SELFISH AMBITION: EXPOSING THE CURSE OF MINISTRY

This is an article written by a young minister friend of mine with wisdom beyond his years. It is a works-saving word that contains the real heart of the Lord. Read it reverently and let the Spirit of God take you into the Refiner’s Fire.

Godly Ambition and Elder Care

I have a confession. I want to be Great. I want to serve Jesus with all that I am. I want people to know that I serve God alone, whether it brings fame or ridicule. I am ambitious for advancement in the Kingdom. I have tried to study and build a base of knowledge and contacts, created a resumé of sorts for all kinds of Christian activities and experiences that someone may find valuable, secretly wanting to be recognized for my contributions to the kingdom.

This is all a great snare and a stumbling block to me, and the Lord batted me over the head to get my attention. Now, having ambition and wanting to be great are natural to the human condition, and there is nothing odd about it. The Bible itself speaks of it and God engenders our sense of destiny and greatness by unlocking everything needed within us to make our lives count for something, to give what the world cannot – ultimate meaning.

… but for a long time, I have had things very backwards and distorted. When I was an occultist, I sought power and greatness also. When I became a Christian, the greatness that Christ offers and the power of the Holy Ghost became tantalizing, so much so I became a sort of modern day Simon Magus.

It is a common enough teaching in the Church, to go up, you must go down. Jesus says in no uncertain terms “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matt. 23:11. But in the church-world at large, it still seems that the greatest among us have gotten there by being great in the same worldly fashion, the rewards the same worldly rewards, the honor given is the honor the world gives. And regardless of what the Scripture says, the example that I have seen lived out before me in so many instances has been to seek to climb the ladder, sell your gifts, build your resume.. and then you can become great.

Now, let me tell you what God has shown me.

It was said by the early Christians: “Unless you make what is right left, and what is left right, what is above into what is below, and what is behind into what is in front, you will not learn to know the kingdom.”

We know the kingdom of God is contrary to every way of the world. Let me tell you that the things the world exalts ought to be shame to the believer, and the thing that the world shames ought to exalt the believer.

“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-25

I have been working in a nursing home for 7 years caring for the elderly. I make only as much as I require. I have been tempted to be ashamed of my work because it has some dirty business in it, because I’ve been there for much of my working life and I occasionally receive comments like “so you’re still there, huh?” I understand the implications and what it looks like. People tell me things like “Dan, you’re so smart, why don’t you go finish your degree and do something for real? Be a teacher or something.”, or “So are you gonna be a nurse or a doctor?”, “Still just preaching at the prison?”
My secret thought has been, “C’mon, Lord… I thought I’d be promoted by now too…”

This has been my great sin – either become successful in the world, or successful as a minister.

But let me tell you my friends, the Lord has blessed me and exalted me already far above what I deserve, because He HAS NOT made me great in any worldly fashion, nor given me any worldly honor, nor have I received any great thing at the hands of men for any of my religious activities…. but RATHER, He made me in the form of a servant, given me the task for lo, these 7 years, to care for those who cannot care for themselves. He has graced me with an environment where I must persistently put myself under for others.

I must be patient with residents that are impatient. I must be kind when they hit me or swear at me. Because of memory loss, I must answer the same question 40 times a day by the same person, each time as if it were the first.

I have been put in a situation where people are dying and seeing their last days and understanding the implications of a life without God. I get to tell the answer. I get to hold people’s hand as they pass and prepare their cold shell after they have gone. I deal with the hurt families as they see their loved ones declining. Because the God of all comfort has comforted me, I may comfort others – both the infirm of body and broken in heart. I have been put in an environment that is HIGHLY EXALTED in the Kingdom, which is perfectly conducive to creating and maintaining spiritual growth. I am blessed beyond measure.

I should have seen it sooner. The Lord has said, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”

So I have confessed to you a great sin I’ve had. But I have repented. I will not go down in the kingdom to go up in the world. I will not be ashamed of my profession no matter what people may say, because God has given me a tremendous honor to serve a forgotten, poor and powerless people. If that will make me forgotten, poor and powerless also, so be it. For I am written in His Book, I have riches in heaven, and His strength is made perfect in weakness.

May He do with me as He wills. I won’t complain or yearn any more. If I work in a nursing home for another 60 years I will not gripe against Him one bit. I’m not even just submitting to Him in obedience; I am recognizing what I truly have. If He gives me another assignment in ministry, I will do it graciously and humbly. But I will not strive with the world’s means to attain God’s ends. No resume can gain me what has already been given to me. I am already in greatness.

Daniel Clausen

http://dumbidols.blogspot.com/2016/01/godly-ambition-and-elder-care.html

A MINISTER’S CONFESSION: THE TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE AND MINISTRY

In the early part of 2002 I began praying in other tongues at length. I have always made a private practice of praying in tongues quite regularly, but during this period of time I indulged in it on a daily basis. After praying for about 2 1⁄2 months this way I then added some extended fasting for several more weeks.

