A NEW SPIRITUAL DOOR TO A NEW ERA IS OPENING

This is another excerpt from my new soon-to-be released book, Cleansing The Temple: Restoring The Glory Of The Lord.

A few years ago, as my wife and I were praying, she saw a very large door and heard a distinct squeaking sound as it turned on its hinges. It was an ancient spiritual door that had not been opened in a long time.

We believe it is similar to the spiritual door that opened in the time of Jesus’ birth. After 400 years of silence, with no prophetic vision or revelation, since the days of the prophet Malachi, a large door began to open, and God finally began to speak through certain consecrated individuals.

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple” (Lk. 2:25-27).

This old man, Simeon, was waiting for the Consolation of Israel. The phrase “Consolation of Israel” is linked to the redemption of Israel that some in Jerusalem were looking for (Lk. 2:38) and of the kingdom of God (Lk. 23:51). Prior to the time of Jesus’ birth, there was a “remnant” in Israel who had revelation of what was coming, and they were waiting.

The Consolation of Israel involved the coming of the Messiah and the revealing of salvation for all nations (Lk. 2:29-32). Simeon even knew by revelation that the Gentiles would be offered salvation as well (v. 32). This was unheard of in those days, as the Jews had been God’s chosen people for centuries of time. Many Jews never received this revelation of the salvation of the Gentiles, even when it came through Jesus and the apostles.

Anna was another old woman, a prophetess, who received revelation by the Spirit of God concerning the coming Messiah.

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:36-38).

Notice how Anna spoke of Christ to “all those who looked for redemption in Israel”. A large spiritual door had now opened.

WITH EVERY OPEN DOOR COMES THE RELEASE OF DIVINE ACTIVITY BUT ALSO ADVERSARIES

Try to imagine the divine activity that was suddenly happening in Israel during the time of Jesus’ birth. Besides this revelation that was given to Simeon and Anna, there were warnings and direction given in dreams to the wise men and Joseph (Matt. 1:20; 2:12-13, 19-20, 22). There were angelic visitations granted to Zacharias, father to John the Baptist (Lk. 1:11-20), the virgin Mary (Lk. 1:26-38), and the shepherds (Lk. 2:9-15). There were infillings of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:41, 67) and prophecies (Lk. 1:42-55, 67-79). Remember, this kind of divine activity had not happened in about 400 years.

As it was in the time of Jesus’ birth when a huge door was opened that resulted in all this divine activity — as it was when Jesus began and fulfilled His public ministry about 30 years later, as it was in the days just prior to and after His crucifixion and resurrection, as it was in the days of the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and as it was in the time of the early Church, so will it be in the last days, just prior to the second coming of the Lord.

But as it was during the time of these events 2,000 years ago, when only a remnant knew and understood these things, and there were also many adversaries, much opposition, and demonic activity, so will it be in the last days just before Jesus’ return. Many will not be ready, and the opposition will be great as Satan’s lease on the Earth shortens.

And as the Lord prepared His remnant and revealed to them the time of His birth, so He is preparing His people today for that which is yet to come. Isn’t it interesting that nearly a generation later after the birth of Jesus, many still did not receive Him as the Messiah? Many did not receive their time of visitation (Lk. 19:41-44), and it resulted in their judgment.

Interestingly, it was immediately after Jesus pronounced judgment on Jerusalem that He cleansed the temple for a second time, as Luke records it (Lk. 19:45-46). But it was the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people who vehemently opposed Jesus and sought to destroy Him (v. 47-48). And so it is today as the time of Jesus’ return draws nearer.

We are now in a time of preparation for the coming crisis of last days events, especially as it pertains to the judgment of the world, the final harvest, and also the glory that is to come. There are a company of John the Baptist-like messengers who are of the spirit and power of Elijah (Lk. 1:17), and who function as a Refiner’s Fire by the power of the Holy Spirit, which will cleanse and purify those who receive their words and ministry.

Let me say it another way: Before the worst shall come and the day of darkness encompasses us about, there will be those who shall be sent by the Lord, who shall carry the fulness of His truth and fire, not only to America but to other nations. For there is a work that must be done — first and foremost spiritually — before the Lord returns. This work has already begun.

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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RECOVERING THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER

This is another excerpt from my new soon-to-be released book, Cleansing The Temple: Restoring The Glory Through Purity, Prayer, and Power. 

Charles Finney, in his excellent book How to Experience Revival, compares the spirit of prayer to the great conviction sinners often feel. Sinners are especially convicted when they think about their sins. Finney equates this to a spirit of prayer that a Christian may obtain as he also thinks on the condition of lost souls. In other words, if the believer will cultivate a deep awareness by thinking on their state and cherishing the slightest impressions, he will come into a spirit of prayer for the conversion of sinners. He encourages Christians to go through their Bible and find verses of Scripture that describe the conditions of a world without God. “Look at the world, your children, and your neighbors, and see their condition while they remain in sin. Then, persevere in prayer and effort until you obtain the blessing of the Spirit of God.”

Finney explains that, with most Christians, this is a progressive and prolonged process. Gradually they cultivate a burden about something until it consumes them in sighing out their desires to God during their daily activities. He likens it to a mother who sighs as if her heart is broken because her child is sick. If she is a praying mother, her sighs are breathed out to God all day long. If she leaves the room where her child is, her mind remains on the child. If she sleeps, her thoughts are still on the child. She will even jerk in her dreams, thinking that perhaps her child may be dying. Her mind is absorbed with that sick child. Finney says that this is the state of mind in which Christians can enter into the real spirit of prevailing prayer for the lost.

