like the days of old when the new temple was being built in the time of Haggai, while the young men were rejoicing in what they thought was a great glory, the old men wept because it did not compare with the former glory they knew.

“But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the father’s houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted for joy…” (Ezra 3:12).

The weeping of the old men was probably a result of the disappointment over the temple’s lack of splendor compared to that of Solomon’s temple.

Is this attitude not being repeated today when the younger that were not a part of the great past moves of God boast of the glory of the Lord that is incomparable to what the older have witnessed? In fact, to those who’ve experienced the former, the “new” and the latter is as nothing in their eyes.

“Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing”(Hag. 2:3)?

All hope, however, is not lost, for the promise of the Lord indeed is that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former.

The following prophecy given to F.F. Bosworth’s (1877-1958) granddaughter concerning the ministry of her grandfather’s day gives us hope for the greater glory to be restored to the Church once more.

“The ministers of your grandfather’s day lit a Pentecostal fire that swept the world in their generation, but that fire has now died down to where only ashes and embers are left. But I am going to use your grandfather’s recordings to breathe on these embers with the wind of My Spirit, and that fire will rekindle and sweep the world again in a new Pentecostal revival.”

It is my earnest prayer that from the pages of this book shall emerge a pattern and a blueprint of the Spirit’s cry for a glorious Church, and for a generation of ministers and saints who will possess a balance of His Word and His Spirit in power and demonstration. In the final section of the book you will be presented with a portrait of a new breed of a last days’ preacher.

My hope is that the publishing of this work will effect a rekindling of holy zeal for authentic revival and reformation in our day.

May the baton of the glory of the move of God be passed on to ensuing generations.

DON’T BE CAUGHT ON THE WRONG SIDE OF JUDGMENT: FIVE THINGS THE CHURCH MUST NOW KNOW

I don’t think there has ever been a presidential election that I’ve been as passionate about as this one. I think many would say the same thing. And yet I realize that those who are truly born again are part of another kingdom. And it is from this kingdom’s perspective I write these sobering words.

Whoever is the next president of the United States will not be able to stop the plans and purposes of God. I have reached my limit of reading and hearing of why Trump is the man of the hour, or why Cruz is God’s choice, or even why Hillary would destroy this nation if elected. What I have decided to do is shut off those voices and hide myself in God.

The year 2017 will be a very bad year for the world. I know that in my gut. But if the body of Christ will judge themselves they will walk above the fray of strife, turmoil, perversion, and darkness that this nation has fallen under and that will continue to increase.

Don’t get me wrong. I care deeply about our nation, and I am praying for a national awakening, but I care much more about the state of the Church. Jesus walks among the lampstands (Rev. 2-3, churches). His chief concern is not for the nation, or the government, or the economy. His primary concern is for His Church and His people. Here is a word from the Lord for the Church in this hour.

FIVE IMPORTANT THINGS THE CHURCH MUST NOW KNOW

1. A new level of battle is now on the horizon. Some may think this is a hard word, but it is the best word you could ever hear. You will thank God on that day that He spoke to you so that you could be ready for the level of warfare that is coming.

All Christians must return to their first love if they want to stand, be spared, and inherit their full reward. The reason Jesus told the church of Ephesus to return to their first love was so they could overcome (Rev. 2:1-7). A house divided against itself cannot stand (Mt. 12:25). You can’t serve the devil or your flesh and walk in the spiritual authority God wants you to walk in in this hour. You better know Jesus in the midst of the battle when lives are on the line.

2. Put a watch over your mouth.

In order to be used in God’s power Christians must reduce the volume of their words. Many have not yet realized the power that is released through their words, either for good or evil. Your words are a two edged sword that cuts both ways. Your words can be used by the enemy or used by God. When God’s power and glory increases, which it will, and when our words go forth in power and demonstration there will be an increase in both directions.

When you speak curses upon your brethren under the anointing of God you will pay dearly. There have been mighty men in the past who are still revered today, that had to be removed from the earth because they lost control of their words. The damage they were doing to the kingdom of God could not be tolerated and the Lord took them home. Remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). You don’t think that kind of judgment is coming again before Jesus returns?

