FAITH FAKERS (Part 4)

One of the greatest and most subtle enemies of our faith is mental ascent or head knowledge. Many Christians, especially in Charismatic and Word of Faith circles, have learned to quote or confess the Word and say all the right things, but many are still falling short of possessing what they say they are believing God for. It has been my observation over the years that there are many more faith talkers than real faith walkers.

How can we narrow the gap between our talk and our walk – our saying and our believing? Since unbelief is the greatest thief of the blessings of God, what are some symptoms of unbelief? And what is the real evidence that faith is working in your heart? Here are some differences between a weak spirit that is still walking in unbelief and a spirit that is strong in faith:

Unbelief is still anxious and worries, while true faith walks in undisturbed peace. Unbelief is joyless with a downcast countenance while true faith lives in joyful rejoicing. Unbelief is not fully persuaded that what they’ve asked of the Lord belongs to them, or that it’s even God’s will for them to have what they  are asking for or claiming, while true faith has an unshakeable confidence that what they have asked for is theirs even though they cannot yet see it or feel it.

Confidence is a child of faith while condemnation is a killer of faith. While our faith is not dependent on our good works and perfection, when a person is not living right and not walking in obedience to the light they have, their hearts condemn them and they have no confidence or assurance toward God.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 Jn. 3:21-22).

It takes time and work to cultivate the real faith in your life – the kind of faith that overcomes the world, the flesh, and the devil – the kind of Bible faith that does not walk by sight and feelings and is not moved by contradictory circumstances.

People think that if they fake their faith, and just say all the right things that everything will be alright. This is a subtle lie of the devil. You need to develop your faith by feeding your spirit on the Word of God. Know and be familiar with the covenant God has made with us. Know what belongs to you, and what Jesus purchased for you with His very own precious blood. God has given us wonderful tools in order to live in the realm where all things are possible.

For example, at a very basic level, how do you know it’s God’s will to heal you and baptize you in the Holy Ghost? The same way you know that it’s God’s will to save everyone. Through the Word. God’s Word is His will. Many do not doubt their salvation, but are quick to reason away healing or the baptism of the Holy Spirit as perhaps not being the will of God for everyone. When you have the same assurance that healing and the Spirit’s baptism belongs to you as you do that salvation belongs to you, then you will receive from God. The same thing would be true concerning your finances or a job, or whatever you are asking of the Lord.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mk. 11:24).

This verse covers not only all our needs but our desires as well. What a tremendous scripture! It would help many of you to read that verse very slowly. Breathe in every Word. Soak in it. You know you have what you’ve asked for and become fully persuaded of it through the Word of God.

When do you believe you receive from God? It is when you pray, and before the actual manifestation of it. If Christians lived in the Word more, faith would come easy, and they would not be moved by contradictory circumstances. It is not a struggle to have faith or get faith. It just comes as you read and meditate on the Word. When one is sick or riddled with disease, God’s Word is medicine to all their flesh. Too many of us are not taking our medicine.

Smith Wigglesworth was called an apostle of faith. If anyone understood the real faith, it was him. Here is what he said:

“Many believers say they are in faith, but they are lying to themselves. There are many who say they are believers, but they are full of sickness and disease, and do not take hold of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ that is provided for them.

I was taken to see a woman who was dying and I said to her, “How are things with you?”

She answered, “I have faith, I believe.”

I said, “You know that you do not have faith; you know that you are dying. It is not faith that you have; it is mere language.”

There is a difference between language and faith. I saw that she was in the hands of the devil. There was no possibility of life until he was removed from the premises. I hate the devil, and I laid hold of the woman and shouted, “Come out, you devil of death! I command you to come out in the name of Jesus!”

In one minute she stood on her feet in victory.

It’s time to put the Word to work in your life and receive faith for every need and desire you have. Know the difference between mere language and words and the true faith.

 

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MODERN CHARISMATICS AND WOF CHRISTIANS HAVE FORGOTTEN THE “IF” (PART 3)

To get the most out of this blog I’d encourage you to read Part 1 and 2. There are causes and reasons why Christians do not walk in the fulness of God’s blessings – whether it be physical, financial, in our family and relationships, or some other area of our lives. There are conditions attached to receiving the promises of God. You can’t live the way you want to, neglect God’s dealings with you, and His Spirit’s leadings, walk in disobedience, and expect to receive God’s best. God is merciful and patient, but sooner or later you are going to have to walk in the light that you have or reap the consequences.

I’ve been a student of divine healing for many years and I’ve always been interested in longevity and reasons why believers and ministers do not live out their full time on the earth. I have never falsely believed, as so many do, that when your time comes and your number is called it’s over – that God works in mysterious ways, and you never know when you’re going to die. I’ve never believed that and never will. I can’t find scripture for any of those beliefs.

What I find are conditions for health and long life, and laws of sowing and reaping that have been set in motion by the Lord Himself. No one could ever make me believe that the devil can attack God’s children at any time, any place, and make them sick and diseased, wreak havoc in their lives, and kill them. We are not at the mercy of the devil. God is bigger. God is greater. We have a covenant with Him. He is our loving Father who sent His only begotten Son to this earth to utterly destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).