This burden is the natural result of great benevolence and a clear view of the danger sinners are in. This is a reasonable sentiment, Finney says. He compares it to the average Christian witnessing a family shrieking with agony in a burning fire. He would become extremely burdened and moved to action to save them. No one would consider these actions strange but, rather, cold-hearted if there was no powerful response or reaction.

This depth of concern and burden for souls is thoroughly Scriptural. The apostle Paul was familiar with it.

“I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh…” (Rom. 9:1-3 – KJV).

The psalmist of old was familiar with it.

“Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law” (Ps. 119:53). “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law” (Ps. 119:136 — KJV).

The Old Testament prophets such as Jeremiah also experienced great sorrow because of Israel’s sins.

“My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war” (Jer. 4:19 — KJV).

In light of these Scriptures, why should it be considered fanatical or abnormal when Christians become burdened this way and pray fervently unto groanings and travailings when they contemplate the wrath of God on sinners and the misery of those nearing eternal damnation?

Occasionally the Spirit of God may initiate a burden to pray, but more often than not, you must cultivate it and move into it by faith and learn to yield to the Spirit of God. It’s usually not all God, and certainly not all man, but a cooperative work between God and man. The Holy Spirit does not pray, but He helps us mightily in prayer.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26).

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19).

“As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Is. 66:8)

Groanings and travail of soul are elements of prevailing prayer. Persistence and perseverance are usually required. These elements of intercession are often extensions of praying in tongues. Finney believed and taught that this travail of soul in prayer was the only real revival prayer, and if anyone does not know what that is, he does not understand the spirit of prayer, and he is not in a revival state. That is, until he understands this agonizing prayer, he does not know the real secret of revival power.

We don’t learn to pray that way by just hearing about it or reading about it. As with most skills, we learn by doing it.

For example, you don’t learn to drive an automobile by reading the handbook on it. No — you must get behind the wheel and start driving.

You don’t learn to cook a delicious meal by just reading a cook book of recipes. You must actually prepare the food and various ingredients and cook the meal.

It’s the same way with prayer. Unless this spirit of prayer and certain elements of intercession are passed on by those who understand and operate in these dimensions, it will be lost to the next generation. This is probably the primary reason why we are no longer witnessing the great depths of revival and outpourings of the Spirit that was seen in Finney’s day. Let us consecrate ourselves to the Lord and cultivate the spirit of prayer. Perhaps God is calling some to make prayer your business and to labor fervently this way for the conversion of souls and true 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.

WE ARE TOO EASILY FOOLED BY THE WISDOM OF MAN

This is another excerpt from my new soon-to-be released book, Cleansing The Temple: Restoring The Glory. I hope you will get a copy and help the work of an unknown writer publish the word of the Lord. Pre-orders at a discounted price will be offered soon.  

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory…” (1 Cor. 2:6-7).

In this day of great human ingenuity, it takes the wisdom of God and knowing His heart and ways to discern the difference between what is of man and what is truly of God. We are easily fooled by principles and techniques and the modern machinery of man that can be used effectively in man’s own strength and prowess to accomplish great things — all without the Holy Spirit’s involvement. We label so many things as originating in God when, in fact, God has nothing to do with it.

We take pride in our own knowledge and abilities, or we are naive and lack godly discernment. For example, just because something is new, big, and grows fast does not necessarily mean it has its origin in God. It may even be emotionally thrilling, intellectually stimulating, and very financially and numerically successful — all without God’s involvement. Savor this wisdom so that you will cultivate more discernment in your life.

Let’s understand that there are principles, which, when implemented by anyone, will get results. The problem is not the principles, per se, but the motivating power and ethics behind the principles. Whom do they honor? Whom do they serve?

Human nature is easily fooled by a charismatic personality, the energy he exudes, the projection of a strong ministry gift, and crowd-stimulating and mind-controlling techniques. For example, often when people feel an excitement in a corporate assembly, they make the assumption that God is there, but that is not necessarily so. This happens many times, especially when the music or what we label “praise and worship” is emotionally stimulating. We believe and appreciate excitement that is born of the Spirit of God, but it can be difficult for a casual observer to discern the difference between what is of the flesh or the soul of man and what is truly of the Spirit of God.

Recently I came across a list of principles that shed much light on the very subtle differences between the world’s version of wisdom versus the kingdom of God’s version. In the words, I recognized these principles as the difference between man’s wisdom and God’s wisdom. Following is a contrast of those differences.

The wisdom of man provides an identity in yourself. The wisdom of God establishes our identity in Christ.

The wisdom of man provides a sense of uniqueness, specialness, and personal destiny. The wisdom of God admonishes us to lay down our lives and to shun personal advancement and self-aggrandizement.

The wisdom of man provides strong leadership and a charismatic leader figure to follow. The wisdom of God delivers us from false identities and an inordinate dependency on man.

The wisdom of man uses stimulating music and songs as a tool to rally people to a great cause or project. The wisdom of God uses music and songs to worship and glorify God, not human interest or selfish ambition.

