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? 

DONATE 

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? 

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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.

FROM A DEN OF THIEVES TO A HOUSE OF PRAYER: ARE YOU A BUSINESS OR A MINISTRY?

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them” (Mt. 21:12-14).

The first century money changers were in the temple, but they didn’t have the spirit of the temple. Much like it is in a large segment of today’s Church, they were preferring prosperity over prayer, trading holiness for hype, and preaching a gain-is-godliness message and a God-will-bless-you-with-riches gospel. They loved money more than God. They loved business more than prayer.

Ministers who are in it for the money are a business, not a ministry. They’re in the ministry to make monetary profit thus disqualifying them from the high Christian calling and making them unprofitable servants. This attitude is prevalent and is the root cause of the evil system that has entangled a part of today’s church.  

    

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon… Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him…Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery (Lk. 16:13-14, 18).

For years I could never make sense of vs. 18 that speaks of marriage and divorce. How does that fit in with everything Jesus is teaching on money? I believe I found the answer. Here it is: God was married to Israel by the Law, but the Pharisees divorced Him when they married money or silver.

Notice how they were  referred to as “lovers of money”, which translates better in the original Greek as, “lovers of silver”, which is the most accurate definition of covetousness. That is very sobering, but it lines up with the truth that we cannot serve God and mammon. They were guilty of using money as a substitute for their lawful union with God.

The Pharisees began to get very upset when they realized that Jesus was speaking about them. The word “deride” means to stick their nose up at, or scoff. They were guilty of using religion and their position to steal from the people to benefit themselves–exactly what the Scriptures forbid ministers and shepherds to do.

Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully…” (1 Pt. 5:2).

Here’s how it reads in another translation:

“Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone God has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please God, and not simply because you think you must. Let it be something you want to do, instead of something you do merely to make money (1 Pt. 5:2 – CEV)

These Pharisees were totally out of sync with the whole purpose of the Father’s house. The Father’s house is not a place to conduct business and make a buck. It is a house for calling on the Name of the Lord. It is also where the blind and lame come and are healed by the power of God (Mt. 21:14).

The atmosphere in the Father’s house is to be one of reverential prayer. The aroma from the incense of the golden altar before the throne of God is that of the saints on the earth opening their hearts in worship, intercession, and supplication (Rev. 5:8, 8:3-5). It is this incense that produces holy fire that will never go out, manifests the power of God, and releases Divine activity on the earth.

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.

 

FROM MY HEART: I AM A LEVITE

When I made a consecration as a single man to leave the comforts of America to be a missionary in the impoverished nations of West Africa many years ago I vowed to trust the Lord with all my needs. I had read how the late John G. Lake did this, and it inspired me to do the same, albeit in heart, not in form. The devil has tested that consecration in various seasons of my life, but I keep going back to it and putting the Lord in remembrance that it is He who called me and chose me for a work. He alone is my portion and I’m gladly employed by Him.

Basically, and in a word, I made a consecration as a minister, similar to what a Levite of the Old Covenant did to make the Lord their inheritance and their portion.

“The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion. Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He said to them” (Dt. 18:1-2).

I thank God that he’s kept me from a desire to chase money or the pleasures of this world all these years. I’ve seen how this desire has caused many Levites (ministers) to stray from the faith and pierced them through with many sorrows. The perfect will of God has evaded them for most of their lives and kept them at minimum effectiveness. The deceitfulness of riches and love of other things has robbed many of them of their primary inheritance and portion, who is the Lord.

Here are some other Scriptures that verify the Lord being the inheritance or the portion of the Levites (Nu. 18:20; Ez. 44:28; Dt. 10:8-9). Translating this consecration into New Covenant language we see it in the life and ministry of Jesus as His priority to prayer and communing with the Father was the oxygen of all He said and did (Jn. 5). “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (Jn. 4:32), He said. We see it in the selection Jesus made for His apostles to first of all be with Him and then to be sent out to preach and minister (Mk. 3:13-15). We see it again in the devotion the early apostles made to the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4), and to minister to the Lord (Acts 13:1-3). They made the Lord their inheritance and portion. This means they depended on Him for everything they needed.