Before this extended time of prayer and seeking God I had become quite frustrated with my life and ministry and a lack of certain results. At this juncture in my life I was teaching students and training young ministers on an international platform in a Stateside school of revival. I was doing everything I’ve always dreamed of doing. I was teaching and preaching, traveling both nationally and internationally, mentoring young students, and even found time to do some writing. My family and I were as comfortable as we’d ever been. Our finances were better than they ever were. We were in good health. We enjoyed great friendships. I had every reason to be happy and satisfied, but somehow I was not.

In my heart I was not fulfilled. There was an internal struggle. I did not have peace. I was not walking in my authority as a minister. Somehow and somewhere I was knocked out of that position of authority and it was affecting every area of my life.

Even the mentoring times with students that I so looked forward to were no longer enjoyable. After these mentoring times I would walk away emotionally and spiritually drained. I was hearing a distinct call in my spirit, “Be with Me.” And so at the direction of the Lord I made a determination at the end of 2001 to put a halt to my mentoring groups, stop all extracurricular activities, limit my travels, and deepen my fellowship with the Lord.

When I first started praying in the spirit I kept having this impression of a glass ceiling over my head. On the other side of this glass ceiling was the glory, the power, the favor, the increase, and the anointing I was seeking. While I was gazing intently at the ceiling, however, God began to deal with me about the floor, my foundation. Here are some of the first words of wisdom I heard from the Lord:

“Take away ‘ministry’ over the last 17 years and what do you have? Your character has not been sufficiently dealt the death blows that it will take to properly develop it to where I can impart to you the mind of Christ. You need more mortification to receive the mind of Christ.”

After hearing this word is when I made the decision to add fasting to my time of seeking the Lord. After all, when combined with the Word of God, fasting is the quickest route to mortification and character transformation. And that is what this life in Christ is all about.

To tell you the truth, I thought my foundation was just fine. I had been in the full time preaching ministry for about 15 years. I had been a faithful missionary. I had seen God work healings and miracles through my life. I had ministered to thousands of people in evangelistic crusades and Bible school settings and made some faithful disciples along the way. Why was the Lord directing my attention to the floor and to my foundation? The ceiling is where I wanted to go. That is what I was thinking and praying about. If I had not been in a position of humility through prayer and fasting, I would’ve missed the Lord in what He was trying to say to me. Thank God for His patience and long- suffering.

After several more weeks of seeking the Lord and praying, especially in other tongues, revelation began to open up to me concerning my life and ministry. It was as if the Holy Spirit was now helping me to interpret the many mysteries I had been praying out for months.

For several weeks I heard beautiful words. I wrote them down. God gave me a blueprint of His more perfect will for my life and ministry. You can find this testimony in my book The Journal Of A Journey and the revelation I received during this time, and also the order by which it came. It is important to know that there is an order to each piece of revelation God gives.

1 Cor 14:4 says, “He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself.” One meaning of “edify” is to organize and order. When I began to pray in other tongues at length I was organizing and ordering my life in the Spirit while edifying myself. I was accessing certain mysteries of my life and calling, and God put me on the fast track because of the time spent praying forth those mysteries. My understanding, however, was unfruitful until the interpretation of it came in these documents. Wise ministers will build their ministries this way.

There is an organization and an order in the Spirit that come as a result of the leading and direction of the Lord that you receive through prayer especially praying in other tongues. These documents are a direct result of time spent praying this way.

The apostle Paul also penned these words: “I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all; yet in the church…” (1 Cor 14:18- 19a)

As the principle writer of the New Testament, Paul’s private use of speaking in tongues was his key to revelation knowledge and to his understanding of the mysteries of God. The same applies today.

This book, written in journal form, details my personal journey of how time spent praying in other tongues gave me the needed wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God’s more perfect plan for my life.

Praying in tongues is both a purifying fire and a devouring fire. As you pray in other tongues the fire of God will devour your works of wood, hay, and stubble while at the same time purifying your works of gold, silver, and precious stones. This will save your works at the judgment seat of Christ and cause you to enter into a sure reward.

How does this happen? It happens through the interpretation processes of revelation and precise instruction from the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that we should pray to interpret our heavenly language of tongues (1 Cor 14:13). The key is to locate the channel by which the Holy Spirit speaks.

Most Christians have a difficult time distinguishing their spirit from their intellect. Your conscience is the voice of your spirit. The Holy Spirit is more closely associated with your conscience than your intellect. As you pray in tongues you are praying from the channel of your conscience through which the Holy Spirit speaks.

Our problem is that we are more accustomed to looking for God’s voice in our intellect. Our intellect is generally an unsafe guide because it is usually clouded with a mixture of the world’s thinking where much of our decision-making is based on our best interests. Most Christians have a difficult time hearing from God because their soul which comprises of their intellect is clouded with self, mingled with the world, and yet has some Word in it.

Praying in other tongues will broaden the channel by which God speaks. In my case I prayed so much in other tongues that eventually those tongues seemed to turn to English at times, and the Lord began to give me revelation and instruction concerning my life and ministry.

Praying in tongues also aligns your heart with the motives of Jesus Christ especially as you spend time meditating on the life and words of Jesus in the gospels. This will strengthen your conscience. The conscience will then translate those motives into thoughts and order your soul in it through the revelation and instruction you are receiving from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s purpose is to re-align your soul with the motives of Christ so He can begin to make a real bond-slave out of you. That is real character transformation which is what the Lord is after.