Jesus has done all He’s going to do about the devil, sickness and disease, premature death, etc. It’s up to us to take advantage of His redemption plan and appropriate His blessings, and exercise our faith and authority, and learn to be led by the Spirit of God and be obedient. There are three primary reasons why people fail to receive God’s best, especially in areas like divine healing.

First of all, people have to know God’s covenant and what actually belongs to them. Why would you not want to walk in all the Lord Jesus Christ purchased for you with His own precious Blood? Healing and divine health is a part and parcel of His covenant. We’ve been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13; Dt. 28). Healing is the children’s bread and belongs to us. But if Christians are not convinced of that they won’t fight the good fight of faith in that area.

No one fights for something that they don’t know is legally theirs. Would you let a thief and a robber break into your house, beat your spouse, kidnap your children, and steal your valuable belongings? You would do what you could to prevent that even at the risk of your own life. Why? Because your house, family, and valuable possessions belong to you. They are legally and rightfully yours. When you are convinced and fully persuaded of what Jesus has purchased for you through the everlasting Blood covenant you will not lay down and let the devil steal, kill, and destroy you. You will fight the good fight of faith to receive and keep what is yours.

A second reason Christians fail to receive healing or God’s best for their lives is they have a weak spirit. They don’t keep their spirits well nourished and fed. They eat three hot meals a day and one cold spiritual snack per week. When they go through some kind of test and trial they are easily overcome by it because their faith is low. An old wise man of God once told me, with whatever else you’re reading and studying, make sure to always include feeding yourself on faith and healing. In other words, keep your faith built up and your spirit strong, so that you will be able to resist everything the devil throws at you at you in life. When your spirit is strong you won’t be so easily influenced by your circumstances, your feelings, and what you see in the natural. When your spirit is strong your joy and peace will be strong, your praise will be strong, and your faith will be buoyant and strong. When your spirit is strong, your mind will be clearer and sharper, and you will walk in robust health.

The third reason many Christians fail to receive God’s best is disobedience. This is what we’ve  been writing about in these last three blogs. Modern day Charismatics and word of faith Christians have forgotten the “if” in God’s Word and promises.

TWO EXAMPLES OF DISOBEDIENCE

“I don’t remember a time when my parents were not struggling with some sort of sickness or disease.”

This was the compelling statement and astute observation one young woman made after hearing a message on disobedience being one of the hindrances to walking in divine health. Her parents had been called to be missionaries in Africa at a young age, but her mother wouldn’t go. Their disobedience opened the door for the devil to wreak havoc on their physical bodies for many years.

This is another side of walking in the blessings of God that is not widely taught. It is the willing and obedient that eat the good of the land and enjoy the fulness of God’s blessings.

If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Is. 1:19).

The late Kenneth E. Hagin in his amazing book, I Believe In Visions, describes an one open vision he had of Jesus when he was in the hospital due to an accident. Jesus talked to him at length concerning his ministry and the reason for a the accident Hagin had where he tore ligaments in his elbow and shoulder. In the visitation Jesus told him that he allowed Bro. Hagin to have this accident in order to get his attention about something He’d been trying to talk to him about for two years.

Jesus said, “If I hadn’t permitted Satan to do this to arrest your attention, you would not have lived past the age of 55 because you would’ve continued in my permissive will instead of my perfect will.” Think long and hard about that dear friends. There are reasons ministers get sick or don’t live out their full life. Ministers have a greater responsibility and with it, a greater and more severe judgement (Jam. 3:1).

Brother Hagin’s error, which was keeping him out of the perfect will of God, was in putting his teaching gift before his prophetic gift. He was not ministering in the way God had called him to minister.

There are many Christians today who are walking in the permissive will of God only, but are missing the perfect. God will let us walk in his permissive will, but it will also result in Him permitting things to happen in our lives that are not His will for us either. Do you understand? We cannot serve God on our own terms. It will cost us in our health, finances, and even longevity of life. It will rob us of our joy and peace and the fulness of the blessings of God.

So what should one do to avoid mishaps, accidents, sickness, disease, premature death, and cause you to prosper in spirit, soul, and body.

1. Keep your faith strong and your spirit well nourished with the Word of God.

2. Obey the written Word of God, especially in your love walk.

3. Yield to the dealings of God in your life and obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit.

If you do these three things, your spiritual progress and success in life will soon be evident to everyone, and you will glad and rejoice in the goodness of God.

Look for our faith and healing webinar coming soon, which will cover these areas and help strengthen you in the Word of God. 

MODERN DAY CHARISMATICS AND WOF CHRISTIANS HAVE FORGOTTEN THE “IF” (PART 2)

The key to walking in the fulness of the blessings of God is to walk in the light of what you know. And when you walk in the light of what you know more light will be given. That’s a great principle to live by. “In Your light we see light” (Ps. 36:9).