There are many believers who speak ill-will of their brethren, and who are very critical of ministers. Your loose lip will sink your ship. The reason you haven’t been judged yet is because the glory has departed from the American Church. The judgment is always equal to the level of glory. When the glory begins to increase, you best keep a zip on your lip.

Let all judgment against your brethren cease now – even those that you would classify as completely wrong according to their doctrine. You can judge the doctrine, but do not judge their heart, for you do not know their heart. You can judge the fruit, but do not judge their motives, for you do not always know their motives. Be careful what you say about those who have the blood of Jesus on the door posts of their heart. Those who divide – those who cause division in the Church among the brethren will not escape.

3. God wants your life and not your words.

Words of love for the Lord without giving Him your life are wearisome to Him. This alone will spare you from being on the wrong side of the judgments that are coming. It’s about time you repent. Be not partakers with the unclean, but come out from among them and be ye separate (2 Cor. 6:17).

Give the Lord your heart and your life now. Don’t delay. Love not your house more than the Lord. Love not your family more than the Lord. Love not the world more than the Lord. Love not diversions, frivolities, and distractions more than the Lord. Those who do cannot be His disciples. I did not say they would not go to heaven, but they will not be trained, they will not be disciplined and prepared for the battle, and they will suffer much during these times that are to come shortly upon us on the earth.

4. Times of purging have begun, and there is no more time to divert and then return, like you’ve done so often before.

I’m not saying that the mercy of God is running out, but God is looking upon a divided people in His Church – a people who are divided in their walk; a people who serve two masters; a people who are double-minded and live a dual life.

Many have been walking for so long with one foot in the world and one foot in the things of God, trying desperately to satisfy both. The Lord has been very merciful and long-suffering, but when the times of purging come and when the times of revival come, and when the times of judgment come, oh, there will be no place for a walk such as this. The lure of the flesh is too strong, and those who have one foot in the world will be drawn irresistibly against their will by a force that is stronger than they.

Here is an excerpt from a recent Holy Spirit inspired utterance:

“Have I not said that the path is narrow, and few there be that find it? That path is a narrow highway. It is made, it is cobbled, and it is paved with My Word. Those that walk on My Word and stray not to the left, nor stray to the right, are those who will arrive safely at the destination that they have been seeking. Those who care not for My Word and think they can divert and return at their will do not understand the times and seasons. That time and that season is over.”

Get on your face and surrender now.

5. Know what you’re praying for when you pray for revival, for revival also means judgment, purging, and pruning as already mentioned.

Here is another excerpt of a Holy Spirit inspired utterance:

“Many things that My people have been praying and crying to Me about, regarding revival shall come to pass. But there is a time of purging that is here, even at the door, and will increase, says the Lord. There will be a great pruning of the branches from the vine, for this is necessary.

“Many do not understand that when revival comes to the land, in one sense of the word, it is a judgment, says the Lord. A judgment. My people have been crying to Me saying, ‘Lord, make a difference between your people and the world. Make a difference, Lord. Look Lord, how the world prospers. Look Lord. Look Lord, at how they succeed at what they do. Lord, make a difference between your people and the world.’

“And the Lord would say unto you, ‘Have you not heard? Do you not know that judgment begins in the house of God? I am the righteous Judge of all the earth and I will do that which is right. Would you really have Me come today and make a judgment on liars? Which camp would you fall in? Would you have Me come today in your midst and make a judgment against all thieves? Oh, says the Lord, understand – understand what My church has been asking Me for.”

As James said, it is time to cleanse your hands and purify your hearts, ye double minded (Jam. 4:8). It is time to return to your first love.

Some will hear these words and they will be unsavory, and not to be desired. But others will hear these words and they will penetrate the heart and they will know that God is calling them for this time. Those of you that know the Spirit of God, when you hear these words, you will know. Hearken to these words for there is time, but only a short time. Hearken diligently to what the Spirit is saying.

DO NOT DIMINISH THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN NEW CONVERTS

“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)

In our day in an effort to win souls and reach the younger generation, many churches are toning down on the emphasis and demonstration of the Holy Spirit, especially speaking in tongues. To avoid offense in our churches some even confine healing, deliverance, and the Spirit baptism to the back room only. Nothing against back room ministry where more time and attention can be given to individuals, but we cannot undermine the importance of public demonstration. It is not either or, but both and more!

