EVANGELIZE OR DIE: BURNING HEARTS AND TONGUES OF FIRE (Part 2)

What happens when unfavorable laws toward the preaching of the gospel begin to be legislated? The fear and intimidation factor increases. It then becomes easier to keep silent or to compromise our message. Scripture commands us to obey the laws of the land, but not when they are contrary to the laws of God. The principle is that we always submit to the higher law. “Preaching the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15) is the higher law.

Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs, who suffered much for the gospel, once asked why, when the Supreme Court passed the law removing public prayer from our schools, American Christians complied. What would have happened if we just refused to comply and say like Peter and the other apostles, “We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)?” That ungodly law might have been reversed immediately. Or at the least, the Church would’ve proven by her obedience to be a force to be reckoned with. By not taking action and being silent we emboldened the devil, and allowed darkness to move in and increase.

This is how the devil moved into North Africa. First, the Church became divided over doctrine and gradually grew spiritually cold. Then things began to decline from there…they stopped praying, they stopped evangelizing, they became ashamed of the gospel and kept it in a closet, public preaching decreased, and eventually became non-existent. And then Satan pounced on the opportunity, and increased his efforts to make the preaching of the gospel illegal.

In the process of time new laws were passed by anti-Christ governments that restricted the Christian witness. Principalities and powers began to rule the land. Today in that region you can feel the fear and oppression that Islam has produced. Now the only way to advance the gospel in much of that region is to work ‘underground’ or pay the ultimate price of martyrdom.

When the early Church and the apostles received persecution they kept on preaching. (Acts 4:18-20) (Acts 5:28-29, 40-42). It’s about time we do the same.

Evangelize or die! Every saint is called to be a witness. The honorable task of evangelizing our world does not fall on a chosen few. It is to be a lifestyle. It should not be relegated to a special department in the church. Otherwise, people get the impression that evangelistic work is only for a chosen and tireless few, and it compartmentalizes the purpose of evangelism instead of enlarging it.

Just imagine if every Christ-professing church, evangelical, charismatic/pentecostal, denominational, or otherwise really preached the gospel! What a difference we would see in our own nation and in the nations of the world!

Where is the problem? Why is there so little zeal for evangelism in many of our churches? Why is the harvest so great and the laborers still so few? It is because to most Christians evangelism is a law and a duty. But evangelism is only a law and a duty to those who still own their lives. Until you yield your life to the ownership of Jesus Christ, evangelism will continue to be drudgery to you. People will be a sort of ‘project’ for you to invite to church, and the love, boldness, and compassion of Jesus that breaks the enemy’s back and fuels evangelism will be lacking. Falling in love with Jesus will change all that. If you love Jesus with all your heart you will share Him with your life and with your mouth.

“A burning heart will find for itself a flaming tongue.” Charles Spurgeon

Much of our evangelistic activity can be done in vain if believers are not experiencing the fire of God’s presence that comes from living a submitted life to Jesus.

Here is what all Christians must do: Allow yourself to be broken before the Lord. Don’t just spend time in prayer, but also spend time in surrender. Submit to His Lordship daily (Lk 9:23). At first it will be a battle in your soul, but if you stay with it, every action of your life will soon start becoming an act of worship and every person a target of God’s love. You will be transformed!

The culmination of this transformation in you will be evidenced in your thoughts. You will begin to find yourself thinking about God and thinking about people in the light of His redemption. Your feelings will also change. You will begin to feel God’s heart for people and to pray His desires.

The living Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only hope for our world. As the Church goes, so goes the nation. But the Church is only as powerful as its commitment to pray and live a surrendered life, and be obedient to the great commission. When churches fail to obey the great commission and go public with the gospel you will find the Holy Spirit’s influence gradually being removed. “Evangelize or die” is an urgent word. I believe obedience to this word will revive churches and rescue the perishing multitudes.