The wisdom of man calls us to great, world-changing endeavors. The wisdom of God calls us to die daily; it’s irrelevant whether that involves greatness to change the world.

The wisdom of man motivates us to overcome obstacles, challenges, and adversity (even the world does this). The wisdom of God leads us to the One who is our all-sufficiency, admonishes us to rejoice in Him in our trials, and overcomes evil with good by loving our enemies.

The wisdom of man is capable of challenging us to personal discipline, hard work, and sacrifice. The wisdom of God instructs us to yield to our new spiritual nature and tells us that we can do nothing without Him.

The wisdom of man calls us to greatness. The wisdom of God defines greatness as being the servant of all. Jesus is worthy whether we are called to be great or small as the world defines it.

The wisdom of man conducts large-scale meetings to impart vision. The wisdom of God leads us to New Testament life and Scripture, which emphasizes being like Christ and being conformed to His image as the vision. (Do you realize there’s not one New Testament Scripture on vision? Knowing Jesus intimately and making Him known is the vision. I know this is a shocker to some people, but Jesus modeled leadership by laying down His life for others, not by presenting a vision. (Calvary is the vision). The vision is doing what God tells you to do.

The wisdom of man provides enticing speech and heightened oratory to inspire and stir people to a mission. The wisdom of God teaches lowliness and humility and a mutual laying down of our lives for each other as the ultimate virtue.

Do you know what releases maximum potential in the body of Christ, so that we are built up and equipped for service? It is lowering yourself and serving others as being more important than you. This is what brings complete restoration in the body of Christ.

The contrast that I show here between the wisdom of man and the wisdom of God is not intended to quench godly motivation and inspiration to a God-directed cause or a mission, but to show you the subtle differences between a man-centered and a God-centered methodology. The world uses some of these principles and techniques with great success and often for good causes, but we must understand that there is a subtle but large gap between what is good and what is God.

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.

THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED: CLEANSING AND CONSECRATION IS THE DOORWAY TO RESTORATION

This is another excerpt from my new book, Cleansing The Temple, Restoring The Glory. It is a prophetic and present hour word for the Church today. Pre-orders will be offered soon.  

The reason there’s no glory in the modern Church has nothing to do with bigger and more attractive buildings, the appeal of outward appearance, the color effects, the decorative staging, the fancy lights, the cool bands, or the skinny jeans, big screens, and fog machines. Nor does it have to do with the kind of music or worship style we have. Nor does it have to do with whether you meet in a home, a building, or another venue, or whatever part of the city or town. Neither has it anything to do with compensation and lack of financial resources or whether you have paid staff or volunteer help.

The glory has departed because we have sinned. Our ministry leaders have sinned.

It was because of the sins in the priesthood that the glory departed from Israel in the days of Eli and his two wicked sons (1 Sam. 4:22). In fact, Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, didn’t even know the Lord, and they were priests (1 Sam. 2:12). I find that there are many in the ministry today that do not know the Lord. I don’t necessarily mean that they are not born again. I don’t mean that they are not engaged in the work of God, but they are carnal and motivated by pride and popularity. What I mean is that they don’t really know the heart and the ways of the Lord.

Hophni and Phinehas had no passion for the presence and glory of God, were not bold and valiant for the truth, had no love or consideration for people, and no honor and respect for the holy things of God. They were in the ministry for themselves, immoral men who sought only to satisfy their carnal appetites. They also mishandled and demanded offerings from the people (1 Sam. 2:16-17), which is so common today.

God blamed Eli for the wickedness and corruption of the priesthood. Not only that, but the iniquity of his house was so great that God said it could not be atoned by sacrifice or offering forever (1 Sam. 3:13-14). Think about that. God rebuked Eli for honoring his sons more than he honored the Lord — by allowing his sons to be fattened with the offerings of God’s people (1 Sam. 2:29). Eli knew the evil dealings of his sons but refused to judge the situation and the fact that they made God’s people to transgress (1 Sam. 2:22-25). We are having similar issues today, when no judgment is ever made on sinning ministers and sinning “saints.” There are hardly any constraints, restrictions, accountability, and no enforced disciplines for those who practice sin. A minister falls into adultery, and the next week or month, he’s back in the pulpit preaching. How sad.

Where is the glory of God today? Why has it departed? One big reason is that we refuse to judge the true condition of the Church and the body of Christ. We actually do the opposite and hold up our thou-shalt-not-judge card when we address sin and judge wrongdoing.

CLOAKS OF CHRISTIANITY

The truth is that such a great percentage of Christian ministry today is characterized by jealousy, envy, play-acting, self-promoting, self-justifying, and self-focused behavior — all of which are hidden under 101 highly choreographed religious cloaks.

Churches are filled with ministries who are wonderfully trained to perform “the liturgical functions” but who are sadly lacking in true spiritual maturity. And our assemblies are consequently full of professing believers who have no eye to discern and differentiate between true spiritual maturity and maintaining a disciplined outward appearance.

In this “Quid pro Quo,” “I’ll scratch your back — you scratch mine,” “I’ll promote your preeminence — you promote mine,” “good-ole-boys club” system, churches and ministries work together very diligently to keep God’s people from seeing the little men behind the curtains. We need to draw open the veil revealing that which many ministers and pastors know about one another and work so earnestly to keep the public from seeing. We have a soulish, carnal ministry cleverly cloaked over by a multitude of religious fig-leaves.