Have we forgotten that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment – whose power heals and delivers, and who fills and overwhelms people with His presence?

Have we forgotten that it was He who knocked down Saul on the road to Damascus and turned the church’s greatest persecutor and murderer into a mighty apostle? Have we forgotten that it was the Holy Spirit who manifested Himself all the way through the gospels and the book of Acts? Nothing supernatural happens without Him! Even in the Law and the prophets of old He was the One who manifested Himself in divers spectacular ways. How could anyone buy into a philosophy that tones down on His ministry, operations, and manifestations?

Yes, we understand that the character of the age has definitely changed. People are five times more dysfunctional today than generations of the past. In our politically correct culture people are also much more easily offended. But do we really think that if we allow Him space to move that He would embarrass us?

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit doesn’t need a light show, a fancy band, and smoke and mirrors to draw people into the kingdom. Quite the contrary. He is the equalizer. He will take our simple faith, our hearts of love and worship and manifest Himself among us if we will only believe. We understand that methods are not sacred, but are subject to change. The Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, however, are sacred and cannot be changed.

Although the desire to reach more people is admirable, we cannot compromise the essentials to do it. And we must also remember that an increase in numbers of people is not necessarily equivalent to spiritual increase or success in God. Raising up true converts and disciples is true increase.

The late Dr. Ron Smith made a prophetic statement before his home-going: “These salvation-only churches that are not emphasizing the power of the Spirit will have a mass exodus in the future because people will wake up to the move of the Spirit.”

We need to pray for these true power and deliverance ministries to come to the forefront. The ministry of the evangelist is a critical ministry for the day we are living in now. Many believers are not being equipped properly for the marketplace because the ministry of the bonafide New Testament evangelist is diminishing in the Church.

The revelation here from the Lord was “to make clean and make ready the young converts through the working of His power in healing, miracles, and deliverance from evil spirits. There needs to be an evangelistic strength and focus in churches and flowing more in the faith and power stream.”

The Spirit of the Lord said, “New converts are like fish when caught – they’re messy and need cleaning. Yes, they are like butterflies in the Spirit, but like fish also. Some fish need more work than others. Evangelists not only catch fish, but are a part of the cleaning process through deliverance (a form of filleting).”

There is a power given to those who are fishermen. When you diminish the necessary work of the Holy Spirit in a new believer you diminish God’s work in them. People must see God’s work in a new convert right from the beginning (being delivered and filled).

Just as I was finishing up this article, I received a text from one of our sons in the faith. Here it is: “The glory of the Lord filled the room of the Salvation Army yesterday during the message. Many came to me after the service weeping and desiring to return to the Lord. Many who have been hurt and broken in church were restored back to Jesus. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was as thick as oil. Many were touched by the love of Abba Father.”

Here’s the clincher – this was during a funeral! Once again, the Holy Spirit is the equalizer.

Let the Spirit move!

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: ARE WE CURSED FOR NOT TITHING?

“Money answers all things (Ec. 10:19)”, Solomon said. “But the love of it is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10), Paul said. Both the rich and the poor love money, and often will go to extremes and use questionable means to get more of it. There are hyper-prosperity preachers, and then there are prosperity preachers. There are anti-prosperity preachers, and pro-poverty preachers. What does God think about all this? Is there a proper balance? Is there a higher wisdom?

Although there is some good, balanced, and basic teaching in the area of finances, I also know that there is revelation from God’s Word that would undermine the financial foundations of most churches and ministries today, especially in America where mammon rules. The truth is that there is such a lack of substance and spiritual depth in the way financial prosperity has been taught.

Money reveals people’s hearts. While the love of money is the root of all evil, fear is the root of the love of money – fear of not having enough for yourself. This is a problem. It locates the hearts of Christians. Some of the blame for this fear should be placed on ministers, many of whom have not taught and prepared their people adequately.

One pastor told me that he has taught his people to give their way out of debt. Another preaches that tithing as stated in Malachi 3:10 is the formula for the blessings of God. And yet others will even go as far as to declare that those who do not give are under a curse. None of these statements have any of God’s grace or wisdom in it.

If you are not a pastor or a minister please don’t try and correct other pastors unless they give you permission. They have an authority you don’t have and they will have to give account to God one day for the way they used their authority.