In those early days of ministry my wife and I opted out of government benefits such as social security and Medicare, made no provision for any of it nor retirement funds, medical insurance, and such. We are not opposed to any of those provisions, but this was our conviction as Levites that we would trust the Lord for everything. Please do not do this unless you are a minister and are led this way.

Since that day more than 30 years ago God has met our needs, occasionally by His miraculous Divine intervention and frequently through His Church and His people.

To encourage myself through the years I’ve meditated on scriptures such as those found below in the book of Deuteronomy and the service and the “holding fast to the Lord” that should be the biggest part of our lives.

“You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him(Dt. 13:4).

Dt. 10:20 and 30:19-20 are others:

“You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast…”

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

If the Lord is indeed our portion we must cleave to Him. This means to stick to Him like glue.

LOW VISIBILITY, HIGH IMPACT

Because we write for Charisma magazine, have published many books, and have been on popular Christian television programs (Sid Roth and Christ For The Nations), or now have an Arabic program of our own, many of our readers and followers think we are a large well-funded ministry. But that is simply not the case. The way we like to refer to our ministry in a spiritual sense is one of low visibility and high impact.

Oh yes, financially, compared to most of the world, we do live comfortably and within our means, but it’s week to week and month to month. Without an extensive travel itinerary we would not have a sustainable ministry income. After all, this is our work, and we do it joyfully as unto the Lord, and we’ve never lacked. To God be the glory.

God has provided for us every step of the way, and recently after my daddy’s home going we were even left with an inheritance, which we did invest toward our latter years. Praise the Lord for that provision derived from my parents’ extremely hard work ethic and life. Aside from this provision, we do not have one church, one organization, or a denominational backing of any kind that pays our salary or  has committed to care for us in our latter years, if we so need it. There are no annuities or pensions to collect, no full coverage insurance for medical bills, no paid vacations, or other fringe benefits that some pastors and ministers with a fixed income receive and enjoy. I’m a firm believer that true ministers of the Lord should be well taken care of, but I’ve mainly witnessed this on a pastoral level in larger churches and ministries. Missionaries and itinerant ministers as well as the small church pastor often do without in their latter years when their strength to minister has abated them.

Thank God that we have our life, our health, and our strength. Our faith and consecration is that we will minister the holy things of the Lord until we die. When we are of no more use in this way, we’ve asked the Lord to simply take us home.

It is in this regard that we’d like to let everyone know that we not only depend on God for our provision and ministry needs, but also upon those He moves upon to support and sustain our life and work. Your partnership and gifts to this ministry are much appreciated and new partnerships and contributions are always welcome, for there are many things the Lord has laid on our hearts yet to do.

 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Phil: 4:10-20).

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.

 

IF ENOUGH OF US DO THIS WE CAN CHANGE THE NATION

Following 14 years of harsh imprisonment for his faith, Richard Wurmbrand was asked why we don’t have to deal with communism here in America. Much like the Lord Jesus often responded to curious inquirers, he was not direct in his answer, but spoke to the root of America’s issues.

“You don’t have communism here, but you have something far worse. You have materialism.”

The witness of even other religions makes this indictment very unsettling.

As an example, radical Islamic leaders do not consider the Church or the gospel as the greatest enemy to the spread of their religion. Christians are not the primary target of their Jihadist warfare ideology. Western worldliness is their most formidable foe. After all, they do refer to America as the great Satan with Europe a close second. But the unsettling thing is that Muslim clergy believe America is a Christian nation, and they see nothing in the Church that distinguishes us from the world.

These Muslim clergy cite our exportation of godlessness, immorality, pornography, perversion, our gross preoccupation with entertainment, worldly fashion, fleshly indulgences as proof of our materialistic lifestyle and worldliness. Although we know Islam is a false religion and we are all appalled at the unthinkable, murderous and heinous acts of terror its adherents commit in the name of their god, we must realize that their feelings of American Christianity are equally justifiable as our moral outrage of the rotten fruit of their religion.