The real maturing of the saints (Ephesians 4:11-12) has been abandoned long ago by many and replaced by the drive to expand our ministerial piece of the pie with a guild of salaried professionals.

As the following author so succinctly says it: we must stop protecting our own projects.

“As we turn to the evangelical leadership of this country in the last decades, unhappily, we must come to the conclusion that often it has not been much help. It has shown the mark of a platonic, overly spiritualized Christianity all too often. Spirituality to the evangelical leadership often has not included the Lordship of Christ over the whole spectrum of life. Spirituality has often been shut up to a very narrow area. And also very often, among many evangelicals, including many evangelical leaders, it seems that the final end is to protect their own projects. I am again asking the question, ‘Why have we let ourselves go so far down the road?’” — Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

How can the church be delivered from further generations of soul dominance and energized flesh? Only by walking straight into the bright spotlight of the Holy Spirit, instead of maintaining a strategic business-as-usual distance from it.

This new book will serve as a plumb line to help restore the glory of God to the Church today. Purity, prayer, and power is the pathway to restoring the glory. Cleansing and consecration is the doorway into it. 

I HAVE WRITTEN THIS BOOK IN THE ZEAL OF THE LORD

This is an excerpt from my newest book, Cleansing The Temple, Restoring The Glory, which will be released in a few weeks. 

“Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up” (Jn. 2:17).

Zeal. It’s not an adjective we use very much in common every day language. It means to exert great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. Some synonyms for zeal are passion, vigor, intensity, and devotion. This is what many of the prophets of old demonstrated toward God’s house and His holiness. It is an adjective that is primarily used in the positive sense except when it is used without knowledge as Paul did with Judaism before his radical encounter with the Lord (Gal. 1:14). Zeal is a godly attribute when it is used to glorify God and for righteous causes and godly works.

Phinehas turned back the wrath of the Lord from destroying Israel in their sin because he was zealous with God’s zeal (Nu. 25:11).

Elijah was full of zeal because the children of Israel had forsaken God’s covenant, torn down His altars, and killed His prophets with the sword (1 Kings 19:10).

The psalmist was consumed with God’s zeal because his enemies had forgotten God’s words (Ps. 119:139).

We are admonished to be zealous for the fear of the Lord all day long (Pr. 23:17) and to be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).

Jesus was the greatest example of zeal. In fact, He wore zeal as a cloak or a mantle (Is. 59:17). Many don’t see Jesus that way.

When He cleansed the temple His disciples remembered that it had been written of Him in the Scriptures that zeal for the Father’s house would eat Him up (Ps. 69:9). The Amplified says that He will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of His Father’s house.

“And His disciples remembered that it is written [in the Holy Scriptures], Zeal (the fervor of love) for Your house will eat Me up. [I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house.]” (Jn. 2:17).

I have written this book in the zeal of the Lord.

THE CONDITION OF TODAY’S CHRISTIAN MARKETPLACE

What are we seeing in the mainstream of today’s Christian marketplace, especially in the West?

We see seekers of popularity and fame, and those craving a name. We see pursuers of gold and glitter. We see proud strutting preachers flashing their titles every time they meet you.

We see lying prophets who are leading the simple minded ones off to the slaughter. We see false teachers and dreamers who paint a pie-in-the sky picture of a God they’ve never known.

We see selfish, greedy Word mongers, mammon babblers, sheep fleecers, and un-sanctified vessels unwilling to be tested by the holy scriptures and held accountable by holy men.

We see spiritual adulterers full of iniquity who have prostituted the ministry and merchandised God’s house.

The amazing truth is that we could stop all this almost overnight by not supporting these hucksters and charlatans and their carnally minded ministries—whose god is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who mind earthly things, and sadly, whose end is destruction. I tell you with pain in my heart and weeping that they are enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18-19), and they are influencing multitudes who are following them to perdition.

It is time to be separated from this rat race of energized flesh, for-profit ministries, and false ministry success.

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.

 

THE CALLING OF A CHURCH AND A NATION BACK TO GOD

This is an excerpt from my newest book, Cleansing The Temple, Restoring The Glory, which will be released in a few weeks. 

If ever there was a time when true apostles and prophets must arise in America and the world, it is now—not so much to just give prophetic words of what the future holds, but with holy conviction, to call a Church and a nation back to the true worship of God, to drive out the money changers, and to call us back to true Spirit-inspired fervent effectual prayer and fasting, and holy character. They must also confront the elite vipers of iniquity and warn the false apostles and prophets of their whitewashed walls and false claims to peace, and to cry out to the people to repent and return to God. Both John the Baptist and Jesus did this as well as the writers of the New Testament.

Now is the time to flee the existing superficial version of Christianity and our false unholy allegiances and return to a lifestyle that reflects the humility and meekness of our Master. It is an hour when true ministers must move away from the rat race of professional ministry, money-making schemes, and the pursuit of fame, popularity, and media exposure, and be made whole in God’s presence and through God’s love.

Only true friends of the bridegroom whose character has been shaped in the crucible of their own sufferings and earned God’s trust are qualified to lead a Church and a nation back to God. They alone shall know the secret and heart of the Lord.

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Ps. 25:14).

Notice how this beautiful verse reads in the Living Bible:

“Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.”