Obedience to both the written Word of God that you know and to what the Lord has revealed to you by His Spirit equals the measure of light you’ve received. For example, if you know that the Word of God tells you not to worry or have any anxiety about anything, and you continue to worry and be filled with anxiety then it could be said of you that you are not walking in the light of that Word (Mt. 6:31) (Phil. 4:6). The Word of God also tells you to do all things without murmuring or complaining (Phil. 2:14), to give thanks in everything (1 Thes. 5:18), to not let corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but to use your words for edification instead (Eph. 4:29), and many such things.

Many want to know the will of God for the direction of their lives or decisions they need to make, but they are not walking in what has already been revealed to them in the written Word. There is enough light in the Word to keep you busy for the rest of your life. But the greatest commandment and the one that fulfills all others is to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself (Mt. 22:37-39) (Rom. 13:8), or to love one another as Jesus has loved us (Jn. 13:34).

God is light (1 Jn. 1:5) and he who is following Jesus shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life (Jn. 8:12). God is also love (1 Jn. 4:8) and he who dwells in love dwells in God (1 Jn. 4:16). If you’re a believer and you’re not growing in love then you are not growing much at all. You’re not walking in the light of the New Testament where the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5). One could say that the measure of light you walk in is equal to the love of God that you walk in.

If you’re easily offended, have a critical spirit, are always speaking ill-will of others then you don’t walk in much love. This will affect the totality of your life and whether you walk in the blessing of the Lord that is rich and adds no sorrow (Pr. 10:22). If your life moves from sorrow to sorrow, grief to grief, crisis after crisis, bad day after bad day, this is the first place I would check. Are you walking in the love of God? Is there any unforgiveness in your heart?

Do you want to see good days? “For he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it” (1 Pt. 3:10-11). Why am I saying these things? Because many Christians are not enjoying God’s best due to neglect in these areas. Every step out of love is a step away from the light and into the darkness. Unless you walk in love your faith won’t work because faith works by love (Gal. 5:6). Your faith won’t work when you have unforgiveness in your heart (Mt. 11:25). You can confess the Word all you want, listen to sermons every day, give your tithes and offerings, but you won’t prosper and be in health. Unforgiveness will nullify it all. My wife and I are constantly making adjustments in this area to make sure we are walking in the light of the love of God. The Lord deals most strongly with us in this area. 

I believe in speaking the Word of God over my life, my physical body, my finances, and situations that come up, but confessing the Word of God without obedience won’t work. You can’t be mean to people, take advantage of them, lie to them and stab them in the back and enjoy the blessings of God. You are fooling yourself if you think you can. There are conditions to walking in the fulness of the blessing of the Lord in your life. I have not left my subject.

Notice this scripture, and once again the “if” and also the “because”.

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 Jn. 3:18-23).

 Here’s the bottom line: If your heart condemns you you cannot have confidence toward God (1 Jn. 3:21). You cannot come boldly before the throne of God. You cannot believe and receive what you ask for. You cannot resist the devil and take hold of the promises of God. You cannot exercise your God given authority unless you have confidence toward God. Condemnation kills that confidence.

Disobedience results in condemnation and condemnation causes your faith to shrivel. Confess and quote the Word all you want. Without obedience your faith won’t work.

Over the written Word of God, especially concerning your love walk. Obey what His Spirit is saying to your heart (we’ll deal with that in our next blog). Walk in the light of what He’s revealed to you, and the blessings of God shall be fully manifest in your life.

Glory to God!

To be continued…

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MODERN DAY CHARISMATICS AND WOF CHRISTIANS HAVE FORGOTTEN THE “IF”

As a product of the Charismatic and Word of Faith movement in the early 1980s, I will be forever indebted to ministries who brought much light to the body of Christ through their teachings.
I learned how to pray, exercise my faith and authority, resist the devil, walk in victory, and minister to others by listening to those classified as Charismatic/WOF ministers and reading many of their good books. I was also inspired by the personal life, integrity, and consecration of spiritual fathers like the late Kenneth E. Hagin who laid a tremendous foundation in me at his Bible school. The older I get the more grateful and appreciative I become for the life long blessing of having attended his school early in my Christian life. What a difference it  has made in my walk with the Lord! I shudder to think where I would be right now if not for being influenced by Dad Hagin’s ministry and other solid WOF ministries. By the way, the bad rap that Hagin received in many circles were from people who did not know him personally, and who were entirely ignorant of what he believed and taught. I also know that Dad Hagin never approved of some of the abuses, excesses, and extremes that came out of the WOF camp—especially regarding the unbalanced teachings on prosperity that came from some of his followers.
Having said all of that, I want to touch upon one area of imbalance that I’ve observed in Charismatic/WOF circles that is hindering many people from receiving God’s best in their lives. Modern day Charismatics and WOF Christians can quote the Word, but many are not walking in the fulness of the blessings that God has provided for us. For example, most know that healing is provided in the atonement and in the covenant God has made with us, but so few seem to be able to appropriate it in their daily lives. It’s even worse for those who are not in the full gospel movement and do not have light on such areas as faith and healing.