It is time to double up and triple up praying in other tongues, and to get the order and organization of your life and ministry from the Spirit of God. Let Him speak to you and give you clarity.

One of the main themes that has been woven into my preaching and writing over the years has been the great desire of the Spirit to save ministers and saints from dead works and laboring in vain. There are certain admonitions in scripture that have very strong application toward ministers (Mat 7:21-23) (I Cor 13:1-3) (2 Cor 3:12-15) (Jam 3:1-2). We must pay very close attention to these. To whom much is given much is required.

It is my earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit will use this post and the book below to enlighten you, and save your works from being burned so that you will receive the Lord’s reward for your labor on that day.

The full testimony of the revelation I received during this season of prayer is in my book, THE JOURNAL OF A JOURNEY TO HIS HOLINESS.   In my humble opinion it is my most sacred book – very revealing, transparent, most vulnerable, and written in the first person from heaven to earth. For this reason it is my least advertised book. It is written to the body of Christ but especially with ministers in mind.  It will help many avoid the pitfalls of pride and save them from laboring in vain where they can receive a full reward on that Day. It’s time to get this message out. 

THE GREATEST AMERICAN TRAGEDY AND A REBUKE OF OUR IRREVERENT “CHRISTIAN” ATHLETES

I’ve written a book about it (The Real Gospel). I’ve written numerous articles on it. To me, it is the greatest spiritual American tragedy that I must put you in remembrance of again lest it drift from you and slip from your mind.

There is a gross revision of the gospel being spewed from preachers’ mouths today in our nation that is so far beneath the mind of Christ and the way of His kingdom.

We live in a day when popular church culture is being shaped by a cacophony of strange voices all vying for our loyalty – from America’s most popular television preachers and mega-church pastors toning down on the moral demands of the gospel to many professing “Christian” athletes and celebrities who unworthily and irreverently refer to God as the “supreme power” and “man upstairs”, and whose faith is more often than not detached from their lifestyles. The height of their knowledge of God and that of many American Christians seems to be that He reigns in heaven for their own personal happiness and the fulfillment of their own dreams and careers.

GOD GLORIFYING OR IRREVERENT? – A WORD TO “CHRISTIAN” ATHLETES

I realize that there are many Christ glorifying athletes in our nation whose walk truly matches their talk, but there are still far too many who “in works deny Him”. I swear the next time I see an athlete beat their chest and point to the sky, and declare how their deceased loved ones are watching him play, and going crazy over the touchdown they just scored or home run they hit in their honor, I am going to scream!

Here is a strong word for these irreverent athletes:

God and your deceased loved ones are not watching you play sport and cheering for you to score! They are not honored by your self-adulation and misplaced zeal for things you are ignorant of. Your loved ones are now in eternity and they are only interested in having eternity stamped in earthly men’s hearts and seeing them convicted of their sins, gloriously saved, and truly living for the honor of the Lord Jesus Christ. If they could live again they would scream that to you, too!

Your view and perspective of the kingdom of God is carnal and skewed and most unworthy of Jesus’ holy sacrifice. You are like a muddy pig stomping around in the king’s palace. You need your darkened thinking renewed and elevated to a higher order. If you are really a Christian and want to use your God-given talents to glorify Christ, then use the platform He has given you to be a living witness of the real gospel. Then you will see what it means to suffer even a little for the Savior you claim to follow. That’s also when you’ll find out if you’re living for your fan’s applause or the Master’s approval.

If you’re really as tough as you seem to be on the football field or wherever you display your talents, and you sincerely seek to please God and honor those who’ve gone on into eternity, instead of pleasing and appeasing your fan base, why not preach the gospel? Instead of saying “God this”, and “God that”, why not be radical and say “Jesus this” and “Jesus that”? It’s the Name of Jesus that scares demons and induces persecution. You will not glorify God until you can at least identify in a simple clear way with His Son.

A DIFFERENT GOSPEL

The problem with many of these professional athletes and also professing Christian celebrities is they have no solid mentors in their lives. They model their lives after famous hipster rappers or sissified celebrity pastors who appear cool and hip and preach a fashionable perversion of faith, but don’t live holy and can hardly make any demon tremble.

The modern gospel proclaimed today differs from the gospel that was preached just one half century ago in that man and not Jesus Christ is the center of it. Today’s American gospel elevates the fulfillment of self and the promotion of one’s passion for pleasure and fame. It is a gospel that has been stripped of its more challenging demands, its sufferings and sacrifice, to a comfortable, customized, and carnal version that none of the early apostles and believers would’ve recognized.

What popular church culture needs to understand is that the doorway to the life that Jesus offers us is through death. Our gospel bids us to come and die to sin, the flesh, and the world. Jesus did not just die to forgive your sins. He died to purchase you and own you! (2 Cor. 5:15) The only gospel that is worthy of the reward of Christ’s sacrifice is the one that is detached from the deification of man and attached to the death of him. This is the only kind of death that brings true life. 

Jesus taught Peter this lesson.

