CAN THE BIBLE ACTUALLY BE AN IDOL?

I love the Bible. I read it. I live it. I preach from it. I know it to be the inspired Word of God. But it is the voice of God and the Spirit’s witness in my life that makes it so. The Bible is not just a written Word but a living Word.

Many more Christians need to read the written Word, but many also need to learn to commune with the living Word. There is a difference.

“who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6).

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (Jn. 6:63).

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Tim. 3:16).

The Bible is dead to those who do not have the life of God. Sermons are dead without the Holy Spirit infusing life into them.

One day a pastor decided to ask for input from his parishioners concerning his sermons. Since he spent a good portion of his week preparing sermons for his congregation he was interested to know if his sermons were helping them. One woman raised her hand and asked him a provoking question.

“Pastor, if on your way to the pulpit God asked you to adjust your sermon and preach something else, would you be open to doing that?” Here is the pastor’s response:

“Well, how would I know that was God?”

In other words, this pastor knew the Bible to be God, but was doubtful about God speaking to him outside of the Bible. He knew the written Word but not the Living Word. He knew the Scriptures but did not really know the Author of the Scriptures. He had the Word without the Spirit.

Isn’t that how it is with so many preachers, theologians, and believers today? Many say that they’re sticklers for the Bible, but yet those same people don’t believe in the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and don’t have a real fellowship with Him. They don’t know the Spirit’s ways and are unfamiliar with His leadings.

Here’s a compelling question:

Did the apostle Paul know that when he was writing his letters to the churches that it was Scripture? Did he think that what he was penning by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost would one day be canonized as Scripture, and read by billions of people over centuries of time? I think not. And I don’t think the other apostles and writers of the New Testament knew it either. They were given revelation and inspired to write it and express it according to how it took shape within them. In fact, many of them wrote the same thing but from different perspectives and angles.

WRITERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THEIR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

For example, we have the four writers of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John who wrote many of the same accounts of what Jesus did and said, but they were all written a little differently with details that the others didn’t include. Take for example, the great commission. Notice how each writer emphasizes different points concerning what Jesus told them when commissioning them to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Read these verses carefully.

MATTHEW

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20).

MARK

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe” (Mk. 16:15-17).

LUKE

“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Lk. 24:46-49).

JOHN

So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'” (Jn. 20:21-23).

Can you see the similarities of the commission of Jesus to His disciples, and yet can you also see how different aspects of it were emphasized by the different  writers? The same thing could be said about the writers of the epistles. There were many similar things written differently. That’s because it was written by the same Spirit.

What’s my point? My point is that even though the Bible is complete and we cannot add to it, men today are still speaking and doing things by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Men who do not know the Spirit and are not familiar with Him are at a great disadvantage. Some who are strictly of the “letter” of the Bible are often quick to exclaim, “If it’s not in the Bible, it’s not God!” But what does that mean? What they usually mean is that if the example of it is not in the Bible then it’s not of God. Others say that if it disagrees with the Word, you should throw it out.

EXAMPLES

Can you find an example of Jesus or the apostles punching someone and them being healed? Yet, men like Smith Wigglesworth have done it. I’ve done it. One time I slapped a young woman on the ear and she was healed of deafness. Well, where do we find that example in the Bible?

Several years ago I was preaching in West Africa and a young man was struck by the power of God on the streets right outside the facility I was preaching in. He froze in his tracks and couldn’t move. Where is the example of that in the Bible?

There are less than 200 miracles in the Bible. Does that mean God is limited to less than 2oo miracles among us today?

I’ve been in meetings when the Spirit of God was in manifestation and believers broke out into great joy and dancing. Where is that in the Bible? There are many professing Christians who don’t believe in dancing because they don’t see it in the Bible. They don’t believe in holy laughter because they don’t see it in the Bible. But the Bible commands us to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and these are examples of what happens when people are filled with the Spirit.

In other words, dancing and holy laughter are outflows of being filled with the Holy Spirit. We can be so filled with the Spirit that we are drunk. Well, you can imagine a number of things a drunk person would do when he’s under the influence. Well, we are supposed to live that way, people – under the influence of the Holy Ghost! That’s God’s best for us. Glory to God!

It’s amazing the number of things so called believers refuse to believe because it’s not in the Bible. Some don’t even believe in playing musical instruments in church because they don’t see it in the Bible. Entire denominations have been formed from such extreme beliefs.