Ironically with more knowledge and more resources available on faith and healing today, there are actually more sick people in the Charismatic/WOF churches now than there’s ever been. That shouldn’t be. Something is awry. The large gap between what we believe, what we say, and what we actually possess needs to be narrowed.

Just the other day my wife and I were conducting a weekend of meetings, and we made a call for the sick to come forward to be ministered to. To my amazement, every single person in that place came forward. These were, for the most part, full gospel, tongue talking Christians. And this is the pattern we are seeing in most full gospel churches we’ve been to. Something is wrong. It is not the will of God for His children to be sick and diseased. This has troubled me and become a present burden. My heart goes out to so many who are struggling with their health. I’m actually praying and contemplating doing a faith and healing webinar to help the body of Christ make adjustments and receive healing. It is not God’s fault that so many Christians are sick and diseased. There are causes and there are hindrances to people receiving healing in their bodies.

Think about this: There was a day in the old covenant era when there was not one sick and feeble person among 3 million Israelites. How much more ought this to be the standard under a new and better covenant established upon better promises by the precious Blood of Jesus?

“He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. (Ps. 105:37).

I’ve ministered healing to people for most of my ministry life. My wife and I have conducted healing schools and healing centers in the nations and in America throughout our many years in ministry. This is an area we have some knowledge and experience in, and yet we are ever growing and learning. As I stated, there are reasons Christians are sick; there are hindrances to them receiving healing. Many pray, and ask, and plead with God to heal them. They say they are believing God and they are confessing the Word, but it’s not working. Something is not right on their end.

We must understand that God does not change. His will and word is forever established in heaven. His will is always healing and divine health for everyone all the time right now. There are so many traditions, false beliefs, and erroneous mind-sets in the Church today concerning healing. For example, many Christians believe that whatever happens in life is God’s will. Some even have the audacity to say that God works in mysterious ways and you can never know what He’s going to do. Where is that in the Bible? What you will find in the Bible is the character of God and the revealed will of God for every area of life including divine healing and health. What you find in the Bible is God’s compassion for the sick and diseased in operation through the ministry of Jesus. Never did He send anyone away who came to Him for healing or a miracle. Never did He say that it wasn’t His will to heal or deliver them.

Sickness and disease is a curse. There are many old testament scriptures that clearly reveal this. The entire chapter of Deuteronomy 28 is one of my favorites. How much more true is it under this present dispensation of the new covenant. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13). The curse cannot come upon God’s children unless there is an open door for the enemy to have access.

Check this verse out in these two different translations:

“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come” (Pr. 26:2 – KJV).

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim” (Pr. 26:2  – NLT).

This verse tells us that the curse without a cause cannot come. In other words, there are reasons that new  covenant believers are sick. It is not God’s fault. The problem is not on the sending end with God; it’s on the receiving end with us.

I’ve been around Charismatics/WOF people and Pentecostals for most of my Christian life, and too many of them are failing to appropriate the blessing of healing and health for themselves. It has been my experience in observing them and in working with some of them that there are two primary hindrances to receiving healing and walking in divine health. Unbelief and unforgiveness. We will write or speak more on these at another time. For now I want to share with you what the Lord made known to me specifically about modern day Charismatic/Pentecostal people especially in the WOF camp (word of faith).

He said to me, not in an audible voice, or out here in the physical realm, but on the inside of me in my spirit. He said that one of the big problems with many modern day Charismatics is that they’ve forgotten the “if”.

“…If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that health thee” (Ex. 15:26).

There is a condition attached to healing and health. It is obedience. In Deuteronomy we find the same condition.

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God (Dt. 28:1-2). 

Although the blessings of God encompasses the totality of our lives, two of the main areas it covers are divine health and financial/material provision and prosperity. And this chapter also outlines the curses that will come upon God’s people if they do not hearken to the Lord’s voice and obey Him.

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee” (Dt. 28:15).

This is what I wanted you to see. There is a condition attached to the blessings of God that is not only seen throughout the old covenant but carries over into the new covenant as well. This is where many modern day Charismatics and WOF people have missed it. The Lord showed me that it’s a mind set. To them it sounds like works. In other words, if we do everything just right we will be healed. No, that’s not it. No, no, no! The issue is walking in the light that you possess. The issue is obedience to what you know to do or not to do – obedience to both His written word and what He says to you by His Spirit.

Oh, there’s so much more here, friends, that we will have to continue this in our next blog. Until you’ve heard the rest of it, don’t unhook or judge unrighteously.

Stay tuned for more…

THE AWFUL SIN OF PRESUMPTION

When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil He had to contend with wild beasts.

“And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him” (Mk. 1:13).

I’m not even completely sure why this verse is in the Bible. None of the other gospel writers mention it. Perhaps Jesus needed angelic ministry to not only help Him overcome Satan, but to also to overcome the distraction of these wild beasts. The CEB translation states it this way:

“He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.”