What helped me to finally rightly divide the word of truth on money was when I understood the difference between provision and stewardship. God provides for us by grace, and not by works. God provides for us whether we tithe or not. God provides for us whether we are involved in our local church or not. God provides for us whether we pray, witness, or ever win a soul to Jesus or not. Simply put, our provision does not depend on our performance. It depends on our son-ship. You do at least that for your own children. God does it for the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap (Mt. 6:26). Are we not more important than birds?

Do you only provide for your children when they are good and obedient? Do you require them to work for their food? Do they have the right to eat at your table or not? Do we think God our Father loves us any less?

Many people have been believers for a long time, but are still bound with so much religious tradition that hinders their perspective of the heavenly Father and His unconditional love, grace, and goodness.

Of course, I am not saying you can live as you please, but if you’ve been born again, you are a child of God. His provision for you is based on that alone and nothing else. Disobedience, however, can lock up some of the increase of supply God wants to bring you into. For example, if the Lord leads you to start attending a particular church and you choose not to, it will affect the supply you receive from the Lord. Or, if the Lord leads you to give to meet a need in someone’s life and you don’t do it, it can hinder the blessing of increase He desires to give you.

Stewardship, however, is different. Stewardship is based on performance, and how well you work, budget, save, invest, and give. And your promotion in the kingdom of God is based on performance and obedience. Cornelius prayed always and he was a giver so a memorial was built in heaven for him (Acts 10:1-4). There are rewards for our faithful stewardship. The parable of the talents (Mt. 25) and of the minas bears that out (Lk. 19).

It is very important to be a good steward of what the Lord has entrusted you with. Be a giver, not a kicker. Be a sower, not a sucker. Be a supplier, not a moocher. But always remember, the Father’s provision is by grace alone.

LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION: SEPARATED AND SENT BY GOD

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John” (Jn. 1:6).

Like an ambassador representing the heavenly government and the order of the kingdom, John the Baptist was a man sent by God. No man withstood him for when he stood to preach in the wilderness he had a letter of authorization to be there. The letter represented authorization from the Lord. No man could challenge his right to be there in that nation at that set time. This is so with every man’s commission.

“Separate unto Me Saul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2).

“So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 13:4)

Saul and Barnabas were separated for a specific work and sent out by the Holy Spirit. A true separation does not bring division. A separation done under the direction and authority of the Lord brings multiplied blessing to the kingdom – not harm, strife, or division except to those who oppose it. When a separation is done right it results in people stepping into a higher place of what the Lord has called them to. Even when political men bound to a system of religious beliefs oppose you, the Lord will always send a voice to confirm His leading to you.

By the leading of the Lord my wife and I have had to leave places of ministry assignment in order to move on to others. One time we left with the pain of not having been received nor properly sent forth with blessing. When we left, however, there was an obscure woman who received a dream from God and who stood in a place where the misguided elders should have been and released us in the Spirit to our next place of assignment. The Lord has always done that for us when we’ve moved in Him.

It doesn’t mean that people miss God and are in rebellion when they leave a place of assignment, a ministry or a church, for in God a separation births life. For example, one brother grew out of spiritual infancy to a greater maturity in the Lord because he left a certain church. Another began walking in power and greater fruitfulness because of leaving such a place and being separated unto God.

These two individuals kept hitting a spiritual ceiling where they were. Eventually they were compelled to leave. A true separation is not a separation from the body of Christ but a separation unto God where they begin to soar like an eagle into their calling.

There must be a sensitivity in the separation time, though. It’s easy to become critical when you are under a ceiling and criticize the place, the people, and the leaders there. The wisdom of God is to look for the door where the Holy Spirit is leading you. Love and honor are vital elements in the separation. Keeping your heart right is of paramount importance. Otherwise, fruit will be stunted and you will be hindered.

Let the Lord show you the door and the timing. Leaving with a wrong heart, with pride and haughtiness, leads to isolation and elitism, which the Lord hates. When you leave in such a way it is like saying you don’t need the body. Never despise your teachers and places you came from that laid foundations in you. Honor them.

Once again, let me say this clear and plain. For those under ceilings you must look, wait, and pray. Don’t leave with an attitude, angry and offended.

