FIRST LOVE LOVERS: AN END TIME THEME

Jesus said that His Word would judge everyone who rejects Him and fails to receive His words (John 12:48). Conversely, His 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. 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. 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).

The lamp-stand represents the church, and the stars are the angels (Rev 1:20). Every church ordained by God has an angelic covering that symbolizes the power and anointing for that church to operate. The lamp-stand being put out represents the angel leaving and being assigned elsewhere. There are churches that still exist today whose angel left 100 years ago. Sad, but true. There is no longer a covering or an anointing for that church to operate. They lost their love for Jesus. Over a period of time religion had hardened their human spirits and left the hidden places of their hearts untouched. Thus, intimacy with Jesus was lost, and by failing to make the adjustment the church lost her power.

Religion is the crowning work of Satan. He works to extinguish the intimacy of the Lord from our lives so that everything we produce comes out of works not born of love, but of duty. These are dead works. The spirit of religion always causes us to produce outside of the new nature, which is love. This results in a form without the power. Falling in love with Jesus and staying in love with Jesus is your sure foundation for protection against the deception of having a form without the power.

The apostle Paul’s heart cry to know Jesus (Phil 3:10) was like the loaded gun he carried in life and ministry. He called it a prize to be won. Here is a man who had come to visions and revelations, some not to be uttered…he had come to a place of great power in ministry where handkerchiefs were taken from his body and placed on the sick and demon possessed, and the diseases and demons left them…angels had visited him…mighty churches were raised up by him…and nearly two-thirds of the New Testament was written by him. Yet, Paul’s chief aim was for the prize of knowing Christ, and having a privileged seat next to Jesus for all of eternity (Rev 3:21). Do you want that seat?

Not all saints will sit on thrones in the holy city (Rev 20:4). That beloved city is the Bride of Christ, called the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2). It is the wise virgins, the first love lovers, who will receive that privilege. No wonder Paul was so passionately consumed with being a first love lover of Jesus. Within the realms of that love is an eternal glory, position, and ranking which shall never be taken away.

First love lovers are those who have stayed close to the heart of Jesus thereby keeping their vessels full of oil and their lamps burning bright (Mat 25:1-13). Their first love produced first works that translate into gold, silver and precious stones, which are in turn, used as building materials for our eternal home. The New Jerusalem is an ongoing construction project being built from the works of those who lived surrendered and consecrated lives to Jesus. Thus the reason for the call to the church of Ephesus to repent and return to her first love so that she might do her first works (Rev 2:5). Are these words burning in your heart yet?

There will be sorrow and regret among many saints for the wood, hay, and stubble that will be burned up at the judgment. Their works, when tested by fire, will be found wanting. What would Jesus find today in many of our prominent churches and ministries across the globe if all our works were exposed? With fear and trembling we must serve the Lord. Jesus is at the door.

The mountaintop Christian life is one of first love. Anything short of that is a fallen state (Rev 2:5). From that heightened place of first love flow all first works. This is a great position of power. It is a place of sometimes almost silly but such pure delight. This is such a lovely place to be, a place of continually beholding the face of Jesus, of seeing His glory with the eyes of your understanding, of blessed rest where nothing un-nerves you.

You can buy this place with no money. You can pursue it without any earthly craft or ability. It is not a place exclusive to anyone above another. It is purchased with your heart only. It is purchased with a spiritual hunger for living bread, and thirst like a deer that pants for the water. It is a place available to the lowest status human being on the earth as well as the rich who will encounter difficulty in pursuit of this prize. Can you count the cost as Paul did? Count all things dung for this holy knowledge? Cast aside all other pursuits? How much is it worth to follow the Lamb wherever He goes throughout eternity (Rev 14:4)? Do you want that seat (Mat 20:21)? Will you enter into that holy city (Rev 21:2)?

Behold the Bridegroom cometh!!! Are you His bride in patient waiting? Do you long for His face? Is He your first love? If not, remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works. If true repentance works its course, in the end the glory revealed shall be so much greater than any of your present sufferings.

All the love of our glorious Bridegroom is backing the pen of this ready writer. May He bless these words to your ears, and multiply His grace in your life to love Him.

Be a support to us and follow our blog and help spread these messages. Also, consider subscribing to our ministry YouTube channel for weekly 15 minute Face to Face video impartations on the Spirit-filled life from my wife and I.  

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. 

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival and restoration that this ministry carries. Again, 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.