HERE’S THE WISDOM OF IT ALL AND THE BOTTOM LINE

Multitudes were saved in the book of Acts, but there are only a few examples of how they got saved. There is the dramatic conversion of Saul (Acts 9), the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), and the Philippian jailer (Acts 16). Was your experience like theirs? If not, does that mean you aren’t really saved? Do you see the foolishness of that sort of reasoning? The important thing is to get saved regardless of the example of how you got saved.

Here is the wisdom to all these questions: The Bible is not just a book of examples but principles. If there is no exact example of it in the Bible, yet it is still in line with God’s nature and principles, don’t throw it out. Only from the Bible can we know the true character and nature of God and His principles, so the Bible is still our final authority.

A majority of God’s principles are to save, fill people with His Spirit, and heal and deliver. He wants to see His people blessed and edified. He will never violate those principles, but at times there are not exact examples of what He does in the Bible. After all, Jesus did many, many things that were never recorded.

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21:25).

Here’s the bottom line. The Bible is not enough. The Word is not enough. We need the Word and the Spirit. We need the life and the manifestations of the Spirit of God. We need to judge all things, not just by whether it agrees with the Word, but by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I’ve observed many strange and flaky things people have supposedly done “in the Spirit”, but there was no anointing on it. We must also learn to evaluate things by the anointing. A casual observer will not be able to discern the difference between what is and what is not the anointing, and what is soul and what is Spirit. For example, I see so much in the so called “prophetic” movement today that does not carry any anointing, yet people are running after it.

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 Jn. 2:27).

Familiarize yourself with the true anointing of the Holy Spirit, and with Jesus, the Living Word. Go to meetings and places where He is in manifestation, for many of these things are caught more than taught. Learn to commune with the Lord in the Spirit. Pray much in other tongues. Learn to flow with the Spirit in your own private prayer time and communion with God. Get full and get free! Remember, the letter kills; it is the Spirit that gives life.

If you’re hungry to walk with the Lord in a new Spirit filled dimension we’d like to encourage you to get our little book called, PRAYER, THE LANGUAGE OF THE SPIRIT, available here on our website (holy-fire.org) or on Amazon

Also, we are trying to gauge the readership and impact of these blogs upon people who live outside of the United States. If you reside outside the United States please contact us via email and let us know how this blog has been a blessing to you (adm@holy-fire.org). Thank you! 

THE CONDESCENSION OF OUR GOD

There I was on one of Atlanta’s super highways stuck in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic. I was allowing myself to get frustrated as my wife tried to assure me that eventually the traffic would break up and we would move. “There’s nothing we can do. Being frustrated is not going to help the situation!” she exclaimed, adding, “Why don’t you just praise the Lord?” Thank God for sensible and virtuous wives!

After finally letting my hasty emotions subside I began to meditate on the Lord and receive His peace. Then I started thinking about the Father’s love and care, and rehearsing how good He’d been to me and my family. Specifically, a vision a minister friend of mine had of the Father’s unconditional love was floating in my thoughts.

In this vision my friend was somewhere in the Middle East about three feet off the ground. He was observing a Muslim couple praying to Allah to meet their needs. The husband needed to sell his vegetables in the market place so that his wife could purchase a mirror, a hairbrush, and one other item, and I believe their rent was also due. They asked Allah for these things, and then the man put his vegetables on his cart and headed out to the market.

Before he even got to the market a man came running to him and requested to buy all his vegetables. With restrained excitement the man gladly sold him all his vegetables and ran home to tell his wife how Allah had prospered his day. They both rejoiced and gave thanks.
In this vision the heavenly Father then told my friend, “I did that for them.”

My friend responded, “But Father, they are Muslims and they prayed to Allah, a false god.”

“Haven’t you read in my word where I cause the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and I send rain on the just and on the unjust?”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mt. 5:43-45).
At first, this vision my friend had messed with my theology just as it did his. But when this scripture was given to him by the Spirit of God I accepted it and I received more light concerning the goodness and kindness of our loving Father.

God is righteous, holy, and just, but He is also very kind, merciful, and full of compassion. That is the part of His character that is most appealing and most attractive to mankind. It inspires faith and praise in us and pulls on our heart strings.

Read the following verse very slowly and let it be engraved in your heart forever.

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Ps. 145:8-9).