These temptations and distractions were early lessons in Jesus’ anointed ministry. He had to set a standard for the coming Church. As I said, in addition to facing great temptations, it appears that these wild beasts were also a  distraction. When I think back on my own journey there were many distractions and early lessons, that had I failed to learn them, would’ve stunted my spiritual life, growth, and calling.

For example, I learned that if you can’t win in your personal life and home you can’t win anywhere else. If you can’t overcome there, you can’t overcome in any other place. How are you going to conquer the world if you can’t even conquer your home? How will you serve others if you haven’t overcome your own issues? Many Christians never conquer their bad personal habits and demons. They never learn to cooperate with the grace of God and discipline their body’s appetites and crucify their fleshly lusts. The Spirit of God works with us and helps us, but we cannot override His principles and the laws He set in motion.

For example, here’s a qualification for an overseer that actually applies to all ministers:

“If a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?” (1 Tim. 3:4)

Simply put, you can’t lead a church if you can’t lead your own house. Many are disqualified from a ministerial leadership position right there on that note.

Ruling your corporate house is one thing, but ruling your house, as in your physical body, is yet another.

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27).

The apostle Paul wrote that he would be disqualified if he didn’t rule and discipline his body. It’s the same principle today.

Here’s another one:

“He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation.” (v. 2)

COMPROMISE, IMMATURITY, AND DEFICIENT CHARATER

Most ministers are deficient in this character area, aren’t they? Such imperfect men we are, but as I said, the Spirit of God helps us in our infirmities as we cooperate with Him. He has chosen to use redeemed men, not necessarily perfect men. However, He will still not override His own character qualifications that He has established in His Word, especially for overseers and deacons. Maturity in character is a definite non-negotiable in the ministry. Why do we continually compromise it?

It is because of the sin of presumption. One of the definitions of this word is “transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate”. The Word of God outlines boundaries and limits to what is permissible or appropriate. It is getting more difficult to find ministers who qualify for ministry based on these character qualifications. The epistle of 1 Timothy 3 lists them.

I’ve been in ministry a long enough time to see that we have greatly compromised this area. And this has led to so many of our problems, issues, and scandals in the ministry. It has been embarrassing and brought great reproach to the work of God and the Name of Jesus. The ministry road has been littered with casualties of men and women who were taken out because they could not overcome their flesh, the world, and the devil in their lives and ministries.

None of us are above temptation. None of us can claim to be perfected or invincible. We are ever learning and ever growing. All of us have feet of clay and are subject to weaknesses and the flaws that are common to man. But none of that changes what the Lord has laid out for us in His Word. This should encourage us to avoid excuses such as, “nobody is perfect”; “God understands”; “everyone does it”, “it’s not that bad”; etc. There is forgiveness but no excuses.

Maturity is a must for serving in ministry. If you’re quick to repent and quick to forgive, and also quick to believe, you have a great advantage over most. That means your heart is soft and tender. It means you’re humble and teachable. It means God can work with you. You are workable material. But my experience has been that many ministers do not possess these qualities, so they are an easy target for the enemy. They don’t repent easily and quickly, they harbor unforgiveness and offense in their hearts, and they’re full of doubt and subtle unbelief.

Due to some of these issues, the truth is too many ministers live and die and never reach the first phase of their callings and ministries. That shouldn’t be. Why is it? What’s the bottom line here?

One of the big reasons is the lack of personal consecration. If we assume we can make it without that we are in presumption. Self gratification and a self pleasing spirit will greatly hinder your consecration and cut the maturity process short. We are infamous for taking short cuts. There is an old African adage that says: “Short cut kill deer.”

It’s the cross that we are always dodging and attempting to skirt and avoid. No one wants to die, but this is what the Spirit comes to help us with.

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13). You cannot bypass the cross of Jesus Christ and its application in your life. All of us must return to our Christian roots and the message of the cross. I believe it is the greatest need in the Church today that would distinguish the Church from the world. And it must begin with leaders and ministers everywhere.

OVERCOMING THE WILD BEASTS

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Rom. 6:12).

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:14).

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal. 5:17).

“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22).

The Word speaks of many kinds of lusts, but I can’t remember the last time I heard a message concerning putting to death these lusts in the members of our bodies. It seems like there’s been a diabolical silence on it.

“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts” (Gal. 5:24).

These lusts are a part of our wild beasts. It’s time to stop feeding them. It’s time to stop transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate. It’s time to stop being presumptuous. Obey the Word of God. Be led by His Spirit. Do what He says.

 

LETTING YOU INTO OUR PRAYER CLOSET

Since the beginning of 2013 my wife Carolyn and I have prayed together on a regular basis. At that time a new stream of revelation began to flow, and the anointing to pray continues to grow, and with it, the spirit to see and the spirit to know.

Usually I will record our prayer sessions either on my iPhone or in a notebook, so we don’t miss the revelation and utterances the Spirit of God brings forth. If on my iPhone, I will then transcribe it to a notebook. Here is a sample of just one very recent prayer session from the  100’s of pages we’ve compiled since we started.