Advertisements

INTIMACY WITH GOD: KEEPING YOURSELF FROM IDOLS

There are many things that will rob, steal and plunder our love and affection for the Lord Jesus. It is not just obvious sins and acts of carnality and disobedience which spoil us of the nearness of His presence, but it is also 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 and ministry system, apart from the mind of Christ, will dry up the real heart of the Christian life. Often it’s these very things that 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 we must ask ourselves in evaluating our love and devotion to God: What are we doing on the inside? Where, or toward what, are we directing our will and desire? That is what marks our life in relation to God. This Scripture gives us a sober warning:

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

We are admonished in Scripture to guard our hearts (Prov. 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.

INTIMACY, THE CURE FOR THE IMITATION OF MEN

“Therefore, knowing that they would come and take Him by force to make Him king, Jesus departed to a mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15, MEV).

The world had no influence whatsoever on our high priest. He didn’t need men to give Him authority. Publicity and popularity were never His goal.

More than once, Jesus warned others not to make Him known (Matt. 12:16). The moonlight, not the spotlight, was the highlight in Jesus’ ministry. He spent many nights and early mornings alone in prayer.

The mountain was His preference. It was there that He secured the Father’s presence. It was there that He made His choices while blocking out other voices. It was there where He was given new manna for each new day.

This is where Jesus received His authority.

Priests (ministers and saints), hearken! If you do not spend time with God alone, you will always be a clone. You will clone ministry ideas, visions and strategies from others. You will copy and imitate the gifts and graces of others. Your authority will only come from man. You will drink from someone else’s well (anointing). You will steal someone else’s word. You will be a spiritual schizophrenic.

Fresh manna every day will result in doing things God’s way. Fresh bread bakes in the oven of fresh fellowship. You will always have hot bread (messages) for yourself and to serve the people.

Many of God’s priests have not worn their garments well. They have neglected the lot and portion of their lives and ministries, who is the Lord Himself. Instead of the Spirit’s incubation giving them fresh revelation, they allow insecurity and intimidation to produce a soulish imitation void of God’s power. In making their own plans and choosing their own course, they invite a spirit of divorce to come between themselves and the Lord.

A glad reunion awaits them, if they would only turn to the Lord with all their hearts. Intimacy with God is the cure for the imitation of men.

Be a support to us and follow our blog and help spread these messages. Also, consider subscribing to our ministry YouTube channel for weekly 15 minute Face to Face video impartations on the Spirit-filled life from my wife and I.  

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. 

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival and restoration that this ministry carries. Again, 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.

THE TUMULTUOUS 2020s: A TIME FOR WIMPY CHRISTIANS TO BECOME COURAGEOUS

No Christian in this country is under the threat of death or imprisonment for preaching the gospel. No one’s life is in danger. No one is being beaten, flogged, or hardly even threatened. Yeah I know, a baker and florist among others had their day in court in a battle over first amendment rights concerning serving gay couples, and I’m still not sure how that was all settled. But no one is suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus in the same way the early disciples did. Why then is there such a passive posture and a cowardice in the church when it comes to standing for truth, righteousness, and morality in our culture? Why are there so few who are rocking the boat of our sinful, wicked, immoral culture?

Jeremiah said it this way:

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jer. 12:5).

America is still virtually a land of peace, but Christians are slumbering and weary with the weights and cares of the world and such indifference. What would happen if overnight we were raided by radical terrorists who demanded we deny Jesus and join their religion and cause or be executed? What if there was a foreign invasion or military coup from insiders, and our government was suddenly taken over, and a new antichrist government was established—and all our freedoms were taken away? It’s unlikely at this point, but what if?

C’mon folks, let’s be real. Our brand of Christianity here in the West is soft, weak, anemic and nearly good for nothing.

We resemble the church of Laodicea who boasted in its supposed blessedness and wealth when Jesus called it wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

“For you say, ‘I am rich, and have stored up goods, and have need of nothing,’ yet do not realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17).

Many Christians are terrified to stand against the sins of our culture and just tell others it is wrong. In fact, some professing Christians will actually celebrate those sins with the world. They will march in gay pride parades because they say God is love. They will rally for women’s rights to abortion because after all, their bodies are their own. They will say that fornication, adultery, and every form of sexual immorality are none of our business, and that we shouldn’t judge and yada, yada, yada … .

Adding to their moral cowardice and complete ignorance of biblical standards, these passive “Christians” will defend their “personal” Jesus and tell others He loves them and understands them. How despicably immoral that is in itself. How grossly deceived they are! How spineless and yellow-bellied these professing Christians have become! They’ve been conformed to the culture and a Jesus they’ve created in their own image (The Real Jesus) instead of being conformed to the biblical Christ. This makes them twice as much a child of hell as the sinners who commit such sins. Oh, I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. Jesus was most angry and displeased with the religionists of His day who professed religion but denied Him and His works.