When the religious Muslim world looks at our brand of Christianity, it sees a worthless religion that does not make a profound and marked difference in the lives of those who profess it. They hear our profession of Jesus and see our worldly lifestyles compared to theirs and conclude that their faith is superior to ours. Yet we know that their faith engenders bondage instead of liberty, death and destruction instead of life and peace, and fear and guilt rather than true fellowship with the living God. But how do we get past their view of our hypocrisy? Does it not concern you that their view of commitment to God and morality is more of a reflection of the Scriptures than ours is?

If they saw a greater allegiance to Jesus among Western believers they might consider otherwise, but as a whole, they are not seeing it. They refute all worldliness, but we embrace it. They even oppose other Muslims in their own camp who are worldly. In spite of all that is wrong with Islam, shouldn’t it disturb us that their allegiance to a lie is greater than our allegiance to the truth? Isn’t it chilling and afflicting to our souls that they die for their beliefs, but we in America can’t even live for ours?

MORE HEART SEARCHING QUESTIONS

Could it be that many American Christians have been greatly deceived and entrapped by the materialism/worldliness in our nation? Could it be that worldliness has infiltrated into the church to such a degree that it has rendered our witness to the world ineffective? Could it be that the materialistic environment many of us have been raised in has dulled our senses to its real influence over our lives? Have we been lured away from what is eternal and spiritual and given ourselves to the temporal and fleshly? Do we realize that there are tens of millions of professing Christians in our nation who make zero impact on the various spheres of their influence? Who never testify of their faith? Who don’t even practice their faith? Have we ever given thoughtful consideration that the lifestyle of millions — not thousands — but millions of professing believers in America is contrary to the Scriptures and commands of Jesus Christ and indistinguishable from the rest of society?

Let’s face it: Our foundation is faulty; therefore, our house cannot stand. We need such a purging in the Church today that calls itself by Christ’s name. We have become professional hearers. We don’t really believe the Bible and what Jesus said. Consider some of the first words Jesus spoke to the multitudes who sought to follow Him. His witness and that of the other apostles speaks clearly and emphatically against all worldliness, complacency, and compromise. Yet we continue on living contrary to what they said.

“If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26).

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple … So likewise, any of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26, 33).

Christianity is a whole-hearted commitment to follow Christ. Many of us have forgotten that. We cannot live in the flesh and please God, but instead, through the empowering Spirit of God, we are to put to death the deeds of the body, bring it under subjection and crucify the flesh.

“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13).

“But I bring and keep my body under subjection, lest when preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27).

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

For the most part, except for a consecrated remnant, we are a materialistic and worldly Church because we don’t heed or understand the message of the cross. A few years ago, I heard a media consultant say that the reason for the lack of substance and weighty messages on Christian television today is because it doesn’t draw viewers. The average viewer only has an appetite to hear messages that tell them how wonderful they are, and how rich, happy, and blessed they can become. The bottom line with most television ministries is ratings and funds. How sad and tragic it will be for them when they give account to God at the judgment.

We must recover the true message and ministry of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially here in the West. Ministers must return to the altar and crucify works of the flesh. We don’t need a new message, a new manifestation, a new program, or another conference to tell us how to grow our churches and ministries. All we need to do is return to the old-fashioned gospel and obey the commands of it. God has demonstrated His great love for each of us in that while we were yet sinners He died for us. His Holy shed blood has cancelled out our death and given us new life.

There is now available an abundance of His empowering grace to obey all of His commands.

If enough of us do so it will change the nation.

For more on this theme refer to the following books: The Real Gospel, The Real Salvation and The Real Jesus, 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.

THE SPIRIT OF REPENTANCE IS THE KEY TO TURNING THE CHURCH AND THE NATION

I have a friend named Jim in my home town that I shared the gospel with several years ago. At first he was confused about Christianity to such a degree that he wasn’t even sure who Jesus was. He is highly intellectual and couldn’t see how God could make Jesus the only way to salvation. He would reason, “How could God allow good human beings who have another religion to perish and go to hell?” I talked to him several times and eventually asked him to read the gospel of John so that he could see that the loopholes he was trying to find in the person of Jesus Christ and the gospel just aren’t there. 