Remember, this is prayer that sometimes flows from earth to heaven and sometimes from heaven to earth. It’s spirit to Spirit and Spirit to spirit – more conversational. We usually begin with praise and thanksgiving and then Carolyn moves quickly into the spirit of prayer where revelation flows. It is different every time, and sometimes there’s not as much revelation or prophecy but just prayer. We pray in tongues and we pray or interpret with our understanding. This is perfectly in line with Scripture.

“Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Cor. 14:13-15).

I’m not sure how many people will grasp this or even appreciate it. If you already know these things then you will be encouraged and admonished. If you don’t know them you’ll be taught and you’ll learn.

“For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged (1 Cor. 14:31).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

Let us know what you think. If it’s understood and appreciated and a blessing to you we may share more of these prayer jottings in the future. Most of the time what I do is write from the revelation we receive in prayer, attaching scripture to it as I’ve done here and as the Lord said to do below.

Praying this way brings great blessing and edification. Your spirit is renewed, satisfied, and fulfilled. If you’re not used to praying this way it will take you some time to cultivate it and develop your spirit to where you can move into it. Much of it comes by praying in tongues at length and being full of the Word. 

Here then is the prayer session:    

Men of old turned away from the gods of their world and from the one who steals, kills, and destroys.

And so I came by fire and I came by light, a cloud by day and a fire by night.

It’s no different when you came to Christ.

Your life became a sacrifice of praise and you turned away from evil.

And you turned yourself away from the wicked one, and you bowed and humbled yourself before Me

And then the hope of glory was seen upon thee.

Only then shall He receive glory (when Christ is seen and exhibited).

And so you’ve read, and so you’ve studied, and so you’ve seen the ones who turned away from the gods of this world that their lives were changed to glory.

And then I was seen upon them, then My power came through their vessels, just as you preached concerning Maria Woodworth-Etter and the people who froze like statues and became stiff as a board within miles of her meetings…

That was Christ in her, the hope of glory.

So when My Church comes into the same stance… instead of standing for that which has no everlasting life…when My Church stands for Me in righteousness and they subject themselves to the Spirit of God within them and they remove themselves from the wickedness of this world, so shall My Spirit flow in glory through them, and so My ministers will be able to stand in a new place and a new glory.

It’s inside now, not out here; Christ in you, the hope of glory.

So put these things into words that I’m showing you right now.

Think of those scriptures that I’ve commanded for the Church to walk in and so it shall be then that My Church will carry Me (My Spirit) and I shall flow through them in a greater glory.

So as it was with Rees Howells in that day… so it was with Evan, my beloved, when they sought Me with their whole heart…

Then I could move through their world, I could change their cities, and touch their region.

So My Church must realize that I am now in them and they’re responsible for how they walk, how they talk, and how they live in Me.

For only then shall My glory be seen upon thee.

It’s a type and shadow from the Old Testament.

This is the missing ingredient in the Church of America — the sacrifice of their lives upon the altar.

So sacrifice is done in the individual life just like the dream of 2/11/13:

DREAM

“Narrowing the boundaries of the flesh so the glory can increase (Rom 12:1-2).

Carolyn’s dream of 3-4 body-sized grills with actual full bodies on the grills being rolled – all brown and charcoaled; slow death. Behind the grills were luscious fruit trees.

Death leads to the bearing of much fruit.

In proportion to your life of prayer and fasting is the degree of the impact and fruit of your life and ministry on others.”

GLORY SHALL INCREASE UPON THOSE WHO LIVE THIS WAY

So shall My glory come forth from those who walk in Me in this way, so shall the glory of the Lord be seen upon them.

Why would it be any different? Why would it be a different principle? For the Lord is the same today as yesterday.

We hear Your words, we hear Your voice.

We make our lives a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto You.

Thank You for the Blood of Jesus Christ.

DIRECTION FOR OUR HOLY GHOST FORUM

For some reason I’m seeing communion being served.

That’s the way to remember Me and set the heart free.

That’s the way to acknowledge what I did at the cross.

That’s the way to set your heart at liberty.

Thank You that You’re drawing a people who are hungry and have not bowed their knee to Baal.

Draw husband and wife together where one is not serving You well.

A return of those who’ve left the truth of the Word and Spirit.

The small and seemingly insignificant churches coming into glory and a fresh anointing.

Those who’ve grown weary and tired must be revived again.

This move causing them to return to the altar.

A SPIRITUAL SONG

(I sang a song of the Spirit here)

This heart of mine, oh this heart of mine
A brand new heart I could not give,
A brand new kind of love I could not give,
A heart to obey You,
In and of myself I could not give,
But by the life that was sacrificed You put this new heart in me,
By Your holy Blood that was shed, the love of God was, too shed in me,
And the will to obey was given unto me,
The things that You love I now love,
And the things that You hate I now hate.
I hate evil, and I turn from evil,
And I humble myself and pray and seek Your face,
This is the desire of my heart,
It is You who put that within me,
You know that in my flesh I could not,
I had no power within to resist the enemy,
But by Your Blood I now reign,
Sin shall no more have dominion over me,
Through Your grace and by Your Blood I’ve overcome,
Thank You, thank You for this new and living way,
Thank You for the Blood of the Lamb,
Thank for the new and better Covenant,
Oh how privileged I am to live in this time and in this era
That the prophets could not see,
That the angels desired to look into,
But only you and I possess completely.