As I was reflecting on the thoughts of the aforementioned vision my heart began to rejoice in the beauty and lovingkindness of the Lord. Stuck in the middle of rush hour traffic suddenly a song came forth from my heart to the Lord:

“I love the way You are
Lord, I love the way You are,
I love, I love the way You are.
Your heart, it captivates me,
Your beauty fascinates me,
And I love, I love the way You are.”

I sang this little melody over and over again, with tears of gratitude and then with joy and laughter interspersed throughout this time of loving and adoring the Lord. Needless to say, I forgot all about the rush hour traffic as I was filled with the Spirit.

Just a glimpse of the Lord’s beauty, kindness, and compassion will melt your heart. A revelation of His love and grace is the transforming power of every life.

***This is an excerpt taken from my new book, The Real Jesus, which is due to be released sometime next month. 

IS YOUR FIRST LOVE BEING DROWNED IN THE POOL OF MINISTRY AND ORGANIZED RELIGION?

The Holy Spirit is like a fire that burns the present hour speaking of His Word into our hearts.

Rev 2:1-5 is such a word. Verse 4 reads, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

This message of returning to your first love is an end-time theme and one the Church so desperately needs.

The church at Ephesus possessed some noble characteristics. Jesus commended this church for many things. By today’s standards this church would be thought of as a strong and even dynamic church. They had doctrinal and moral purity, labored without growing weary, the people were active in the affairs of the church, had exercised patience and perseverance etc., but there was one thing Jesus had against them; they had forsaken their first love. Jesus called this position a fallen place or in today’s terminology, a backslidden state. What a lesson to learn that Jesus, the Head of the Church, does not see as man sees.

What does the Lord of glory see in today’s churches? What of those who boast in great attendance, occupy large buildings, and have dynamic programs for their members? Jesus does not esteem things as a man esteems them. He so often regards as least that which men esteem highly (Lk. 16:15) . On the other hand, those things that men often esteem lowly are so highly regarded by the Master. You see, it doesn’t matter what size building, attendance, or organizational powers and abilities a church possesses. If first love has passed, then it is a fallen church, and one in danger of having its lamp-stand removed from its place (Rev 2:5).

There are many things that will rob, steal, and plunder our love and affection for the Lord Jesus. It is not just obvious sin and acts of carnality and disobedience which spoil us of the nearness of His presence, but it is the good and acceptable things, which while having their proper place in the Christian life, have a tendency to make one devoid of the real mind of Christ.

Such things as meetings, communions, baptisms, buildings, programs, doctrines, finances, or other things that concern the church system and organized religion, apart from the mind of Christ, will dry up the real heart of the Christian life. Often it’s these very things which rob us of the hallowing intimacy which we are to experience with God’s throne of grace and seat of mercy.

Here is the question you must ask yourself in evaluating your love and devotion to the Lord: What are you doing on the inside of you? Where, or toward what, are you directing your will and desire? That is what marks your life in relation to God.

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” (John 5:21 LB)

We are admonished in scripture to guard our hearts (Pr 4:23), to seek God with our whole heart (Ps 119:2), to sanctify the Lord in our hearts (1 Pet 3:15), to return to our first love (Rev 2:4-5), and to beware of being cheated in our relationship to Christ (Col 2:8). There are a lot of things we can do in this life to gain success, wealth, prestige, a name and reputation, a church and a ministry, but there’s nothing more fulfilling to the human heart than having an intimate, personal, and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus.

All of us, no matter what our service to the Lord may be, must continually watch over our hearts’ affections for Jesus. I read recently about a very well known minister. He has been all over the world and has personally prayed with over two million people to receive Jesus. His ministry is marked by great signs and wonders. He has seen the dead raised, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the blind see. Early in his life with the Lord, he had such a sweet relationship with Him that God’s abiding presence was upon him day and night for a number of years.

But recently, in tears, he said that in the last few years he had gotten so busy with ministry that he had left that first love he once had for Jesus. Somewhere along the way, he had lost that passion for Him. He was still fervent about winning souls. He was still committed to the call of God on his life; yet he had been drawn away from Jesus Himself.

He hadn’t realized it until some time ago when he went to conduct some meetings in another country. There he found the Christians aglow with that abiding presence of God. Their faces shone with joy and love for the Lord. When they worshiped the Lord, this minister just wept and wept because he recognized in these people the very thing he once had but lost.