Finally, the light came on and he began to understand that there was no other way to God except through Jesus. Still, he struggled with the need to change his lifestyle saying things like, “Nothing is broken in my life. Nothing needs fixing.”  He believed that the guiding principle of his life to do good to others was enough. In other words, although he now believed that Jesus was the Son of God, that He shed His blood for his sins, that He was raised from the dead, he was not yet convicted of his sins. What if I had told Jim: “Don’t worry about your sins, Jim. Jesus paid for it all. Just receive God’s payment and confess Jesus, and you’ll be saved.” That is the common gospel you hear in the marketplace of Christianity today. It is a travesty and the root of where the axe needs to be laid. 

I’ll tell you what would’ve happened if I preached this version of the gospel to Jim. By ministering a false comfort to him and rushing him to a decision to pray a prayer of salvation when conviction wasn’t working, deception would’ve been birthed in his life. He would’ve believed he was saved without really being saved. This is what has been done with multitudes of sinners everywhere, and that is the key reason why such a small percentage of them continue to walk with the Lord and bear fruit after supposedly receiving Jesus. We think we can bypass the cross and use other methods to bring people to salvation, and in so doing we become guilty of preaching another gospel and leaving so many in deception.  

The more I talked to Jim the more I began to locate the root of his problem. He felt he would be unhappy with a different lifestyle than the one he had. His lifestyle included regular Friday or Saturday night parties at his house where he and his friends would drink booze and carry on until the wee hours of the morning. That’s what the Holy Spirit was pressing and putting his finger on. So now there was conviction, but Jim was resisting the Holy Spirit in the process. It was all an issue of repentance and surrender.

DESTRUCTIVE MINDSET: SERVING GOD IS NO FUN

There is a destructive mindset in carnal professing Christians today that is at the root of this great deception and keeps them from going “all in” for Jesus.

They believe that there can be no real enjoyment in life if they stop sinning and pursuing happiness and carnal pleasures. They honestly believe that life would be a killjoy if they repented. These people do not seem to realize that the person who has truly repented has no desire to sin, and that the grace of God changes a person’s desires and empowers him to live for Christ. It is an inward transformation. That’s the miracle of salvation. Once truly saved, serving Jesus becomes a great joy to the earnest believer.

I dare to say that if the desire to sin is still in the heart of a professing Christian then he has not yet tasted of the real salvation. New life has not yet begun. Regeneration has not taken place.

Listen to the voice of one of the great revivalists of the past:

“Christianity does not make the believer unhappy by keeping him away from the sinful things he loved because the believer has changed his opinion on those things.” —Charles G. Finney

Finney defined repentance as a change of the ultimate preference or choice of the soul and of action. He taught that repentance is a change of will, feeling and of life in respect toward God. Finney believed that true repentance involves more of the person’s will and conscience than his natural feelings. Feelings are involuntary and have no moral character except what they derive from the action and the will. He would admonish sinners to submit and commit their entire being to God at once, obey their conscience and the feelings would soon follow (for more on this theme refer to the following books: The Real Gospel, The Real Salvation and The Real Jesus).

The spirit of repentance is the missing ingredient in much of the American church and in our society that will save us and restore the glory of the Lord in our lives, our churches, and in our land.

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.

FALSE CONVERTS AND WORLDLY “CHRISTIANS” BIGGEST PROBLEM IN AMERICA

In the mid-90’s I received this Spirit-inspired utterance. I believe the fulness of this word is for right now.

“America will come upon hard times. Many hearts will open, and the gospel will penetrate into the cities of America. Revival will sweep the land even as it is being judged. Young men who will be trained and ready will be as special forces, and they will run with fire in their feet and in their hearts. They will be free of care and family ties and at a moment’s notice will respond to the Spirit’s call and go. When the enemy unleashes his onslaught on the cities of America these shall be ready. They will be sent to the battle equipped as troops for the trenches where victories are won. Unconventional wisdom and special skill shall be given them for conquest, and they will go armed to suffer for their Lord and Commander in Chief.