I am not saying our primary responsibility as Christians is to attack the sins of our culture, but where in our society are Christians standing against sin and immorality? The world holds up its poster child of sin, and we applaud or remain silent. Antichrist laws are legislated, but where is the outrage and the opposition? Where is the strong resistance and defense of the truth? Where is the resolute stand for righteousness and morality? Where is the voice of the shepherds and the Church across this land?

I am also not saying that our refusal to denounce sin is our greatest problem, but how long will morality and truth continue to give way to an ungodly and evil agenda in our nation? Our faith is either being kicked to the curb, placed in the corners and fringes of society, or just being denied by so many who remain passive and neutral. We’ve allowed our faith to be cut off from normal life and relegated to our church sanctuaries. In a word, we’ve been silenced in the public arena. There are a large consensus of Christians who are actually helping our culture build an atheistic society. And we use the secularism in our culture to be secular ourselves. In many ways they have influenced us far more than we have influenced them.

There is very little evidence of true Christianity in our American culture, and it’s our fault. It is time to heed the Lord’s admonition to Joshua.

“Be strong and courageous” (Josh. 1:6a) …

“Be strong and very courageous” (v. 7a).

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (v. 9)”

Because of our lack of backbone and courage American Christianity is falling off the cliff. We are going the way of the dinosaur if Christians do not become stronger and more courageous in their faith and convictions. We are living in a very pagan culture right now in our nation. Things are so much worse than they seem. The vices, the bondages, and vile filth are expanding at an overwhelming pace. The church is to be the conscience of the nation, but the conscience of so many professing Christians is seared right now.

Our brand of Christianity is lame. It is seen as a nice religion of nice people. A wholesome fanaticism is missing. A life and a vibrancy is lacking. We are too passive and too wimpy. If we want to change our culture, we must come out of our closet of fear and intimidation. Many need to understand that we can be loving and yet fearless and courageous at the same time.

Honestly, we have no need to be fearful and intimidated. As I said, no one is being threatened with their life. No one is being killed for their faith. So what are we afraid of? The rejection of men? Who cares? Is that really going to matter in the end? There are plenty of others who will applaud you and wax courageous because of your example to stand for truth, righteousness and morality, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And God will give you wisdom and grace to love even your enemies.

Let the change begin with you. A little courage will go a long way. And if enough of us wax strong in the Lord and stand tall and courageous, we will, in time, see the change our hearts are longing for.

Be a support to us and follow our blog and help spread these messages. Also, consider subscribing to our ministry YouTube channel for weekly 15 minute Face to Face video impartations on the Spirit-filled life from my wife and I.  

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. 

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival and restoration that this ministry carries. Again, 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.

 

PREPARE AND POSITION YOURSELVES: WE ARE SIX MONTHS AWAY FROM THE TUMULTUOUS 2020s

I am being stirred and led by the Lord to begin a series of blogs on preparing the Church for the tumultuous decade of the 2020s that is just ahead of us. My new book, Cleansing The Temple, was the beginning of a small part of that, but there is so much more to say. I hope you will heed what the Lord is saying and doing in this great hour to both prepare and position His Church for the coming days.

2020 will be a year when the nation will be totally divided. It will be the year that will see the election of your lifetime. — Mario Murillo 

I have said it for years. The Bible confirms it. Bittersweet times are ahead. The darkness will get darker. The light will grow brighter. The distinction between the righteous and unrighteous, the true Church and the carnal, compromising church will be much more visible.

In many ways the decade of the 2020s will be the most tumultuous decade in American history. Take a look at this definition of tumultuous: making a loud, confused noise; uproarious. Now read these next definitions real slow while thinking of the recent 2016 elections, up till now.

Loud, deafening, thunderous, thundering, ear-shattering, ear-splitting, ear-piercing, uproarious, noisy, clamorous, vociferous, excited, confused, or disorderly.

Here are some more synonyms: tempestuous, stormy, turbulent, in turmoil, passionate, intense, explosive, violent, volatile, and full of upheavals.

Are you getting the picture? If what many of us are sensing is true, we are in for a wild roller coaster ride of a lifetime. I sincerely believe this is the finest hour for the rising remnant people of God.

THE CONSPIRACY PRE-ELECTION ESSAY AND THE HEAD-ON COLLISION WITH THE GLOBAL LIBERAL SWAMP

A conspiracy essay was written in 2015 concerning a possible Trump presidency. I wondered why no one took credit for the article. To this day no one really knows who wrote it. Here is what the article said:

“They will kill him before they let him be president. It could be a Republican or a Democrat that instigates the shutting up of Trump. Don’t be surprised if Trump has an accident. Some people are getting very nervous: Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few.