You say, “How can this happen to us?” I don’t have all the answers, but I know one thing — the heart is a very vulnerable place. It needs to be guarded constantly. And the older you grow and the higher you go in your call, the more this is so. Keeping your heart is the biggest job you’ll ever have in life (Pr 4:23). For more on this vital topic see Purity Of Heart, and also our last Face to Face video session.

I know two things about everyone’s life and future. If Jesus tarries, both of them will surely come to pass. One day you will die. And one day you will stand before God and give account of your life (Rom. 14:12). You will only be known by your supreme love for Jesus.

Nothing else will matter then. Nothing else should matter now.

FAKE LOVE, FAKE RIGHTEOUSNESS DILUTING AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY

Why does it seem like much of America respects Islam’s evil agenda, and the LBGTQ agenda, but does not respect the Church’s righteousness? Could it be that we’ve not been righteous?

It is time to make a change.

There’s a false love that has crept into Western Christianity today that has made the Church limp. This false love has a way of subtly making us feel righteous, but it’s a synthetic righteousness. I’m speaking of this false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate, which is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures in this hour.

I believe the Obama administration and their far leftist ideology were instrumental in pushing the envelope and creating such a militant aggression in our society today that is demanding people love and accept others, regardless of their actions. The focus of what many call love today is based on accommodating people’s ungodly and sinful lifestyles and idiosyncrasies, and frankly, even abominable behavior. This new sentiment is shaping public policy and being used as a standard of morality in evaluating people’s behavior. The riots and protests in our streets are evidence of this. Even many Christians are falling for it, and demonic doctrines and damnable heresies are spreading.

Undoubtedly our nation was already moving in this direction, but it was finally and totally turned upside down during the corrupt Obama administration, and I’m afraid this upside down effect, which calls good, evil and evil, good; light, darkness, and darkness, light; bitter, sweet, and sweet, bitter — has infiltrated the Church and profaned it. Professing Christians who voted for Obama, the great deceiver (his true colors are showing now and this is becoming much more obvious – see below), are among those who live in a false love and false righteousness and display so little godly discernment. This attitude is a fungus in the Church that calls for every pastor to train his people in true love and righteousness.

I knew an old time 85 yr. old Pentecostal preacher who made altar calls in his meetings for Christians who voted for Obama. What? Yes, no kidding! You can argue with his approach, but he was righteous for holding them accountable and making it an issue in the Church. Were people offended? Of course, some were, but some actually repented, and you can repent, too if you were duped into voting for him. Hey, when you’re 85 years old you can pretty much say anything you want. Ha!

Lack of accountability is a huge problem in our churches today, especially among preachers. It’s a problem because no one wants to confront difficult and sensitive issues for fear of being labeled a pious, holier-than-thou snob. We crave the approval of man and want people to like us (we’ve confused Jesus’ command to love with being liked). “Don’t judge them, just love them” seems to be the “Christian mantra” these days. The problem is, you can’t truly love anyone without exercising righteous judgement. Love as only a gesture of sentimentality and sympathy without righteous judgement is a false love — the very cancer that is killing the Church and making her lukewarm and good for nothing. This is not the way to become salt and light in our society.

The greatest tragedy has been that we’ve carried this attitude into our gospel message and preached for itching ears, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.

It is obvious now that Obama’s true colors are showing more and more as word is he has established a shadow government, really a devil’s nest, if you will, two miles from the White House, to undermine the actions of Trump’s presidency (refer to my post-election Charisma article which now has proven to be a very accurate prophetic vision a minister shared with me: (Are We In More Danger With Obama Out of Office Than In). Nobody will say it because of so called respect for the office of the Presidency, but the rules changed under the Obama administration. Let’s call him what he is. He is a thug himself. I’m bracing myself now for the “you’re a ***##!!! racist” remarks, and the unsubscribing of some. Would you say the same thing about Jesus for calling king Herod a “fox” (Lk. 13:32)? Where is the respect for the office there? True prophets rebuke wicked kings. Does this offend your sensibilities, oh Christian?

Author Larry Alex Taunton shows us where real offense needs to manifest:

“I urge you to be offended instead by the way God’s name is blasphemed in our country every day; by the 54 million children murdered in the holocaust of abortion since 1973; by the sordid sexual agenda that is eroding the very fabric of Western civilization; by the fact that Christians are dying for their faith, largely at the hands of Muslims, at a rate of 100,000 per year; and, most of all, by the reality that these things are being ignored, trivialized, or celebrated. These are things that offend me deeply, and I hope they offend you, too. Righteous anger has a place within the Christian life. Tap into it. In the words of Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin.”