“These special forces shall be men that have no desire for their own glory, but only seek the glory of Him who sends them. They are men with no hidden agendas or secret plans, but only to advance the kingdom.”

Praise the Lord!

Think about how different America has become in just the last 10-15 years ago. Go back even further to the mid-90s when I received this word. As a nation we have reached the boiling point. Something has to give.

The country is divided. The Church in many ways is divided.

For years now, the Democrats have been moving farther left — more pro-abortion, more pro-LGBT activism, more anti-Israel, more anti-Bible, more radically socialist. Even professing Christians have been caught up in this leftist ideology. On what basis can God-fearing Christians be a modern democrat or even vote for them? In my humble opinion, they are the biggest problem in our nation. That is the reason I say that the Church is divided. Just before he went to be with the Lord the late prophecy teacher Hilton Sutton administered altar calls for Christians who voted for Obama. Yes, no joke, he called them to repentance.

CHURCH FULL OF FALSE CONVERTS

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Lk. 6:46)

I believe many of our churches today are full of false converts or they are just miserably backslid.

You want to know what the greatest opposition to the truth is in these last days? Forget about these university professors, atheistic leftists, false religionists, and skeptics and so forth. The greatest liability in the Church of today are those inside the church. The passive, lukewarm “Christian” who remains in his neutral closet and never engages others in evangelism and in being a living witness for Christ is the leaven that leavens the entire lump.

In a recent George Barna survey 25 percent of those who lay claim to a born-again experience do not even adhere to the basic and elementary tenets of the Christian faith. It is that particular group that are like a cancer in the church. A significant change in them would mean a significant change in our nation, too.

The curse of our nation is the presentation of the “free gift” dimension of the gospel without the Lordship factor and the surrender and submission component. It’s the gospel on our own terms. This contemporary gospel is a huge factor in the moral erosion of our culture, especially as it relates to social issues. Among the number of non-evangelical professing “born-again” Christians, only slightly more than 50 percent identify as social conservatives, and even that number is suspect, based on recent elections. Additionally, on the abortion issue, 37 percent are not pro-life, and 27 percent advocate gay rights. Remember, these are the people who claim to be born again and who say they are good people and never hurt anyone. The absence of a true moral compass in their lives is glaring. The salt has lost its savor. The light they claim to have is great darkness.

Although there is a godly, committed remnant that is alive and well in our nation, imagine if just this 25 percent group were presented and practiced a gospel that included a solid commitment to Christ and biblical values, how much more faith would be interjected into the American culture? Visualize how different of a nation America would be.

WHY AM I CRYING TEARS OF PAIN AND THEN TEARS OF JOY?

My daddy was a fighter. His heart surgeon said he was one tough cookie at 81 years old when he had triple bypass open heart surgery. When he weakened and grew frail in the latter stages of his life I came face to face with the mortality of every man, even the strongest and toughest among us. It hurt me to see him suffer and eventually succumb to heart failure. The older he got the more tender I became toward him and toward the mortal state of every human being.

Then as I look around the world and see the human carnage, the suffering, the endless sickness, diseases, and pains of so many, and the tragic circumstances some are born into or find themselves in, I realize how cursed this world is. In my younger days I was not as sensitized to it all because when you’re young you… well, you’re young. Youth is a time to dream, not identify with nightmares. And yet there are so many youth who are born into such severe hardship who cannot dream.

I have some young friends who are missionaries in Kolkata (Calcutta) that are spending their lives to help the neediest of the needy. I’ve not yet been to Kolkata…it’s on my bucket list, though, but I understand it’s common as in many cities of the world to step over people living on the street in cardboard boxes, but worse yet, is passing by others literally sitting in pools of their own urine, waiting to die. You can walk over corpses lying on the sidewalk in the middle of the day, having died from starvation and exposure with no one bothering to pick them up. How utterly heartbreaking to see humans made in the image of God reduced to such base objects of horror.

And you think you have problems because your boss didn’t give you a pay raise that you thought you deserved, or your girlfriend dumped you for another guy, or you’re pouting because God didn’t come through for you in some materialistic fashion? Many Westerners are so spoiled and Christians are not exempt as even our own character can be so unchristian at times.