It’s about the unholy dynamics between big government, big business, and big media.They all benefit by the billions of dollars from this partnership, and it’s in all of their interests to protect one another. It’s one for all and all for one.

It’s a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich, everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We’re the patsies. But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media, and the biggest corporations of America has been so swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened like never before.

Donald Trump can self-fund. No matter how much they say to the contrary, the media, business, and political elite understand that Trump is no joke. He could actually win and upset their nice cozy apple cart.

It’s no coincidence that everyone has gotten together to destroy The Donald. It’s because most of the other politicians are part of the good old boys club. They talk big, but they won’t change a thing. They are all beholden to big-money donors. They are all owned by lobbyists, unions, lawyers, gigantic environmental organizations, and multinational corporations … like Big Pharma or Big Oil.”

How mysteriously accurate this article was when the odds of a Donald Trump presidency were still very remote! Thank God he has not been assassinated. He needs our prayers now more than ever. He just turned 73 years old and the pressure of a second term will be immense and could take a toll on his aging body and mind.

Can you see the miracle his election was? And while Trump is not the savior of our country in the spiritual sense, he is the beginning of a miracle for the church. I see him as a sort of gatekeeper keeping America from a stay of execution. As I heard one national voice say, he is an act of God to buy the church time to repent and return to her rightful role in American life. No, Trump is not a pastor or a moral reformer, but he is clearly an instrument of restraint to a full blown national political, moral, and spiritual disaster.  If the Church doesn’t seize the time and opportunity God has opened, disaster will strike on America like the serpent’s head.

WHAT THE CHURCH MUST DO

God has a divine response to every demonic plan. Since the days of Christ’s crucifixion and glorious resurrection the devil is the ultimate symbol of defeat. He is only a puppet to those who are not ignorant of his devices. It is only through the weapon of deceit that he holds the world in bondage. We who know his true state continually exercise our authority over him. This marks one of the chief differences between the true Church and the carnal, compromising church in this hour. Believers must maintain two positions in this hour: Lay low before the Lord in consecration and prayer, and stand up against the forces of darkness in the authority of Jesus Christ. 

  1. The first order for the Church is to be in agreement with God. Sadly, many professing believers are on the devil’s side. You cannot walk in the authority of Christ if you’re living in sin and walking in darkness. Remember that a house or a kingdom divided against itself will not stand (Matt. 12:25-30). The Church cannot tacitly approve abortion, same sex marriage, and remain silent against all the evils that have infiltrated and are now dominating American culture. We cannot ignore and live in the politically correct zone concerning the dangers of radical Islam and the antichrist agenda in America. Silence in such an evil day is grief to the Holy Spirit and a certain impending judgment.
  2. The second order for the Church must be to forsake church growth-ism and popularity, and actually restore and nurture kingdom culture. Simply put, attendance on Sunday morning is great, but the kingdom encompasses a lifestyle. The awakened Church is transitioning from an image-based, consumer-driven enterprise to a relationship-based, kingdom-consumed army. What this means is not just receiving people into our church buildings but receiving them into our hearts and homes. This will cost us our lives but joy and peace will fill our hearts as we labor in the harvest fields of humanity.
  3. Thirdly, the commitment to love and the increase of the manifestation of the supernatural power of God will catapult the Church into far greater effectiveness and fruitfulness in the coming decade. Believers will learn to live a Spirit-filled life and a holy love and devotion to one another will mark their walk with God. I am seeing this love and honor growing among the remnant wherever I go. Ministers are preferring one another before themselves. Local shepherds are reaching out to other local shepherds and cultivating relationship and prayer with them. This is actually a move of the Spirit that will quietly mushroom and affect entire economies as this unity prevails. The true Church will be a place of refuge for multitudes who will find true peace and fulfillment within its embrace.

God is preparing and positioning us for great battles and great victories in the tumultuous 2020s. We are now in a precursor time of repentance, judgment, and cleansing.

Due to the diverse nature of the Church she will continue to take on many forms and structures, and the Lord will use and bless each as much as He can because He loves people. But the awakened rising remnant and those who truly know their covenant-keeping God will do exploits.

Be a support to us and follow our blog and help spread these messages. Also, consider subscribing to our ministry YouTube channel for weekly 15 minute Face to Face video impartations on the Spirit-filled life from my wife and I.  

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. 

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, 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.