Too many modern apostolic and prophetic voices are tainted because they are too eager for power, popularity, influence, riches, and fame. They seek more the validation and affirmation of men at the neglect of truly living and speaking in the sight of God. The road can be lonely and difficult at times, but we endanger ourselves when we seek the validation of man over the validation of our heavenly Father. We must begin to align ourselves with the heart of Christ and see clearly what is within man, and rather than seeking approval in the flesh, prefer at all costs the approval of God. This will keep us preferring purity over popularity, intimacy over influence, and holiness more than hype.

A heartfelt reliance and preference for the approval of God over the approval of man is what distinguishes all true apostles and prophets from counterfeits and wannabees. The same could be said for all ministers and all saints. For there will come a time when they must not only speak out against the carnal and sinful status quo, but shake off those religious, political, and cultural traditions that run contrary to what God demands and expects of His people. This cannot happen unless they love and fear God more than man. This also cannot happen unless they have an exceedingly great zeal for the honor of God’s house, whom we are.

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 VIEWS OF LOVE AND HOLINESS DILUTING THE CHURCH’S POWER

Years ago I was preaching a series of strong holiness messages in a particular church. After one of the meetings the pastor said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. “The Lord has dealt with me about preaching more on love than holiness,” he said.

That statement didn’t sit well with me. I knew it was not accurate. Yet back then I didn’t know why. I pondered that pastor’s statement with my own thoughts that raced through my head. Is love more important than holiness? Are they different, or are they virtually the same? They have to be different, or we’d have a lot of redundancy in the Bible, I thought. But how are they different? Although I knew the pastor’s statement came from a lack of understanding true holiness, at that time I couldn’t thoroughly explain the difference.

This pastor’s statement put an emphasis on love, which is of primary importance, while de-emphasizing holiness, which is not only God’s greatest attribute, but foundational to understanding man’s relationship to God. I walked away from that conversation knowing that this pastor’s view of holiness was not becoming or beautiful. I thought of how his view was probably shared by a multitude of believers, who have formed erroneous ideas and notions of holiness, due probably to their own negative experiences—like the cat who is afraid of water because of one negative experience of getting scalded by boiling water. Or of those who may have come from a background of legalism where do’s and don’ts were associated with holiness. These are among the reasons holiness has gotten a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God’s holiness.

WHAT IS TRUE HOLINESS

What then is the real meaning of holiness? Holiness is the likeness of God. It is the total summation of all His attributes. One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God’s purposes. Just as God is otherworldly, we as His chosen people are to be distinct and set apart from this world. In other words, we are not to be conformed to its ideals, patterns, or standards. Holiness is conformity to God’s nature and will.

But even more importantly, holiness has more to do with to whom we belong. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. It means that every aspect of our lives is to be shaped and directed by God.

Personally, I believe that restoring the beauty of biblical holiness in the church is a critical ingredient to healing the moral confusion in our culture. As the church goes, so goes the world. Our disproportionate view of holiness is one of the big reasons there is so much of the spirit of the world in the church. A distorted view of holiness, or simply the ignorance of it, is clouding our understanding of God’s true love. When God is seen as a loving, nondemanding pushover whose love overrides His holiness, then people will live in accordance with that belief. Permissiveness and promiscuity will be prevalent.

For example, if a person believes that God is so loving that He would never manifest His judgment or wrath or send anyone to hell for their sin, then their conduct will reflect that belief, and much of their life will be lived with that awful presumption. Popular false concepts of God such as these are spreading rampantly in much of the Western culture. A vision and revelation of God’s holiness will alter any of these false perceptions and will serve to greatly strengthen the church.

Any understanding of sin must begin with an understanding of true biblical holiness. In Canaan the temple prostitute was considered a holy woman, and a homosexual priest was considered a holy man. However, what was accepted among the Canaanites and the other nations was an abomination to God (Deut. 23:17-18). And Israel, as God’s chosen nation, a type of the New Testament church, was forbidden to practice these things. The people of Canaan didn’t understand God’s holiness so they couldn’t possibly understand the gravity of their sin.

A person defines sin by his own concept of God. This is the reason we now have books being written that one can be a gay Christian; and now we also have the spread of universalism and the emergent church that teaches that in the end all will be saved, because God will not allow any human being to go to hell. Many do not understand God’s love because they are not seeing it through His holiness.

Our understanding of God’s holiness determines our estimation of sin. God defines Himself through His holiness. His holiness is the standard by which we judge what sin is and what sin is not. Righteousness and justice, which are vital aspects of God’s holiness, are the foundation of His throne (Ps 89:14). All God’s dealings with us are based on the foundation of holiness. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim 2:19).

It is wrong to elevate what we think is love at the expense of holiness. In fact, God’s true love manifests within holiness. Just as water flows through a pipe the love of God flows through His holiness. Moreover, it is God’s love that keeps Him from overlooking His holiness. After all, it was His holiness which made the atonement necessary. His holiness demanded the cost of God’s own Son, for He cannot excuse, acquit or clear the guilty (Ex 34:7). And what His holiness demanded His love provided on the cross of Calvary.

HOLINESS AND LOVE ARE NOT OPPOSITES

Holiness and love are not at odds with each other. Holiness is not in opposition to love or separated from it. The Bible tells us that love is the greatest (1 Cor. 13:13) and any word, motivation or act void of love is as nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3). But at the same time, love is not separated from holiness. Rather, it is constrained by holiness.