“But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men” (Mt. 16:23).

Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He would suffer and be killed. Jesus recognized this rebuke as being of a Satanic nature. This is one compelling example of Jesus guarding His death more than He did His life. In a word, this is the way of the cross, which every true Christian is called to bear and every minister to exemplify (Mt. 16:24-25).

The cross-less gospel is the greatest lack in Christianity today and the reason for many of the church’s failures and the biggest reason why it is becoming increasingly difficult in many places of the world to tell the difference between a real Christian and non-Christian. It is also the most common place where men are duped into thinking that there can be a shortcut to revival and the power and glory of God.

“The way into glory is through the flesh being torn away from the world and separated unto God.” — Smith Wigglesworth

The major cause for failure in ministry today for those who profess Christ’s Name is the same – not knowing the true nature and quality of God. Unless we understand and know the nature of the gospel and of our God, we will continually sacrifice His life on the altar of convenience and serve God on our own terms. It is those men like Wigglesworth in every generation who have risen above this pretense and lived out the real gospel that have changed the world.

THERE ARE NO SHORT CUTS – BEWARE OF EMPTY PROPHECIES

Until the American Church gets back to that, no real and lasting change is forthcoming. You can listen to all the New Year prophecies that speak of what a great year this next one is going to be for the church and how you will prosper and be favored. You can listen to empty promises and predictions of the how the glory and power of God will be made manifest – how this will be the year of revival and awakening – even how the next president will lead the nation back to God (those prophecies have already started).

I believe God’s promises are true, and I am all for instilling hope in people, but sometimes the best thing the church can hear are the warnings, rebukes, and roadblocks of what is actually hindering His promises from coming to pass.

There is a new gospel and new prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing, running through the land. They speak peace to all those who have itching ears for something new and exotic and they cause them to trust in a lie, and subtly supplant within their hearts rebellion against the Lord (Jer. 28:15-16). But the word I hear remains the same year after year.

Return to the gospel. Return to the traditions of your forefathers. Get back to the cross. Get back to the blood. Get back to holiness and repentance. Get thrilled with the Word and the basics of our faith. Get thrilled with soul winning. Get excited about making disciples. Until the basics of our faith come alive in our hearts we are dead and need reviving. If these things are not appealing to you and do not bring you joy then you are in need of repentance. True repentance always brings joy and releases an empowering grace to obey the Lord.

Another word that leaves us in our deadness and full of ourselves is not a word from God. Beware of false empty New Year prophecies and promises. Beware of the Satanic nature of another gospel. It’s a Trojan horse intended to undermine our faith and keep us trapped and powerless in our anemic version of Christianity.

100 THINGS GOD SAYS ABOUT HEALING

There are many people battling sickness in their bodies, some more serious than others. The Scriptures are God’s medicine and are filled with life and healing power. As you believe and meditate on these Scriptures you will find that your body will begin to respond in health. The Word of God is faith food, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Feel free to file these faith and healing Scriptures or make copies of them for others.

100 THINGS GOD SAID ABOUT HEALING  ~ D.E.

The following statements are what God has personally said about healing. To the degree you let them flow into your heart the healing will flow out into your body. Once God’s Word is allowed to come alive in your heart it will change the rest of the person. Be patient for a seed takes time to grow, but once it does, it provides fruit for many seasons.