Being offended and angered by this intolerable sort of wickedness is true righteousness. On the other hand, being offended by truth is fake righteousness and another subtle and more acceptable form of wickedness.

Here is a compelling scripture that exposes fake righteousness:

“Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked” (Pr. 25:26 – AMPC).

I will not compromise my integrity before the wicked. I will never respect any wicked president or king or authority. I will respect the office, but never the wickedness of the person.

I will never respect sin. I will never accommodate wickedness.

The Church has become a muddied fountain and a polluted spring because it has yielded to the pop culture of our day and this leftist worldly ideology that pressures us to approve and accept others, regardless of their actions. They want the Church to accommodate people’s ungodly and sinful lifestyles and idiosyncrasies, and even abominable behavior.

It’s time for all Christians to develop some real backbone and take a stand for truth and righteousness.  It’s time to put away this synthetic righteousness that constantly bows down to the wicked. It’s time to put away this false concept of love and walk in the love that speaks the truth. It’s time to stop conforming to our culture and actually impact it.

Repentance may be a good place to start.

If every evangelical Christian in this nation, which represents a whopping 26% of it, would be a non-conformist and walk in true love and true righteousness, it would shake the entire nation.

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Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.

INTRODUCTION TO THE REAL JESUS

First, THE REAL SALVATION, then THE REAL GOSPEL, followed by THE REAL SPIRIT OF REVIVAL, and now our newest upcoming release, THE REAL JESUS. Here’s why I’m excited about this new book.

The real identity of the Church is in proportion to her identity with the real Jesus. But too often the believer’s identity is with things pertaining to a form of Christianity based on doctrinal fads and theological biases, or a leader’s personality, shaped within a “Christian” subculture built on its’ own ideals, philosophies and traditions, combined with a particular brand or flavor of God created in our own image, and not with Christ Himself.

Here are some great quotes from the preface of the book:

“You thought I was altogether as thyself” – The Psalms

“It seems to me that if we get one look at Christ in His love and beauty, this world and its pleasures will look very small to us.” ~D.L. Moody~

“Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image.” ~A.W. Tozer~

“When we see Jesus as He is, 
glorious and worthy of our deepest loyalties and affections,
 deserving of our total focus and supreme attention, we will catch fire inwardly and burn with holy fear,
 and a holy hunger for the Word will grip our hearts,
 and we will proclaim Him as He is.” ~Anonymous~

“There is a God we want and there is a God who is… and they are not the same God.” ~Patrick Morley~

“As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. No one can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.” ~Albert Einstein~ Saturday Evening Post, Oct 26, 1929

“The wicked have fashioned a god who will not hold them accountable.” ~Carter Conlon~

“It is a painful process to discover that one has invested not in Jesus, but in one’s theology about Jesus.” ~Anonymous~

“Too many Christians want a manageable, domesticated Jesus who makes no demands on their time, money, words, social life, and sexuality. In the midst of this great and growing deception, God is looking for uncompromising believers who are committed to proclaiming the truth of the gospel and not the counterfeit Jesus of Western Culture.” ~Anonymous~

“Too many of us have constructed a “god in a box”, a god whose job is merely to pander to our needs, desires, and ambitions.” ~Anonymous~

“We offer a motivational, pep-talk, feel good, self-help, personal-empowerment Jesus rather than the Jesus of the Scriptures, and in doing so, we damn our hearers rather than deliver them.” ~Dr. Michael L. Brown~

“Many are convinced they are faithful Bible believers, but in fact worship a different Jesus — one contracted from a “revelation” they supposedly received from the latest “Christian” cultural fad or their favorite celebrity superstar preacher — an idolatrous, fantasy, and fictitious Jesus constructed subjectively in their own minds and built upon the sentiment of American values. Sooner or later we are going to have to come to grips with the Person and ethics of Jesus Christ, and get serious about who He really is.” ~Dr. Stephen Crosby~

“Sadly, I think many in the community of believers cling to an Americanized gospel which equates what is biblically true and reliable with being part and parcel of various right wing political agendas. Actually, Christianity itself in the US and many other nations has been interpreted (and by virtue of this) rewritten to gel with sentiments and ideas that actually run contrary to what Messiah taught and advocated (Torah based Judaism), e.g., unbridled capitalism and the greed it is predicated on and the corruption it engenders and promotes. I dare say if Yeshua HaMashiach physically visited most American churches He would not recognize what was being taught and advocated as being remotely like what He articulated and lived.” ~Dr. Anthony Payne~

Aren’t those powerful and compelling quotes?