(Singing in the Spirit…and then more singing in our understanding)

Thank You Father, thank You Lord, thank You Holy Spirit of God,
For what You’ve done is great and marvelous,
It is past searching out,
Only by the Spirit within us can we know and understand these mighty things,
Lord, we give you praise; Lord, we give you praise,
Out of the darkness we have come, in Your marvelous light we now stand.

PRAYER

We surrender afresh today Father,
We thank You for the altar that we can come boldly to the throne of grace,
Forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Father, we put ourselves on the altar of sacrifice today,
We thank You that this is the new and living way, and its not death to our spirits, but death to our flesh
It’s death to the things that do not bring life,
But its life to us and those around us,
And its the door to the glory.

And we thank You for showing us that this morning,
That just as the Old Testament men of faith had to go through a process of cleansing and sacrifice in order for the glory of God to come and for You to be there,
We thank You that in Christ You were able to come.

We thank You that we have ears to hear what You’re saying by Your Spirit concerning Your glory in the Church and what is to come.

Thank You that You’re setting us up to be wise virgins fully equipped and ready.

TESTIMONIES FROM OUR TRAVELS FOR OUR PARTNERS, FRIENDS, AND FOLLOWERS

Today I thought I’d share some of the fruit of the love, prayers, and giving of the faithful core of partners, friends, and followers we have. Normally we’d send a report like this in our newsletter format, but so many on this blog are not on our newsletter email list.

The sustaining strength of our life and ministry are the prayers and giving of our partners and friends. Much to the surprise of some of our readers, we are not compensated for our writing – be it from our weekly Charisma blog, or from our personal blog here. Neither are we being paid for our Arabic satellite program, which is also broadcast weekly to many nations. Rather it costs us to be on television. It is you, our faithful followers and friends who undergird us with your prayers and giving.

Thank you for the monthly gifts and also for the one time gifts that occasionally are sent to help us. We are deeply appreciative as this entire ministry totally runs by faith in God’s miraculous provision through His obedient people.

We are always encouraged by testimonies of people who are helped and blessed by our ministry. It would be hard to keep going if we didn’t know we were bearing fruit and making a difference in people’s lives.

Here then are some recent testimonies, to the glory of God,  that testify to the fruit of your prayers and giving:

1. “You have a message of truth and purity that effected those of us present here today in such a way that I see movement towards the light taking place in ways we could never fathom.”

2. “I’ve been wanting to sow into the Lord’s work at Holy Fire Ministries for a long time now. I’ve been reading Bert’s blogs via Facebook and have been impressed with your journey in the Lord and all you are doing for His kingdom and Church.”

3. “Thank you for your faithful service and your uncompromising stand and teachings. They have blessed me, reset my perspective, and continue to encourage me to grow in my relationship with the Lord – hearing Him more clearly, surrendering to His will and ways with more abandonment.”

4. “You left a great spiritual blessing of confirmation and agreement in the atmosphere of our church and in our hearts.”

OTHER TESTIMONIES FROM A SERIES OF RECENT REVIVAL MEETINGS:

“Tanya, this was so amazing!” (Richard and Tanya oversee this work)

“Thank you for hosting Bert and Carolyn. It was a blessing!”

“I couldn’t take my eyes off Bert, I wanted to hear every word.”

“The services were good, Friday night was the best. The power was really there for me then. I could feel it filling up my hands.”

“The message was really good.”

“I like it!”

“It was fabulous.”

“I have been restored.”

“The messages and the praying was very good. Please let me know about more meetings.”

“I was touched in so many ways. My praying in tongues flourished. I couldn’t stop praying for days.”

“It was great! When Carolyn was praying over you Tanya, I was sobbing. I know we will have revival. We’ve been praying for so long.”

“It was wonderful! I was overwhelmed by the prayers, the speaker, and the revival song. I know God is doing something in this area.”

These are just a few responses that the overseers of this work shared with me. She said, “I saw over the four nights how God was moving among His people. It was a joy to see the waves of His power and glory move within the sanctuary, touching so many hearts and restoring lives.”

HOME WORK

Since returning home, we’ve been preparing for our upcoming Fall Holy Ghost Forum this weekend. We will be receiving our panel of ministers and look forward to rich prayer and fellowship with them as well as flowing together in the Spirit in the public forum.

We hope you will make an effort to join us. Normally we don’t like to charge a registration fee, but it is necessary to pay for the expenses of bringing our guests in and for our luncheon on Saturday afternoon for all attendees.  We are not a church and have no church or denominational backing, or general fund we can draw from for such events, thus the registration fee.

Prayerfully consider being with us. You can find details and registration here at the bottom of this page: Holy Ghost Forum

TELL MY CHURCH AND THE NATION TO REPENT: THEY ARE NOT SINCERE

Urgency and sincerity are two words that are rolling around in my spirit as I write this. With yet another historic event – the senseless killing of now 59 people in Las Vegas – we are being warned as a nation.