For example, if a church will not draw a sharp distinction between sin and righteousness, or will not practice church discipline among its members as taught in the Word (Mat. 18:15-17, Rom. 16:17, 1 Cor. 5, Tit. 3:10, 2 Thes. 3:6, 14-15, and such) because in their minds, it doesn’t seem loving, has probably been deceived into a false view of love absorbed from the pop culture. On the other hand, a church that emphasizes holiness, yet fails to do so in the motivation and service of love is a church that does not understand God’s holiness.

The true love of God is fixed on God’s holiness. If a church does not abide in holiness, it does not abide in true love. Conversely, if it does not abide in true love, it does not abide in holiness.

A holy church is in the world but not of it. They abstain from sin while dwelling among sinners—both are characteristics of true holiness. The problem has been that some churches have swerved too far in one direction or too far in the other, waffling between a false view of holiness and a false view of love.

The same Bible that tells me to pursue love (1 Cor 14:1) tells me to pursue holiness (Heb 12:14). Without love we are nothing. Without holiness we will never see the Lord.

But here is my warning:

A holy church is in the world but not of it. They abstain from sin while dwelling among sinners – both are characteristics of true holiness. The problem has been that some churches have swerved too far in one direction or too far in the other, waffling between a false view of holiness and a false view of love.

It’s time for the modern day church to get that right and walk in that light.

This is an excerpt taken from The Real Jesus, a compelling piece of a tetralogy of books (The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, 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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TOO MANY MINISTERS AREN’T QUALIFIED FOR MINISTRY

In 2002 in a lengthy season of prayer and fasting I saw a glass ceiling above me and everything I desired in ministry was on the other side—favor, anointing, power, significance, open doors, impact, etc. But while I was gazing at that glass ceiling God pointed me to the floor and began speaking to me about my foundations and character. He came to test me on a book I had just written called Soulish Leadership.

On the heels of several well known ministers who recently died, among them some who were overcome by sinful lifestyles and vices, this is a sober reminder. God anoints men. Men qualify themselves with character (1 Tim. 3). Men are enamored with anointing, gifts, charisma, and talents. God places the premium on character, and He will test you, especially if you are crying out to be like Him.

My father in the faith, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, ministered to 1000s of pastors and churches in his lifetime. He told us that very few of those pastors qualified for ministry. He even predicted how their children would turn out by how the parents were living. His predictions were 100% correct. Character should be the highest priority in life and ministry.

Don’t tell me about how great your gifts and anointing are when your marriage and children are out of order. Don’t tell me how you’re going to conquer the world but you can’t even conquer your lusts and addictions. Today it’s common for ministers to be caught in adultery or very unethical practices and continue on in ministry, and their pitifully poor followers continue to defend and worship them as gods and hold up their thou-shalt-not-judge card. Personally, I think the false concept of judgment is one of the deadliest in modern day Christendom. It is the reason for such a dirty and defiled version of Christian ministry. Paul knew judgment was in fact the key to keeping the church clean.

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?  If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? (1 Cor. 6:2-4)

The least esteemed in the church to judge are those who say, thou shalt not judge.

This lack of righteous judgment should break our hearts and send us to our knees to pray for the sad state of much of the body of Christ. Why are we so driven by ungodly success and popularity? Why are we so mesmerized by celebrity style ministry, a stage, bright lights, and a microphone? Isn’t it because we don’t know Jesus very well at all. We have no private life with Him. We don’t know Him in the secret place.

By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostle Paul outlined character qualities for those who aspire to leadership in the Church (1 Tim. 3:1-7). Ministers of the gospel and local pastors and elders need to familiarize themselves with these character qualities instead of being so driven by unscriptural success. Even deacons must possess certain character qualities to serve in the church, after first being tested and found blameless.

“But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10).

Blameless! That means there is not to be found anything in his character that could be used against him. Why have we lowered this standard in the Church today?

People say, “Well, nobody is perfect.”

“We’re all flawed and have shortcomings.”

“You can’t be legalistic.”

And of course the infamous, “don’t judge…God is the judge.”

Why then are these character qualities listed in the Word? Paul gives us the reason:

“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). 

Paul wanted to deeply impress upon young Timothy that the Church is the great defender of the truth in the world, and that the truth which the Church is to maintain is of utmost importance. One commentary says this: “This relates to the incarnation of the Son of God, and to the work which he accomplished on earth (v. 16)–a work which excited the deepest interest in heaven, and the true doctrine respecting which it was of the utmost importance to keep up among people.”  This great truth is further elaborated on in the next chapter (1 Tim. 4), by showing that the time would come when, under the influence of Satan, these great doctrines would be denied, and the truth would be corrupted and perverted. We are living in that time.

These character qualities are so basic and foundational to Church leadership that it amazes me how far we’ve drifted from them in the Church today. I’m concerned about young ministers today who rise to publicity and popularity so quickly. Many of them are like shooting stars, here one day and gone the next. It’s better to be a shining star and just keep shining day after day through transformed character, not gifts and talents. Many are mistaking gifts and talents for God’s approval and qualifications for ministry. No, gifts and talents are the equipping for the calling. God equips us through His gifts and anointing, but we qualify ourselves through character. If we don’t prioritize character we will be candidates for deception.