This is the second part of an excerpt from our book, The Real Spirit Of Revival

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

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

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EVANGELIZE OR DIE

Many centuries ago in North Africa there was a strong Christian movement and presence throughout the region. Today Islam rules and in some nations Islamic governments have instituted laws that make preaching and converting men to Christ a criminal offense. What happened? How could nations and regions that were once Christianized become such strongholds of Islam?

History tells us the story. In North Africa when Christian theologians began to have doctrinal disagreements the emphasis on the great commission was diminished, and then the devil gradually moved in.

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…he who believes and is baptized shall be saved…and these signs shall follow those who believe” (Mk 16:15). These final words of Jesus are so powerful, and yet so easy to neglect and lose sight of. Simply put, the Church is commanded to evangelize with signs following, or reap the consequences. The consequences in North Africa for not keeping the great commission, as the Church’s central focus, were death to the move of God and Christianity. Think of the many generations that have been affected by the Church’s neglect in North Africa. The same I’m sure could be said of many other nations.

Europe is another continent that was entrusted with the gospel in the early centuries and at one time had many strong churches that dotted its landscape. Yet today, a good number of the European nations are like sewers infested with atheism, humanism, and false religion. Neglecting to focus on the fulfillment of the great commission with power allowed darkness to move in.

The same could be said of local churches everywhere: Lutheran churches; Methodist churches; Presbyterian churches; Pentecostal churches; Charismatic churches. In their earliest beginnings many of these churches experienced revival and were zealous in evangelistic work. Many have since grown cold and complacent and some have died.

Several years ago a friend of mine ministered in a church with approximately 60-70 people. The Spirit of God gave him three words to preach on. “Evangelize or die!” Some people were angry and offended at this word. The church, however, soon got past being offended and entered into obedience. In a very short time this church grew to 700 people. “Evangelize or die” is an in season word for many churches today. Just imagine what would happen to the body of Christ worldwide, but especially here in America, if this word was taken seriously.

Here is what I’ve observed in local churches: Man-hours, energy, focus, money, time, and resources are put into different areas of the church, but evangelistic work is sorely neglected. Oh yes, we have our outreach programs, but many of these are service or socially oriented works only. The zeal of God and the real soul-winning spirit can sometimes be lacking. We need fresh fire! We need a touch of wholesome fanaticism!

Evangelism is the purpose, and we need to keep the purpose at the forefront. Service is good, but service with evangelism is far better. The purpose is to get people saved by preaching the gospel with signs following (Mk 16). We are commanded to do good works and service-oriented programs are certainly a part of that (Mt. 25:31-46), but in and of itself, these programs cannot save anyone.

Listen to this powerful statement:

“There is a certain kind of passivity, a teaching and an educating to bring truth and an engaging in acts of kindness to show love, that actually limits the ministry of God’s kingdom.”

Without question, we must continue to teach and educate people with truth and demonstrate the love of God, especially through acts of service and kindness, but without a certain kind of zeal and a preaching with power, the kingdom of God makes very little penetration into the world.

The Salvation Army organization is an example of what has happened in many Christian churches and institutions when service and social programs are placed above the fervent preaching of the gospel. Many of our Salvation Army centers today are social organizations only, with little or no fire (how many times has a Salvation Army worker shared Christ with you especially during holidays like Christmas when donations are received outside department stores and supermarkets?).

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was not only a compassionate man who loved and served the poor, and was rich in good works, but he was also a man full of fire, vision, and passion. It was General Booth who made the following statement more than 100 years ago:

“The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”

What a word of wisdom! How accurate and fitting is this utterance for the present hour generation! Even his own organization has for the most part fallen prey to this amazing prophecy.

We must realize that God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe (1 Cor 1:17-18, 21). Do we really understand that without preaching people cannot be saved? The early apostles serve as our timeless examples that public preaching is necessary to the growth of the Church. But the task of preaching the gospel wasn’t committed only to the apostles. Everyone preached the gospel in the early Church.

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word ” (Acts 8:4).

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word…And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus” (Acts 11:19-20).