OLD TESTAMENT

1. I am the Lord that heals thee (Ex. 15:26).
2. You shall be buried in a good old age (Gen. 15:15).
3. You shall come to your grave in a full age like as a shock of corn comes in its season (Job 5:26).
4. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you (Ex. 12:13).
5. I will take sickness away from the midst of you and the number of your days I will fulfill (Ex. 23:25, 26).
6. I will not put any of the diseases you are afraid of on you, but I will take all sickness away from you (Deut. 7:15).
7. It will be well with you and your days shall be multiplied and prolonged as the days of heaven upon the earth (Deut. 11:9, 21).
8. I turned the curse into a blessing unto you, because I loved you (Deut. 23:5 and Neh. 13:2).
9. I have redeemed you from every sickness and every plague (Deut. 28:61 and Gal. 3:13).
10. As your days, so shall your strength be (Deut. 33:25).
11. I have found a ransom for you, your flesh shall be fresher than a child’s and you shall return to the days of your youth (Job 33:24, 25).
12. I have healed you and brought up your soul from the grave; I have kept you alive from going down into the pit (Ps. 30:1, 2).
13. I will give you strength and bless you with peace (Ps. 29:11).
14. I will preserve you and keep you alive (Ps. 41:2).
15. I will strengthen you upon the bed of languishing; I will turn all your bed in your sickness (Ps. 41:3).
16. I am the health of your countenance and your God (Ps.43:5).
17. No plague shall come near your dwelling (Ps. 91:10).
18. I will satisfy you with long life (Ps. 91:16).
19. I heal all your diseases (Ps. 103:3).
20. I sent My word and healed you and delivered you from your destructions (Ps. 107:20).
21. You shall not die, but live, and declare My works (Ps. 118:17).
22. I heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds (Ps. 147:3).
23. The years of your life shall be many (Pr. 4:10).
24. Trusting Me brings health to your navel and marrow to your bones (Pr. 3:8).
25. My words are life to you, and health/medicine to all your flesh (Pr. 4:22).
26. (My) good report makes your bones fat (Pr. 15:30).
27. (My) pleasant words are sweet to your soul and health to your bones (Pr. 16:24).
28. My joy is your strength. A merry heart does good like a medicine (Neh. 8:10; Pr. 17:22).
29. The eyes of the blind shall be opened. The eyes of them that see shall not be dim (Isa.32:3; 35:5).
30. The ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. The ears of them that hear shall hearken (Isa. 32:3; 35:5).
31. The tongue of the dumb shall sing. The tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly (Isa. 35:6; 32:4).
32. The lame man shall leap as a hart (Isa. 35:6).
33. I will recover you and make you to live. I am ready to save you (Isa. 38:16, 20).
34. I give power to the faint. I increase strength to them that have no might (Isa. 40:29).
35. I will renew your strength. I will strengthen and help you (Isa. 40:31; 41:10).
36. To your old age and gray hairs I will carry you and I will deliver you (Isa. 46:4).
37. I bore your sickness (Isa. 53:4).
38. I carried your pains (Isa. 53:4).
39. I was put to sickness for you (Isa. 53:10).
40. With My stripes you are healed (Isa. 53:5).
41. I will heal you (Isa. 57:19).
42. Your light shall break forth as the morning and your health shall spring forth speedily (Isa. 58:8).
43. I will restore health unto you, and I will heal you of your wounds saith the Lord (Jer. 30:17).
44. Behold I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure you, and will reveal unto you the abundance of peace and truth (Jer. 33:6).
45. I will bind up that which was broken and will strengthen that which was sick (Eze. 34:16).
46. Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live. And I shall put My Spirit in you and you shall live (Eze. 37:5, 14).
47. Whithersoever the rivers shall come shall live. They shall be healed and everything shall live where the river comes (Eze. 47:9).
48. Seek Me and you shall live (Amos 5:4, 6).
49. I have arisen with healing in My wings (beams) (Mal. 4:2).

NEW TESTAMENT

50. I will to heal you and make you clean and whole (Mt. 8:3).
51. I took your infirmities (Mt. 8:17).
52. I bore your sicknesses (Mt. 8:17).
53. If you’re sick you need a physician. (I am the Lord your physician) (Mt. 9:12 & Ex. 15:26).
54. I am moved with compassion toward the sick and I heal them (Mt. 14:14).
55. I heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease (Mt. 4:23).
56. According to your faith, be it unto you (Mt. 9:29).
57. I give you power and authority over all unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease (Mt. 10:1 & Lk. 9:1).
58. I heal them all (Mt. 12:15 & Heb. 13:8).
59. As many as touch Me are made perfectly whole (Mt. 14:36).
60. Healing is the children’s bread (Mt. 15:26).
61. I do all things well. I make the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak (Mk. 7:37).
62. If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes (Mk. 9:23; 11:23, 24).
63. When hands are laid on you, you shall recover (Mk. 16:18).
64. My anointing heals the brokenhearted, and delivers the captives, recovers sight to the blind, and sets at liberty those that are bruised (Lk. 4:18; Isa. 10:27; 61:1).
65. I heal all those who have need of healing (Lk. 9:11).
66. I am not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them (Lk. 9:56).
67. Behold, I give you authority over all the enemy’s power and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Lk. 10:19).
68. Sickness is satanic bondage and you ought to be loosed today (Lk. 13:16 & 2 Cor. 6:2).
69. In Me is life (Jn. 1:4).
70. I am the bread of life. I give you life (Jn. 6:33, 35).
71. The words I speak unto you are spirit and life (Jn. 6:63).
72. I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly (Jn. 10:10).
73. I am the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25).
74. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (Jn. 14:14).
75. Faith in My name makes you strong and gives you perfect soundness (Acts 3:16).
76. I stretch forth My hand to heal (Acts 4:30).
77. I, Jesus Christ, make you whole (Acts 9:34).
78. I do good and heal all that are oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38).
79. My power causes diseases to depart from you (Acts 19:12).
80. The law of the Spirit of life in Me has made you free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
81. The same Spirit that raised Me from the dead now lives in you and that Spirit will quicken your mortal body (Rom. 8:11).
82. Your body is a member of Me (I Cor. 6:15).
83. Your body is the temple of My Spirit and you’re to glorify Me in your body (I Cor. 6:19, 20).
84. If you’ll rightly discern My body which was broken for you, and judge yourself, you’ll not be judged and you’ll not be weak, sickly or die prematurely (I Cor. 11:29-31).
85. I have set gifts of healing in My body (I Cor. 12:9).
86. My life may be made manifest in your mortal flesh (II Cor. 4:10, 11).
87. I have delivered you from death, I do deliver you, and if you trust Me I will yet deliver you (II Cor. 1:10).
88. I have given you My name and have put all things under your feet (Eph. 1:21, 22).
89. I want it to be well with you and I want you to live long on the earth. (Eph. 6:3).
90. I have delivered you from the authority of darkness (Col. 1:13).
91. I will deliver you from every evil work (II Tim. 4:18).
92. I tasted death for you. I destroyed the devil who had the power of death. I’ve delivered you from the fear of death and bondage (Heb. 2:9, 14, 15).
93. I wash your body with pure water (Heb. 10:22; Eph. 5:26).
94. Lift up the weak hands and the feeble knees. Don’t let that which is lame be turned aside but rather let Me heal it (Heb. 12:12, 13).
95. Let the elders anoint you and pray for you in My name and I will raise you up (Jas. 5:14,15).
96. Pray for one another and I will heal you (Jas. 5:16).
97. By My stripes you were healed (I Pet. 2:24).
98. My Divine power has given unto you all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Me (II Pet. 1:3).
99. Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).
100. Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health (3 John 2).