Nevertheless, people must receive you. Voices must confirm your leading. When commissioned to a calling with a God given purpose, others must bear witness with your calling and mandate. Peter had to accept Paul’s calling, for Peter represented the Church at that time. It did not matter what principalities and powers opposed Paul for he already had the backing of heaven. Still someone in authority had to help him and receive what he was carrying.

Barnabas believed in what Paul received, and he was the first to encourage him, for he recognized that Paul had yet to grow and mature. Our callings are all in the timing and purpose of God, and according to our maturity. Due to excessive zeal, there are some who leave prematurely. God will put people in our lives that will help to curb such misguided zeal.

Although you cannot bypass the places of man’s authority, if you possess heaven’s letter of authorization no man can control you. You belong to God and not man, and He’s called you to operate in the Spirit and follow His direction. There was great controversy in Jesus’ day concerning His own calling and ministry. No man could contain Him and keep Him in a box, but He still submitted Himself to John for He recognized John as one sent from God also. And therein lay the key to working in kingdom harmony. We are called to be equally yoked with others who walk in the same freedom and understanding we walk in.

Be not unequally yoked with men who do not think according to this higher way.

The kingdom of God advances through men of like precious faith who have agreement in the Spirit. Do you realize when Jesus came on the scene that John the Baptist was the only one initially who understood the plan? Jesus was not equally yoked with anyone outside of John. Although the common people heard Him gladly, the religious system of Israel did not receive Him. Jesus had to work outside that system in an underground sort of way. Due to the restrictions and limitations of man God often calls us to work this way. Wise men work underground for they understand that as soon as the system touches that pure way, it will pollute it and eventually kill it.

The nature of man’s carnal soul is to control or put asunder that which he does not accept or understand, or does not align itself with the system he belongs to. Truth unites but also divides. Often there comes a time when God separates a man from the restrictions of a system burdened by man’s policies. We are not advocating lone rangers birthed by rebellion or misguided zeal, but equally yoked hearts working with a letter of authorization in kingdom harmony.

No man can close the doors God has opened. Paul had a letter of authorization to go to Macedonia (Acts 16). He knew no one there. Where did Paul start? He started in Lydia’s home and went out from there. He didn’t have a big church asking him to come. This is where we miss it. We’re looking for crowds. Paul looked for the leading of the Lord. He saw it in some women who met by the river to pray.

Devils were cast out and there were riots in the streets of that city, all from one house of a believing woman. Paul received a letter of authorization and obeyed the Lord to go to that place God had opened. There’s a humble place waiting for all of us if we will discern it.

If you remain humble there will come a time when a meeting is called and a door of enlargement and greater capacity will open for you and your letter of authorization will get you in. Attached to any letter of authorization is a vision for souls saved and disciples made. All of God’s purposes are connected to people.

Religious systems oppose the purity of such heavenly purposes.

Equal yokes are so important to working the works of God and fulfilling His purposes. John the Baptist and Jesus were equally yoked. John stood as a friend to the Bridegroom. True friends of the Bridegroom stand with Him in preparation for the wedding and the receiving of the Bride. These are the equal yokes. Religious systems of men kill such purposes. They keep the Bridegroom from ever kissing the Bride. Their policies kill intimacy and the true equipping necessary for maturity.

Sometimes there is a plan in place, but the people don’t recognize it or discern the plan, or the man sent to them. They miss the time of their visitation because what God does usually overrides the established systems which they are familiar with (Mt. 23). Familiarity is another killer.

It is the underground working of God we must become familiar with. There is an underground body – an organic body not confined to the organization of man. Within this organic body there is provision of the Spirit and the Word that will truly meet the needs of people. Lydia belonged to that body. She received the one who carried a letter of authorization, the one commissioned and sent by God. The things Paul spoke were all new to her, but the Lord opened her heart to receive it.

Let us pray for those men who started in the Spirit but who have since moved away, bewitched and bound by systems and the restrictions of man.

 

 

 

THE STONE OF UNBELIEF AND THE STENCH OF PREDICTABILITY ARE KILLING US

There is a void and a vacuum of the supply of the Spirit in many churches today. This fact alone should be driving us to prayer.

My wife and I have been touching this in the Spirit of late. The concept of it is found in Gal. 3:1-5:

“Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?”