THE CALL TO WRITE

The Lord spoke to me many years ago and said that by His grace He would use me to speak a word of love and restoration to His Church. In other words, I would have a small part in helping to restore the real spirit of Christianity in the Church today. This is the God given purpose in all  my writings. Actually, it is much of my thought process behind everything I do in ministry. This purpose keeps me focused on  my own assignment and from comparing it to what other good ministers may be doing in the body of Christ. The books I write are a major part of that purpose and what the Lord said was my life’s greatest work. This is why I continue to write. For me, it is not a craft; it’s a calling.

I’ve had to travel the road of self-publishing because traditional publishing companies continually turn down my books, using as their common reason, that the messages are not “felt needs”. That’s their nice way of saying, “these books do not scratch people’s itching ears and won’t sell.” And since I don’t have a household name in Christendom or a large platform they will usually bypass my submitted manuscripts. They want lots of up front money but expect me to do the bulk of the work of actually promoting the book.

I published my first book traditionally nearly 20 years ago and purchased 5,000 books at $3 each for a total of $15,000. I can’t believe I was able to raise that much money for it back then, except to say that the Lord put His favor on this project because of the importance of the message. Unfortunately, without a platform, I wasn’t able to sell them all, but still have several boxes of them left in storage. I understand the business side of it, so I’m not bitter at all, nor am I complaining. My beef is this: if you call yourself a Christian publishing company then it should be a ministry more than it is a business. The chief purpose of any Christian publishing ministry should be to publish the word of the Lord and not what sells. Just keeping it real folks…

THE REAL JESUS is another forthcoming book that I know “Christian” publishing companies wouldn’t take on in their politically-correct and sales motivated world. For one thing, parts of the book are too radical and will shine a light again on what is defiling much of the Western Church. This was also the reason my last book, Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation was rejected by another company that a friend of mine highly recommended. The Acquisitions Director told me that the book was too negative. They wanted a “how to” book, but that’s not my writing style. The book is a prophetic call to the Church, not a teaching manual. By the way, for two more weeks this book is FREE in exchange for the readers’ honest review. So get it now while it’s free. Just click the link above. It’s not just about a sale but it’s about getting the message out to a broader readership within the Church.

Here’s what one successful senior pastor of a large church testified about the FREE book:

I just finished your book “Passing the Move of God to the Next Generation” and I have to say, it is the best thing I’ve read in a very long time. I have the privilege of pastoring a great church and I have required all the elders, pastors and leaders to read the book. I was saved in early 1975 in a genuine move of God. I want everyone I know to experience what God did then, and I believe He wants to do again! I could go on and on, but I want to challenge everyone to read and share.”

If you’re interested in this theme of restoration please also check out out my other aforementioned REAL books here Bert’s Amazon Page, and be looking for the REAL JESUS to be released soon. I hope these books are a blessing to you, and that you will share them with others, and post reviews for them. Reviews especially help the work of self publishers appear on more searches.

Sorry if this sounds like self promotion and a bunch of rambling. That is not my intent at all. As always, if you’ve read this far, thanks for your time today and for your readership.  With love and appreciation for each of you, I am your servant brother in the Lord.

THE WEIGHT OF THIS ONE SMALL ACT SPEAKS VOLUMES

We were seated in the living room praying and worshipping with a few people this past weekend. While my eyes closed suddenly I felt the embrace of a dear sister who was asking me to forgive her for speaking sharply to me. Up until that moment, the worship was dragging, but when she did that, the presence of the Lord greatly increased as I fell to my knees in tears.

Here’s what the Lord said to me while I was on my knees:

“This one small and seemingly insignificant act carries the weight of the kingdom of heaven and its operations. This one small act exemplifies the most important thing that needs to happen in many of My churches in this hour. For you’ve written about the importance of the moving of My Spirit and of My power, and rightly so, but you need to write and speak of this one act of love and forgiveness. Love and forgiveness are lacking in My shepherds and in My people, and this lack is hindering My power.