I curse the work of the devil in your body and I release the power of God into your body to begin working now, in Jesus Christ’s mighty Name! Say this often out loud: “The healing power of God is in my body and it’s working to effect a healing and a cure in me.”

Praise God for His love and healing power!

HOW DO PEOPLE REMEMBER YOU?

It was a little after 5:00 AM when I opened my eyes today and reached for my iPhone to see what time it was. Immediately I saw a message from one of Daniel’s middle school friends. Surprised to hear from this young man after so many years, I opened up my inbox to read his words. What I read broke my heart.

His mother came out of the closet recently crushing his Dad and leaving this young man to raise his younger sister. Now hurting with questions and doubts concerning God he was reaching out for help. “Why does allow God allow things like this to happen?” he asked. Feeling alone, angry, and conflicted I wondered within myself why he chose to reach out to me for help, since we’ve been out of touch with his family for many years.

You see, Daniel, our son, attended a Christian school with him, and we got to know his family a little bit. They were part of the evangelical church that was adjoined to this school. With so many other people, including church folks, in this young man’s life, why was he reaching out to me?

Then it dawned on me. Precious seeds sown and a living witness mirrored before people in years gone by are never forgotten. This young man had witnessed Christ in our family and how we raised Daniel. He had been in classes with Daniel and played middle school ball with him. He knew we were the real deal and a strong Christian family, and he saw a distinct difference in Daniel as his teacher had told us that it had been a long time since they had a student like him in that school.

He had also heard a message I preached at the school’s chapel when they invited me to speak to the students. I remember how choked up I was when the Spirit of God came upon at the start and I began to weep. It marked the teachers and students who were there that day. I remember brief exchanges and conversations I had with this young man and how Carolyn had befriended his mother. This all happened about 8-9 years ago, but here he was reaching back to me for help.

The message he sent me was magnified in my heart as I rehearsed the life and brief times we shared with this family. We are epistles read of all men. People watch us. It is important that our witness remain faithful and true – that people see Christ in us in whatever we say and do.

The encouragement and life lesson is this: don’t give up on precious seeds and the witness of the gospel you’ve sown into people’s lives in years gone by, especially in family members and relatives. They will remember you. Your life and words will continue to speak to them. In times of trouble, even some of those who once rejected you and your words, will return to you in due season and a set time and ask for your help. Of course, this is all the more true as you grow older for your race gets longer and your acquaintances increase. I could list many more examples of this happening in our lifetime where people have gone full cycle and returned to us, and are now making a demand on the wisdom of God in us, after having observed the steadfastness of our lives for so many years.

Our service of God is going on 36 years now. Many people have come and gone from our lives, but the memories we left them of the witness of Christ are like a trail that will continue to awaken their memory and speak to their hearts. Keep sowing those precious seeds of a life lived for God and words spoken from a Christ-like example. Water those seeds with love and prayer. Trust me, they will never be forgotten, but will grow and produce fruit for the glory of God and the salvation of men.

FROM MY HEART: UNDERSTANDING THE UNDERGROUND WORK

A few weeks ago I shared with you of the greatest opportunity I’ve received yet in 30 years of ministry, and that is to broadcast the gospel to a potential viewing audience of 450 million people, a majority of them being among the Arabic tongue.

Truly the following Scripture continues to come to pass in our time:

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (Is. 9:2, Mt. 4:16).

The word of the Lord came unto us just a few days ago concerning this broadcast and He said:

“Let the people understand that I’m working a work in another people that cannot be seen at this time, but they are finding ways to watch and see.”

As an example, in Iran it is illegal for people to watch Christian television. Many have satellite dishes that the government occasionally will dismantle and take down, but then in time the same people put up them up again. They are hungry for truth, love, and freedom. In many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, young Muslim converts get most of their Christian teaching from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox religious networks or from the typical American “get-rich, cheap grace, best-life now” programming. They are starving for the revelation of the living Word. Additionally, there are many Muslims who watch these programs who are seekers and not yet saved. The Lord has given us an amazing opportunity to reach and impact them.

The Spirit of God continued to give us understanding by saying:

“This is a “kairos” time (an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment [the ‘supreme moment’]) for you and many of My people – a season of divine connections and open doors. As the waters cover the sea, so shall the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth (Is. 11:9). There shall be a meeting of the needs and a supply of My Spirit for all who seek Me.