During my aforementioned 2002 season of extended prayer one rhema word from Jesus changed my life. He said, “The reason I’ve not opened the doors that you thought should’ve been opened is because of My protection. The deception would’ve increased in you had I opened those doors, and you would’ve ceased to be a man after My own heart.” I wept like a baby when I heard Him say that, and His love overwhelmed me when I realized He was protecting me from myself.

Then He brought me to a place when I didn’t desire public ministry any more but only to know His heart and ways and to be obedient to His will. It was a miracle of great transformation because of the mystery of iniquity that is prevalent in man’s heart.

God is always ready to use us in great ways according to His calling on our lives, but often we are not ready and qualified by character. We will shoot ourselves and blow up His perfect plan and purpose for us. Listen to the wise words of Kathryn Kuhlman:

“I looked up and said audibly “Oh dear Jesus, why didn’t you allow all of this to happen to me when I was sixteen years of age? I never got tired in body, I could ride those buses all night and then preach all day. Why didn’t you let this all happen to me when I didn’t need sleep? Why did you wait so long wonderful Jesus? There wasn’t an audible voice, but He did speak to me and this is what He said.

“Kathryn, had I given it to you then, you would have blown the whole thing!!” I knew exactly what He meant.”

The Father knows best. Work on your character and let Him bring forth the fullness of His will in His own timing.

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, if any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them, and kindly post reviews on Amazon for any of our books you feel are worthy.

Finally, 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.

IS YOUR CHURCH FLIRTING WITH DELILAH?

A happy church…one that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable…one that will never offend you…one that will always tell you how much they love you and how much God loves you.

They change their church name for branding an image. They change their church culture for wooing the masses. They assemble cool young bands that play cool uplifting music and songs. They adapt their message for itching ears and unknowingly take away the power of redemption.

This is the current trend of many churches.

The happy church will entertain you. They say they exist to give people hope. They have fun programs for all your children. All their music and songs will make you feel special and soothe your guilt ridden emotions. And they’ll do whatever they can to keep you coming back for more.

This is the church who is playing in Delilah’s lap. If they stay there too long their conscience will be seared and they will be prime targets for deception and destruction. They won’t be able to shake themselves free because they won’t know that the anointing has departed from them.

“Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him” (Judges 16:19-20).

Samson played in Delilah’s lap until the secret of his power was cut off. Like so many churches and leaders today he didn’t realize he lost the anointing until it was too late. The secret of Samson’s power was his long hair. The secret of the church’s power is the mighty Holy Spirit.

Delilah bewitched Samson. Popular voices and popular concepts are bewitching today’s church. The world has our attention.

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth…Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:1, 3)

A DISTURBING DREAM

A disturbing dream was given to my wife. She was driving to a church service amidst great devastation. Roads had been damaged. Cars blown up. Trees were down. Destruction was all around. As she approached the front door of where the church was meeting, the doorkeeper directed her to go in another way.

She had to walk behind the venue and crawl through a low porch window to get in. Once inside my wife saw carpenters working, people smoking and swearing like sailors, coarse conversations and tales of adultery. Then further below she entered the room where people gathered. In the dream I got up to preach, burning with the fire of holiness, and immediately an assassination attempt was made on me by an instrument that shot out strange fire.

On the way home from that meeting my wife ran into a very weary and spiritually depleted member of this church who was being affected by the deadness of this once life-giving church.

Just as there are evil alliances in the world so there are in the church. Both are subtle. Both are demonic. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. They are seducing spirits promoting doctrines of demons. It’s rampant and worse than you think. Nice people who’ve been deceived are engaged and involved in these unholy alliances.

THE TITANIC IS SINKING BUT WE’RE STILL PLAYING

The Titanic is sinking but the band keeps playing and the singers keep singing. Warnings have been issued of the impending danger and devastation. The Ark is being built, but people are going about their business with great indifference and unbelief.

When people are about to drown and die you don’t plan parties. You don’t entertain the masses. You don’t need to hear monotone voices telling you everything is alright. That’s cruel. It’s like telling a lost sinner on his death bed that everything’s going to be alright when he’s about to split hell wide open. It’s telling church goers that homosexuality is alright—that eventually everyone goes to heaven—that there is no hell. It’s dumbing down on the vital necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the power of God. It’s remaining silent about controversial issues that affect the church and laws and legislation being passed to rob us of more of our liberties. How can we keep silent during such an onslaught of evil on the church and our nation? Cultural conditions have been changing for a number of years now, and with it the rules have also changed.

A demonic culture with unimaginable addictions needs to meet a church and a people full of power and unapologetic fire. In a time of mass murders in public gatherings and in the halls of our schools and churches—in a time of hurricanes, earthquakes, flood and fires, and volcanoes on the brink of deathly eruptions—we don’t want to see Noah swinging his hips from the platform of the ark and telling you how wonderful you are and how God will make all your dreams come true. It is not a time for pastors to display their wealth, and talk of their multi-million dollar airplanes, and grant people mild cures for their life threatening diseases and lustful addictions.

I don’t care how large your church is if it is not a threat to Satan’s kingdom and the encompassing darkness. I don’t care how popular of a speaker you are if hell doesn’t know you. If all people do is sing your praises God hasn’t sent you. If you only make people glad, but never sad or mad, you’re probably doing a bad job. It means you’re not impacting the culture of sin. In fact, worse than that, you’re inoculating your own people against the real Jesus, the real gospel, and the real salvation.