How God’s heart must also break over the petty, self-centered-entitled-narcissism so prevalent here in the West and in His people, who should know better. Must every little trivial disappointment over not getting what you wanted out of life send you over the edge into manic depression? Many of us are living in prosperity compared to most of the world and we still complain. Please get another life.

Go volunteer at the nearest homeless shelter. Go visit a children’s cancer hospital and look straight into the stark faces of those dying children, or just walk around and familiarize yourself with the unending hurt in the hearts of their moms and dads. Go help at a hospice and be touched with the desperation of the dying dead. Perhaps the Lord will use you to offer hope and life in their final hour. What a great way to forget about yourself because you’re not living your American dream life, or you’re wallowing in self-pity because someone spoke harshly to you or did you wrong.

Oh dear Christian, please get over your victim mentality that is so inbred within our culture and develop a stable soul. Life is not all about you. Your frame of reference is inordinately crooked.

DEEP IDENTIFICATION: A BIG STEP TOWARD MATURITY

Here’s a big step toward maturity and receiving a revelation of the heart of God. Go find someone hurting more than you and you’ll stop whining. Go find someone sick and you’ll be healed. Go minister to someone dying and you’ll start living. Lift up the broken and you’ll be fixed. That’s the Jesus way.

When Jesus received the tragic news of his cousin’s head being cut off He departed for some alone time, but when His day was interrupted by needy people He continued to minister to them (Mk. 14:13-21). Oh, for such a giving heart! Truly He was a man of many sorrows and acquainted with grief. He taught us by example that in identifying with the hurting and suffering of this world we, too could clearly manifest the Father’s will.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).

“We then who are strong ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Rom. 15:1).

Deep identification and a sort of co-suffering is necessary to have a real impact on the needy in this world. Perhaps age is a big equation in this also as I’m finding that the older you get, naturally the more opportunities you have to witness the sufferings and death of others, even that of your own family and friends. Not only did I witness that in my daddy now in heaven, but I am going through another season with my Momma as well. She now has limited mobility, recent emotional issues, and requires 24 hour care. She lives with my brother and sister in law, with occasional care-taking relief from me several times a year and many visits as I am able. Even when I’m on the road I carry her in my heart being familiar with her sufferings. I also have a number of other relatives and friends who are in great seasons of their own trials, and it brings me to a greater place of sensitivity, compassion, and prayer. I find myself crying more easily and laughing more readily as I’m appreciating life’s simple joys more, too.

The recent joy of helping a struggling pastor and his wife not to quit brought me to tears of joy when they testified that our visit turned their entire church around and renewed their desire for ministry again. I wept with gratitude that God would use my wife and I this way. What a joy to have a part in making a life altering and church changing supply to a people. It’s happened several times over the last few years and it never gets old. When you help and encourage someone there is an intimate identification with Jesus that fuels your heart with His unfailing compassions. It’s a small part of the fellowship of His sufferings that conform you to His death.

We love pastors who lay down their lives every day for others. We all need to be encouraged for there was a time when my wife and I were on the verge of quitting the ministry too. There is a simple joy in helping bear the burdens of others. Only those who’ve learned to live and move and have their beings in the Lord can understand this.

Other more earthly simple joys like enjoying a beautiful sunset, sitting under a tree on a hot summer’s night talking to an intimate friend, listening to the birds at the breaking of the dawn, and a host of others are not quite enjoyed the same way when you’re young. But seeing the beauty and tenderness of God in it all and how His upholding hand can be seen on every living thing trumps it all. Jesus exemplified the very heartbeat of God the Father and His selfless nature, for He was the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person (Heb. 1:3).

Have you ever wondered where did Jesus got the fuel to live such a selfless life? Yes, He was God but He was also a man subject to the same temptations and weaknesses we have. One of the keys to His life was His great desire to please the Father. His fuel for pleasing the Father was both the love He received from the Father and the joy derived from His obedience to Him. He grew up into that stature and we should be growing this way, too–further and further from self and up into the glorious nature of the fulness of the love of God.

Oh how I love Him…

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.