The miracles and the supply of the Spirit of God that is needed in the Church today is found and manifested through faith, and not the works of the Law. This is where many leaders are missing it today – going with only what they know, maintaining control, and relying upon their own knowledge and ability. What the Lord wants is an abandonment to His ability and the anointing of His Spirit, in the same way Peter walked on the water. “If the Spirit doesn’t move, we are sunk,” should be the attitude of every minister.

Think of the bigger ministries in this country that incur heavy ministry expenses from the cost of fuel for their own airplanes to television broadcasts, and the big hoopla that has been made for their high profile events and conferences, but God had little to no say in it. He didn’t speak. He didn’t move. These ministers barely did anything for the people. They did not minister in the power of the Lord or bring a supply of the Spirit, or the present hour word of the Lord. When one measures the money spent versus the paltry results and real fruit produced, it’s been pathetic.

There has been great failure in those ministers who are in the limelight from relying on their own wisdom and their past accomplishments. The unknowns and those who’ve labored in near obscurity have fared much better. What has happened in this country is that the bigger more influential ministries have gotten entangled in the luxury and prosperity of American Christianity while being lax in their private prayer lives and consecration. Just as we are seeing an uprising in the political scene, so there must be an uprising in the spiritual. People are tired of the establishment and the “Christian” cartel.

“Your miracles are too old for me,” says the Lord. “Your manna is stale. Your feasts now stink. Your reliance upon your own wisdom and past accomplishments is keeping you out of faith and from depending on Me.”

That is what I hear the Holy Ghost saying.

The earthly ministry of Jesus is our example. He set the pattern for moving with God. He went to the Father every morning to receive His daily bread and direction. The evidence was there as people’s needs were met.

In our own traveling ministry the Spirit of the Lord has been speaking to us:

You must never get comfortable with where I’m sending you; you must constantly be taking a step of faith in believing for My supply. It’s in the believing that the increase comes in the supply of the Spirit for whatever you need (miracles, revelation, direction, provision, etc.).”

At the tombstone of Lazarus, Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” That stone is symbolic of the unbelief that was present then and now, for Martha’s response makes that obvious.

“Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days” (Jn. 11:39).

Notice Jesus’ response to Martha’s unbelief: “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (Jn. 11:40)

Many of God’s people are dying today because of the predictability of man’s wisdom and leadership and of their deepest spiritual needs not being met. The state of the Church is the result of this predictability spawned from the philosophies of men. It is a spirit of unbelief that manifests in operating strictly from the arm of the flesh and the soul, and man’s wisdom from what they’ve done in the past. It is death and a stench in God’s nostrils.

In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). The children of Israel in the desert are a great Old Testament example of trusting God, for they had to gather new fresh manna every morning. Moses commanded them not to leave any of the manna until the next morning. When they tried to preserve it, notice what happened.

“Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank” (Ex. 16:20).

The Lord has shown us that there are hungry people who are tired of the stale manna, and there are others, especially the newer believers, who don’t know what the real manna tastes like, or even looks like. It is important how they’re introduced to Christ and Christianity.

The biggest need in the Church today is for the spiritual supply that would meet the people’s deepest need, which is to see His glory, and be touched and filled with God. For when a man is touched and filled with God, he is satisfied, and the temporal world with all its’ enticements and temptations will no longer lure him.

Look at the scriptural gospel examples of what happened to the people who were touched, healed, delivered, and filled with God under the ministry of Jesus. The leper was made whole and blazed abroad the matter to everyone (Mk. 1). The woman at the well received a revelation of her Messiah and testified to the men in her city (Jn. 4). The Gadarene demoniac was delivered and began to proclaim all that Jesus had done for him (Mk. 5). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus received a revelation of Jesus in the breaking of the bread, and the word Jesus spoke to them burned in their hearts like fire, as they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples of the risen Lord (Lk. 24).

Oh, what life and glory was ministered to them!

The supply of the Spirit stops the ministry of death. The supply of the Spirit prevents stench and decay. The supply of the Spirit looses men from sin, darkness, disease, and bondage. This supply manifests through prayer (Phil. 1:19) and faith (Gal. 3:5).

Let no man bewitch you into thinking otherwise and being satisfied with the wisdom and philosophies of men.