Now think about this: The early Church preached the gospel during times of great persecution. How much easier it is to preach during times of relative peace? When the Church fails to preach the gospel during times of peace, evil advances. The devil is merciless. Haven’t we seen this in America where courts are assuming more power than any branch of our federal government and seeking to uphold laws that would limit the preaching of the gospel? Even now it is happening! This is not the time to back down. This is the time for the Church to step up her efforts in prayer and the public preaching of the gospel with signs following.

This is an excerpt from our book, The Real Spirit Of Revival

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

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

 

WE ARE DEAD TIRED BUT FULL OF JOY: WHERE TRUE JOY COMES FROM

Seems like a paradox, doesn’t it? How can one be tired and full of joy at the same time, since the joy of the Lord is our strength? The simple answer is that the body is mortal. As a man, Jesus was full of joy (Heb. 1:9), but He got tired and needed rest, too.

“Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well” (Jn. 4:6).

The brief exchange the disciples had with Jesus gives us a clue as to the strength of His life.

In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anythingto eat? Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn. 4:31-34)

Doing the will of the Father was Jesus’ food, meaning this is where His nourishment, satisfaction, and joy derived from. The will of the Father is for us not only to worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23), but to obey Him in the great commission and be willing laborers in the harvest fields and touch people’s lives with kingdom love and power. 

TRIP REPORT

Every time we minister at home and on the road, to one, a few, or many, our spirits get filled with this same nourishment, satisfaction, and joy. We just returned from the southeast where we ministered in four different places. Here are some highlights:

  • The word of knowledge continues to work through our vessels, not only for healing, but for supernatural encouragement to confirm callings, especially in pastors.
  • One such pastor had been contemplating how he could fill a new position as president of a ministerial association in his region while maintaining his excellence in his pastoral work at his own church. The Lord confirmed His will to him through revelation and prophecy. He got so happy that he ran around the building.
  • One other brother did the same as he ran around the building after prophecy and receiving a healing in his body.
  • After supernatural ministry in the Word and through demonstration of the Spirit tremendous freedom in the Spirit was released to a congregation.
  • Repentance came to many hearts in another congregation as the sword of the Spirit pricked men’s hearts to make things right with God.
  • I gave a generous tip to a hotel worker, which opened up her heart to share her recent struggles with me. I spoke to her of my life change many years ago when I received Christ and left her my testimonial tract to read.
  • A young husband with stage 4 colon cancer was prayed for and his wife just messaged me to say that the doctor was surprised when his condition showed improvement.
  • On our final night of ministry in the southeast many healings were confirmed through the word of knowledge, faith, and gifts of healing. There was much rejoicing as many hearts were gladdened.

These are just a few of the many things that happened on our recent ministry trip. We came home dead tired and yet full of joy as we entered into the labors of others. Engagement in the harvest fields of humanity fills you with joy.

Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors” (Jn. 4:35-38).

Many believers in churches today are lukewarm and passive simply because they often receive but hardly ever give out. They lack the joy of the Lord and a rejoicing that comes from ministering to others. They lack the nourishment and satisfaction that comes from truly serving Jesus and advancing His kingdom. The cares and stress of daily life and entanglement in the world’s affairs and trivialities have robbed them of true communion with the Lord.

Perhaps this describes your life. The good news is you can change. It’s not the giant leaps but the simple adjustments that lead to greater fruit and freedom in your life.

If you will turn to the Lord with all your heart and offer yourself in glad service for His kingdom you will begin to experience a greater intimacy with the Lord almost immediately. Don’t necessarily look for involvement in the big church projects or programs going on, but look first to touch individual lives that God places in your path—at home, at work, or in your community. Church services and meetings should be an overflow of your total life.

Enter into the overflow of God by laying your life down for others. Even simple acts of love and kindness done for the glory of God and the good of others will not go unnoticed by the Master and will fill your heart with joy and gladness.