“For the strife and division in my body is great. In one city or town many churches stand at ought against one another, and many pastors hold grudges and are offended at one another. One is jealous and competes with another; one is offended at the other and harbors unforgiveness in his heart; and so My body is divided and defiled.

“For this one small act is a demonstration of what needs to transpire among My people. Love and unity must prevail, for it is the bond of true maturity, and within it lies a greater manifestation of My power.”

If this aforementioned sister had not obeyed her heart to come to me and apologize we probably would’ve just continued to worship and override the diminishing presence of God in our midst. Perhaps we would’ve just excused it as tiredness among the people or a lack of anointing in the one leading worship, when the truth was that as soon as forgiveness was released the crescendo of the presence of God was evident to everyone. I’m not saying that the lack of the manifestation of God’s presence is always due to strife and unforgiveness, but often it is.

Think of what we miss when we have schisms in our churches. Not only is there a diminishing effect of the anointing of the Spirit, but our prayers are hindered through unforgiveness in many hearts.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mt. 11:25-26).

Reconciliation between brothers is priority in the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus admonishes us to make things right.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Mt. 5:23-24).

Cultivating a real sensitivity to the Lord begins by getting in touch with your own heart and with the love of God that has been shed abroad there by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5).

Are you in touch with the true spiritual condition of your heart? Has pride blinded you? Can you see the beam in your own eye, or only the mote in your brother’s? Many are those who claim love for God but who have fallen so short of loving people. Be not deceived. Our measure of love for God is only as great as the measure of love we show our brothers and sisters.

If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also” (1 Jn. 4:20-21).

“God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 Jn. 4:16).

WHY I DECIDED TO GIVE MY BOOK AWAY FOR FREE

As my wife and I travel the country and minister in churches we see a disturbing trend. The average Pentecostal/Charismatic church, which is under 100 people in number, is dominated by middle aged people. By that, I mean, it is difficult to find large numbers of young people in most churches. By young, I mean late teens, 20s and even 30s. Teenagers may be found in larger numbers because their parents are there.

Now I can understand why young people are leaving denominational and mainline churches. Most of us did that. I understand why they are leaving religion. We did that, too. I also understand why there are more nones today than ever before (nones are those who do not identify with any religion or faith). This is the fallout of having a void of the reality of the presence and power of God in the Church. I am not discouraged by this, because to me, it spells a great  opportunity that we must seize.

Pentecostal and Charismatic churches should be taking advantage of this large void in young people. Many are filling that void with sin, carnal thrills, or acts of social justice, and just being nice and doing good to their neighbor. As much as we believe in social justice and doing good to our neighbor, it still falls so short of the focal point of the full gospel, which calls for us to demonstrate the supernatural power of God.

The born again, Spirit filled Church should be pouncing on this glorious opportunity to impact young people who hunger to see and experience the supernatural. After all, we have the Holy Ghost and fire! We have the power of God! We have the living Word! Young people should be flocking to our churches. But in most cases, they are not, except in perhaps those who are offering a seeker friendly version of the gospel that tones down on its demands and on the workings of the Holy Spirit and the power of God.

Here’s what I believe is the spiritual reason more young people are not being reached: we’re not real and radical in living out our faith. By radical, I don’t mean fanatical in the worldly sense; I don’t mean sensational in the emotional sense; I don’t mean extreme in the unbalanced sense; I mean radical as in living like Jesus lived outside the four walls of the church building, doing what Jesus did, moving in love, wisdom, and power.

This is the  consuming passion that has been a mainstay in my heart for many years  – to impact the next generation of believers with a raw and living faith that is attached to the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God, and turn them into radical disciples. See my recent Charisma article for a prototype of this kind of disciple (Stephen). But first, we must impact the preachers and their pulpits. If we do not pass on the move of God and the things of the Spirit to the next generation it will be lost. And that is the very reason I wrote the book, Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation, and the very reason I’m offering it FREE for a season. All I ask in exchange is for an honest review from you. Reviews help promote the book so that it appears on more searches.

Here’s what readers have already said about the book:

I have not read any book, outside of scripture that has convicted me, brought me to repentance, and a determination not to disappoint my Lord Jesus Christ.” M.R.

“This book carries a powerful message that is desperately needed and urgent. The new preacher will need the wisdom and impartation of previous generations combined with the power and gospel presentation that has been lost in the midst of spiritual drought.” C.G.