At the end of last year I wrote that 2017 was going to be a bad year for the world. I had a sense of darkness in my spirit. I was troubled and disturbed about the state of the Church and the nation. 2018 will be worse. 2019 even worse. 2020 is very bad. I can’t see past that right now. Time is running out. The call of the hour is for repentance. Sincere repentance. Not lip service. Not self-justification. Not procrastination. But a whole-hearted, renouncing of your evil ways, and a permanent forsaking of sin and self.

And no, I am not a doomsday preacher. I am a prophet-hearted servant of the Lord and a preacher of righteousness. I am a voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord! Make His paths straight!” I sincerely believe the real Church will shine in this day. I sincerely believe this is our finest hour. I sincerely believe we will have revival and awakening in our nation. How could I believe any differently and be a preacher? I have hope. But I also believe the present state of things in general in both the Church and the nation is very corrupt.

This Las Vegas tragedy comes on the heels of one of the worst storms in American history. It comes on the heels of record temperatures and raging fires in the West. It comes during a time in history where our national sovereignty is being threatened, where every kind of authority is dishonored and disrespected (especially the highest office in the land), where multitudes of university students mock God and celebrate filth and perversion, where hate and rebellion are everywhere in our society. Never has there been a time like this in the history of America and the nations.

Meanwhile in houses of worship there is no real worship. People stand in congregations, move their lips, and sing their praises, but their hearts are far from God.

These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me…” (Mt. 15:8-9).

Actors and pretenders they are with no sincerity. This lack of sincerity marks the church culture today.

Much of what we do is just for show. There is always an insincere agenda behind it. Butts int the seats, bucks in the offering, and buildings that must be paid. Another program, another project, another event, but there is no sincerity in many people. It is the spot and the blemish in our feasts and festivals.

How many more tragedies and casualties must take place before our attention is arrested and our insincerity brought to light. How many of those who were killed in Las Vegas were right with God? How many were ready to meet their Maker? How many were even conscious of Him? My guess is not very many. It is heart-breaking. The way to death and destruction is always far wider than the way to life that is always narrow.

Study the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28. It is obvious to even the casual observer that our nation, and many of our churches are under the curse of disobedience. Yes, I am aware that God has a remnant, but I am not talking about the remnant. I am speaking of the masses of lost people and the multitudes of insincere professing Christians who praise God with their mouths but their hearts are far from Him. Insincere.

The dictionary defines insincerity as not expressing genuine feelings; false, fake, hollow, artificial, feigned, pretended, put-on, inauthentic. Are you getting the picture? This is such an accurate description of our culture. The Church is full of false converts and pretenders. They live double lives. Hypocrisy is their most glaring feature. They are living only for themselves. They do what they want and when they want. There is no fear of God in their hearts.

The judgments of God are real. Heaven and hell are real. Most people live without that sense of reality. Their eyes are dim and they cannot see. Their ears are dull and they cannot hear. Their hearts are layered with their own lusts and vain imaginations. Their minds are full of contradictory thoughts and destructive reasonings. Their mouths are full of excuses and self-justification. They are nowhere near ready for the Judgement. They are not prepared to die and face God. They are nowhere near ready for the coming of the Lord. What will happen to them if they don’t change? They will die and go to hell. Does that concern you at all?

I’ve given my life to the Lord and to His work, but I constantly search my heart nearly every day. I don’t want to be insincere. I hate that in myself. I don’t want to be wrong anywhere in my life. I want to dwell in the holy fear of the Lord. I want to love and revere Him always. Because I understand the nature of deception I guard my heart with all diligence. I ask myself over and over again, “Am I sincere? Are my motives pure? Will they stand God’s own inspection?” (See Purity of Heart)

The opposite of insincerity is genuine, honest, open, real, truthful, upright, and trustworthy. These should be qualities found in every believer, but pride blinds us. And that is the root of where the axe needs to be laid to. Pride. Self-admiration; self-glorification; egotism; and self-love are some of the definitions. It is the opposite of humility. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jam. 4:6). That is our greatest need right now in the Church and the nation. Humility and repentance.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr, 7:14).

If…if…if…just one condition and the Church would be revived and our nation would be awakened – our sins forgiven and our land healed. What a marvelous promise? What a glorious remedy to all the death and darkness in our nation? What a grand solution to all the complacency and apathy in the Church? And there is only one condition. If.

We need an overwhelming response to the if. Let it start with me and you.

My tetralogy of books speaks to these vital themes and the turning of the Church and America back to God. If this article and others on my blog of this nature stir your love for truth and righteousness I highly recommend our books: The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, The Real Jesus, The Real Spirit Of Revival.

By purchasing and circulating our books and articles you are helping to fulfill God’s plan for this ministry to carry the spirit of revival to the Church and the nations through the proclamation and publishing of His Word and the demonstration of His Spirit and power. Please help us to fulfill this vision by sharing these truths with others. Thank you and God bless you.