“So understand this, that in this time there are going to be movings of My Spirit that you will not be able to see. But I will surely show you and bring to your attention those things in degrees, so that you will be encouraged and know that I am moving underground in these places where My people are.

“I am going to give you bits and pieces of information and testimonies so that you can be encouraged and know what I am doing on the earth. There will not be a lot released because the underground activity must be kept this way for a time and a season, but there will be enough that comes forward that you will know I am working through this broadcast.

“Put this understanding in those who are supporting you in this.”

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for those core of friends who have responded to my sincere appeal for your partnership. Progress has been made, and funds are slowly increasing. My prayer is that each one who has made a monthly pledge will keep it, so that we can maintain a steady budget. Unlike most television ministries that have a large network of support or a mega church that covers their expenses, we live and travel on a shoe string budget, but God has always been faithful to pay for what He authors. We know, however, that He uses His people to do so.

This broadcast opportunity is unfolding right before our eyes and quickly becoming a reality, thanks to the gifts and generosity of God’s people. We do have enough to start, but need more monthly partners to make it a once a week broadcast, and then rebroadcast the same program twice a week. This will result in reaching a greater percentage of Arabic people.

As it is now, we are scheduled to be in Tulsa at the beginning of February to record three months worth of programming – that’s 13 – 30 minute programs! Please help us by sending your gifts designated to “Arabic Broadcasting” to:

Holy Fire Ministries, PO Box 4527, Windham, NH 03087

Or give through our Donate button on our website Holy Fire Ministries.

Let us know if you have any issues with the forms, as some have not been able to process their giving all the way through. We are working on removing the glitch.

ONE LAST WORD: I’ve used this medium to write well over 300 blogs that continue to be a blessing to many – all without consideration of funds or partnership in giving and receiving. We also write a weekly blog for Charisma magazine that goes out to 4 million subscribers for which I receive no compensation. That’s a revelation to some people who have actually accused me of being a money-grabbing preacher. Wow! If they only knew! Lord, forgive them.

Please do not misjudge me for coming to you and asking you to help us with this broadcast. Even now I am looking for ways to cut expenses during our stay in Tulsa to record the programming, so that all monies can go directly into the actual broadcast. Instead of reserving a hotel and a car, we are staying with a friend and possibly using another friend’s car, so that we may “provide things honest in the sight of all men” and most of all, in the sight of God.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this and for your love and understanding.

THE LOVE OF APPEARANCE AND THE GODDESS OF MONEY

When you truly commune with the Lord in prayer, the Spirit of God not only helps you pray, but He will give you wisdom and revelation.

Recently in prayer my wife Carolyn saw two vital foundations that were pillars in the early Church. These two foundations have been cracked and are faulty and in need of great repair and restoration in today’s Church. They are the main reason for the Church’s defilement and deficiency in wisdom and power. Let us deal with only one of those two foundations today.

The first foundation has to do with pride/hypocrisy and lying to the Holy Spirit. In prayer the Spirit of God highlighted Acts 5 to us when swift judgment came on Ananias and Sapphira and their sin was dealt with severely in the early Church. Such hypocrisy cannot breathe under the weight of the glory of God. This hypocrisy and aspect of lying to the Holy Spirit is the leaven of the Pharisees that has leavened much of the Church.

Ananias and Sapphira, the two subjects of Satan’s deceit, were struck dead before the apostles for pride, hypocrisy, and lying to Holy Spirit. What Jesus was dealing with there in the young body at Jerusalem was the love of appearance – giving to be seen by men (Mt. 6). Think of how many things are done in Christianity today because of the love of appearance and to be seen of men. It was a dark motive that was seeking to mar the purity of the early Church and has succeeded in marring the Church of today.

“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” (Acts 5:3)

Ananias and Sapphira came to lay down the proceeds of the sale of their possession, but soon lay dead under the grip of their obsession. They concealed their true motives by lying to God. God revealed their pride and hypocrisy by speaking the truth. The lesson we learn: Guard your heart and don’t be tainted by pride and moral compromise in the glory.

One of the foundational reasons the glory of God is not manifesting in the Church is due to this pride and hypocrisy and love of appearance.

The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was not in keeping back part of the price of the land, for no one required them to give it all. Their sin was in lying about it. But why did they agree to lie about it? Was it not because  of pride and the desire to be seen of men? There was a hypocrisy working in them. They wanted to appear generous. The love of appearance literally killed them.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

As I said, a large portion of the Church today is operating under this false pretense – the love of appearance. This is foundational to the life, power, and effectiveness of the Church. Some of it has to do with our attitude toward money, our use of it, and the greed and covetousness that has been attached to it.

Think of the examples in Scripture concerning the deceitfulness of money and the covetousness often attached to it, and how many have succumbed to the pride and greed of it.

For example, Balaam was a genuine prophet. The Spirit of God would come upon him and he would hear form the Lord (Nu. 22: 8-9; 24:2), but money ruined him. God warned him but he didn’t listen (Nu. 22:12-13).

The Scriptures list him in several places as an example of one whose heart was not right toward money.

“They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Pt. 2:15).