If you’re in a happy church where the cross, the blood, and hell are never preached, where there’s no real power to redeem from sin, and no warnings are ever given, you might be in Delilah’s lap.

You better exit now before your strength is cut off.

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, if any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them, and kindly post reviews on Amazon for any of our books you feel are worthy.

Finally, 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.

 

BEWARE OF MODERN “APOSTOLIC ALIGNMENT” ERROR

This article is being published in honor of Rev. Mel Montgomery who recently departed to be with the Lord. Mel had a passion for reforming Charismatic doctrine and restoring the genuine flow of the Holy Spirit to the Church today. We shared this common passion and became spiritual friends as a result. I’ve taken the liberty to edit his article and make minor grammatical corrections. You can visit his website and familiarize yourself with old recordings of true ‘Word and Spirit’ pioneers of the faith that will enrich your life:  brothermel.org 

Some time ago Charisma News published an article in favor of “Apostolic Alignment”- the error that claims you need to come under an apostle to stay in alignment with heaven’s order. Here was my response:

Hmmm. . . “Apostolic alignment . . . keeps us out of error.” Well then, how did the error-saturated travesty known as the “Lakeland Revival” occur?

Ten of the greatest “apostles” and “prophets” of the New Apostolic Reformation and the New Prophetic Move flew down to Lakeland and “aligned” Todd Bentley. They whipped out their apostolic authority, praised Todd’s “purity” and “integrity”, and prophesied that the Lakeland “Revival” would increase and spread around the world, ushering in the return of Christ. Peter Wagner declared Todd Bentley to be properly “aligned.” Then two weeks later, the revival collapsed in sexual scandal, financial scandal, and revelations of an attempted cover up. Far from keeping Todd or anyone else out of error, the “apostles” and “prophets” were in partnership with Todd’s errors, some even going so far as to attempt to cover up his sin.

If I remember the account correctly, Charisma magazine sent someone down to investigate the revival and its claims of 17  people being raised from the dead, and countless healings and miracles. The investigator could not document even one single healing taking place, much less 17 people being raised from the dead (he did document that Todd Bentley kicked someone’s tooth out. However, we were never told if the man came forward to have his tooth healed). Todd and his staff became unresponsive to the investigator, specifically requesting that he not ask any more questions.

The investigator reported the facts to Charisma (and I commend Charisma for actually ascertaining the facts rather than falling for the falsehoods peddled by so many major Charismatic leaders). After reporting to Charisma, since the investigator had personal relationships with several of these so-called apostles and prophets, he contacted and met with some of them. He told them the facts he had uncovered of sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, false claims of miracles, and so on.

So . . . the apostles told him to expose it all, right? They put on sackcloth and ashes and wailed over the hoax that had deceived so many and brought disrepute to the gospel of Jesus Christ, right? LOL!. Nope. Instead, those he spoke with urged him to cover it all up and not expose any of it. Then within days, knowing what they knew, they flew down to Lakeland and proudly appeared with Todd on stage. They publicly praised Todd’s “integrity” and “purity,” gave him their apostolic “alignment” and then prophesied his continued success.

But, the jig was up. The investigator went ahead and exposed the lies and sin.

Hey, the track record for this whole “apostolic alignment” mess is not so good.  Corruption saturated groups of men in modern times who set themselves up as apostles and peddle such erroneous doctrines is nothing new. Pentecostal historian Keith Malcomson’s book, “Pentecostal Pioneers” documents the fact that there was a well developed apostolic network of churches that arose throughout Great Britain in the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s.

WIGGLESWORTH AND OTHER PIONEERS OF THE FAITH WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT

Members of Smith Wigglesworth’s Bowland Street mission began to agitate for Wigglesworth to bring his mission and ministry under this apostolic network. But Wigglesworth would have none of it. So some of his members split from his church and left, figuratively writing “Ichabod” over the door and declaring that God was finished with Smith Wigglesworth’s rebellion and refusal to come under “apostolic authority.” And Wigglesworth’s ministry collapsed, right? Hardly. He had some of his most productive years and anointed meetings after he refused to submit to so-called apostolic alignment.

What happened to the churches that aligned under the great apostolic mother church in Great Britain? The head “apostle” got off into deep error, and those churches that did not flee from “apostolic alignment” went into error too. Eventually the network collapsed, just like Lakeland. Rather than keeping anyone out of error, these two major apostolic alignment catastrophes actually partnered with, led into, or attempted to cover up, error and sin.

Smith Wigglesworth, Stanley Frodsham, Howard Carter, WFP Burton, David Du Plessis, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Aimee Semple McPherson, and many other early Pentecostals were well aware of this exaggeration of the apostolic ministry and not only did they not come under “apostolic alignment,” they absolutely refused to hold meetings for any church that was a part of it.

Since then, think of all of the major Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic ministers who never placed themselves under any so-called “apostle.” They never experienced “apostolic alignment.” How did their ministries turn out? Judge for yourself. A partial list would include: Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Lester Sumrall, T. L. Osborn, and even Billy Graham. Yes, Billy Graham. He sure went off into error and his ministry never amounted to anything without Apostolic Alignment!

Apostolic Alignment? No thank you. I’ll stick with Wigglesworth’s position on this error.

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.