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

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

FROM A DEN OF THIEVES TO A HOUSE OF PRAYER (PART II): THE WEALTH GOSPEL

The problem and subtle deception today is that when preachers equate their wealth and influence to their blessedness and favor with God and find their identity therein, they enter into a kind of darkness which originates from the wisdom of Satan. There is nothing wrong with having wealth, a prosperous business, or an influential church or ministry, as long as those things do not create an identity in your heart about who you are and how you measure yourself against others. The moment you use those things as evidence of your blessedness and anointing from God, you have entered the realm of mammon worship and a subtle covetousness the Scriptures warn us about. God calls it iniquity and for this reason Jesus refers to some ministers as “workers of iniquity” (Mt. 7:21-23). While performing miracles these ministers were rejected because they were doing it for their own name and fame. Their identity was in themselves and in their ministry, and they mistakingly equated the miracles to God’s favor and blessedness.

Many modern day ministers are hirelings or misguided shepherds who preach the carnal prosperity message, who manipulate the scriptures on tithing and sowing and reaping, who use gimmicks to extract money from people, who twist the Word for selfish gain, and wrongly require seed offerings in exchange for the anointing, or who use any other such practices to steal from God’s sheep. They are the den of thieves Jesus spoke of when He cleansed the temple. These impurities are contaminating today’s Church and diluting the true glory and raw power of God.

These seducers are guilty of teaching doctrines of demons and stringing a few obscure scriptures together that make up a be-all, end-all gospel of riches. To these people, it’s disrespectful to not want to become extremely wealthy, since Jesus died that we could all have wealth. They say that Jesus was made poor so we could be rich—as if deliverance from poverty was the proof of our spiritual salvation. Is that really the sum of what the Bible teaches? This is the American gospel, my friends and God has shown me that much of the excess and covetousness so common in the West today is rooted in this evil system. Let’s remember that Jesus did not say, “Without money you can do nothing.” He said, “Without Me you can do nothing.”

Consider these facts:

Jesus said no one can serve God and mammon. He even said it would be very hard for servants of mammon to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 6:24, Mk. 10:23-24).

Paul said to withdraw from those who preach gain is godliness. He told Timothy to flee the troubles, sorrows, and dangers that derive from this deceptive teaching (1 Tim. 6:5-10).

Here’s something else: Have we forgotten that Lucifer fell from heaven because of merchandizing or trading what God gave him and who God made him for power. He traded holiness for wealth. He traded his lofty position to attempt to go even higher and be an independent god. Furthermore, he disseminated that thought into Adam and Eve and they, too traded their birthright and marriage to God to become gods themselves.

Lucifer was once a perfect being; he was very rich, existing in the same domain as God, and having everything he could ever desire. According to Ezekiel 31, he was the greatest tree in the garden of God. When his heart was lifted up in his stature, iniquity flooded his being and it corrupted him; thus, he fell from his holy position and heavenly abode.

Since money did not exist in the Garden of Eden, we can substitute money for anything that would be a substitute to our marriage to God. The belief that something outside of God can replace or satisfy  our union with Him is the iniquity mentioned here, expressed as the love of money or merchandise.

And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (Jn. 2:16). The house of prayer meant to provide the satisfaction and fulfillment of intimate communion with God had been traded or substituted as a business or worse, a den of thieves.

OTHER FACTS TO CONSIDER

Judas made a practice of stealing money from the treasury thus giving access to Satan to enter his heart and betray Jesus for even more money (Jn. 13:2). A covetous heart will always prefer money and power more than the Master.

Satan filled Ananias and Sapphira’s heart to lie about money so they could be esteemed in the eyes of men (Acts 5).

Simon the sorcerer offered money in exchange for the power of God for the same devilish reason (Acts 8).

If Lucifer, who was perfectly created and beautiful in every way moved in and out of the presence of God, and Judas who walked with Jesus for over three years both allowed their love of money to destroy their eternal destiny, what makes you think that you will not succumb to the same evil and covetousness that comes from serving mammon and not God?

This is an excerpt taken from my new book, The Cleansing Of The Temple: From A Den Of Thieves To A House Of Prayer. Look for its release sometime in the Fall of this year.

NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

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