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” (Jude 11).

Simon the sorcerer is another example of one who desired to buy the power of God so he could be someone great as he was when he was a sorcerer in Samaria (Acts 8).

Elisha’s servant Gehazi is yet another example of one who ran after the money when his master Elisha refused it (2 Kings 5). Isn’t interesting that Gehazi also lied to Elisha about the silver and change of garments he’d received from Naaman? But God revealed the truth of it to Elisha.

BEWARE OF MODERN DAY BALAAMS

Without discernment you can be in the presence of a man of God but not realize they have corrupted themselves. Once spiritual things have a for sale sign you just might find yourself in the presence of a modern Balaam. 

How many wrong things must a man of God do before you stop being mesmerized by his gifts? We have a Simon the Sorcerer generation today. Unfortunately, Balaam is not talked about in a positive light in the Scriptures because of his compromise. These things are all written for our benefit. You can avoid his error as well as the error of deceit in any minister. God gave us the Word so we don’t have to be ignorant of spiritual matters. He gave us his Spirit so we may discern truth from error.

COMPARING NOW TO THEN

Compare these quotes on money from our day’s most popular preachers to those of centuries past.

“The Bible says that He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That’s the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce. I’m following Jesus’s steps.”

I’ve chosen to refrain from naming the said preacher. I don’t want to discredit all the good he may have done. Blowing out someone else’s candle does not make mine burn any brighter. Besides, the point here is to keep the main point the main point, and not gossip about how all preachers are after your money. Not all preachers are that way. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Thank God for the many pure hearted preachers in the land today who’ve not been tainted by greed and the love of money.

Nevertheless, how can such a careless and erroneous statement come out of this popular preacher’s mouth who has done much good?

So following Jesus has been reduced to driving a Rolls Royce? But what does the Bible say?

“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth'” (1 Pt. 2:19-22).

One of the greatest examples given in Scripture for following in Jesus’ steps has to do with suffering wrongfully. That is the example we are to follow. (See also Mt. 10:25 and Jn. 15:20 among many others that teach us how we are to follow our Master.)

Here’s another one:

“Give $10 and receive $1000; Give $1000 and receive $100,000 . . . give one house and receive one hundred houses or a house worth one hundred times as much. Give one airplane and receive one hundred times the value of the airplane . . . in short, Mark 10:30 is a very good deal.”

So Mk. 10:30 has been reduced to a very good deal? How pathetic! What was meant to be a scripture to forsake all for the gospel and suffer persecution for that kind of consecrated lifestyle has been reduced to a money and materialism scripture. What an example of corrupted motives! Once again I refrain from naming the source of this erroneous quote; only to say that this ministry is one of the most popular ministries in America today.

Does Mark 10:30 really mean that kind of 100-fold return on all your giving? Let’s read that verse in context. First of all, this entire statement spoken by Jesus starts with vs. 29.

So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mk. 10:29-30). 

There is nothing in this verse that is in context with this popular preacher’s quote. This has nothing to do with sowing money, houses, and airplanes in order to reap one hundred times more. These verses have nothing to do with money! Period. This preacher’s interpretation is the product of the American gospel of riches and materialism. The real meaning of these verses is in the context of leaving all to follow Jesus.

I was a missionary for many years and left houses, family, and lands to follow Jesus. I’m not 100 times richer now than I was then. What I have received is that I’ve gained at least 100 more brothers, sisters, mothers, and children. I’ve lived and slept in 100 more houses than the one I left to follow Jesus. I’ve been to and visited many more lands than I left. And I’ve received some persecution with it all. Notice in the preacher’s careless interpretation of this text that nothing is mentioned about receiving persecutions. They don’t want to claim that part.

The Bible teaches us that a desire to be rich is dangerous.

“They that will be rich fall into temptation, and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Tim. 6:9). Unless money is indeed your servant, and you are a non-profit bond-slave of Jesus Christ, money will ruin you.

THEN

Now here are some quotes from men of old who have gone on to their reward. Notice how careful they were about their attitude toward money.

“I continually find it necessary to guard against the natural love of wealth and grandeur which prompts us always, when we come to apply our general doctrine to our own case, to claim an exception.” – William Wilberforce

“When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.” – John Wesley

“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.” – Tertian

“Shun as you would the plague a cleric who from being poor has become wealthy, or who, from being nobody has become a celebrity.” – St. Jerome

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” – Thomas Wolfe

Quite a contrast between those two schools of thoughts on money. Let’s understand that money in itself is not evil. The Bible says it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Money makes a good servant but a lousy master. The balance is that we must become bond-slaves when it comes to the use of money stewarding it for the Master’s use. God has given many believers power to get wealth so that they may establish His covenant on the earth. But we must become non-profit servants of God. We must not use money to heap up riches for ourselves lest greed and covetousness enter in.

The Lord highlighted this foundation to us recently because it is a major stumbling block and sin in the Church today, and one of the main reasons for the Church’s lack of power. He also used it to warn us as we come into more favor and increase in our own lives and ministry, for many of the Lord’s ministers have become money-minded and lost the anointing.

Beware and guard your heart. To be continued…