“As with all of Bert’s books, this one too continues to show the true purpose of the Church, and how to get to that place of working in the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not read without your highlighter, Bible, and be ready to put into action.” A.C.

We are self publishers and bear the primary responsibility of promoting our own books, except this time it’s not about a sale, but simply about spreading the message. Please help us do that.

If you’re interested in reading this book, please click on the link below. Would you also please share this opportunity with your friends and/or on your social media networks, and encourage your pastor or spiritual leader to download a copy? Thank you so much!

Passing On The Move Of God To The Next Generation

ALL FOR JESUS AND TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

THE REASON SOME PEOPLE DON’T EXPERIENCE THE PRESENCE OF GOD (PART 2)

In our last post we said that insensitivity is the greatest reason why some people do not experience more of the presence of God. Insensitivity hinders receptivity and limits people from enjoying the Lord more. Hearts can grow callous and hard, and over a process of time, that hardness leads to insensitivity.

The devil is wicked and begins working in hearts at a very young age. For example, my wife Carolyn was abused as a little child. She was just five years old when her father left her mother – leaving Mom to work constantly in order to provide for her four children, with Carolyn being the youngest. Left to herself with two older wild hippie sisters leading her, Carolyn was now left uncovered giving the enemy ample opportunity to sow evil seeds into her heart and life. Over time her heart became hardened. It wasn’t until she was born again that her stony heart was removed and replaced with a new soft heart of flesh (Ez. 36:25-27).

But over time even as believers our hearts can grow hard and insensitive through pride, offenses, and painful experiences. Familiarity also has a way of desensitizing our hearts. It’s the reason we can sometimes treat outsiders and casual acquaintances better, and appreciate them more, than we do our own family members. It’s the reason Jesus was not received in His own home town as well as He was in many other places (Mk. 6:1-6).

There was a period in my own life when I had become hardened in my heart, but with me, as I shared in my last post, the culprit was religion and professional ministry. It is easy to lust after ministry and in the process lose your sensitivity to people. It is the worse kind of hypocrisy. During one long season of prayer and fasting the Spirit of God dealt strongly with me about my life and ministry. In essence, it was my wake up call, which saved my works in the Lord, and more importantly, transformed my heart. I had a mountain top experience that lasted a few weeks where I heard God’s voice speak many things to me. I recorded them all in a journal and actually published it years later (The Journal Of My Journal).

One of the things He said to me that was not included in this journal book was the following word:

“Give birth to tenderness. Give birth to weeping. Give birth to the compassion of Jesus. Go into the Holy of Holies. Stand in the place where the Son of Man has gone, and feel and be touched with the infirmities of man. Go in there, hard man, and be turned to tenderness. Give place to the things of My Spirit that you’ve been denied. Time and time again you’ve come, but you’ve never gone far enough. Worship Me now and love will transform you.”

This word came to me when I was reading and meditating on Jesus’ struggle in the garden of Gethsemane.

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mt. 26:39).

When my eyes landed upon the underlined portion of this verse, “He went a little farther”, the Holy Spirit quickened it to me, and made me to see that I hadn’t gone far enough in my worship and surrender to the Lord. I had not stayed in His presence long enough for the deeper transformation to take root in my hardened heart. Whereas before it was law and duty pushing me deeper and farther, now it was the love and kindness of the Father calling me.

It is love that nourishes us as a tree’s roots nourish the tree. You can only be blessed as you know the Father’s love. It’s so much easier to be sensitive when you are touched and filled with His love. A lack of receiving the Father’s love is the reason that hurting people hurt people. It is the reason for insensitivity and a general hardness of heart. 

God’s love is first a fatherly love. Receiving His love is the first step toward growing into maturity in Christ. It doesn’t matter how hurt and hardened you’ve been; it’s  never God’s fault. Allow the Father’s love to seep into your heart today and heal your wounds, hurts, and disappointments. Allow Him to deal with you and speak to you as a Father would to his own beloved children, through His Word and by His Spirit. Let Him break up that hardness and restore your hope today.

As the father waited for the prodigal son (Lk. 15:20) and saw him a great way off, so He sees you even when you’re far from Him, and He waits for you to come home to the embrace of His love. After the father saw his son afar off, he ran, fell on his neck, and kissed him. How can anyone resist this amazing fatherly love and affections of His heart?