KEEPING YOUR SPIRITUAL INITIATIVE HIGH

I was preaching like a man on fire on the necessity of the mighty baptism in the Holy Spirit. Half way through the meeting a lady stands up in the midst of the congregation and starts speaking in tongues for the first time. She couldn’t wait until the altar invitation to be filled. This is the kind of spiritual initiative the Word will bring to your life.

Your faith is more aggressive when you’re feeding yourself on the Word of God. When you find out as this woman did that the baptism in the Holy Spirit belongs to every born again believer you won’t be passive in receiving it. You won’t take no for an answer. The number one hindrance to receiving personally from God is the question of whether or not it’s His will for you to have what you’re asking or believing Him for. Well, how does one know what the will of God is? From  the Word of God. His word is His will. Jesus was the Word of God. We can also learn what God’s will is from the life and example of Jesus. He was the Word of God in action.

When you find out for certain what God’s will is it will revolutionize your faith. You will become like a bulldog. You will resist the enemy. You will not be moved by the circumstances or by what you see or feel. You will fight the good fight of faith knowing what belongs to you because of the covenant promises of God.

Faith begins where the will of God is known. How can you have faith if you don’t know what God’s will is concerning a situation or a problem in your life? Knowing the will of God will produce strong faith in you, and it will not only help you to personally receive from God, but it will empower you to help others.

WOMAN MIRACULOUSLY HEALED

When I was a young missionary in West Africa I began to see and experience greater fruit of having strong faith in the Word of God. One day I was listening to an audio series by Norvel Hayes called, You Shall Live And Not Die. Brother Norvel is a no nonsense preacher and he was blasting the doubt out of people through this faith series. I got so fired up and believed that God could and would do anything I asked Him to do.

You see, this is what happens when you listen to strong teaching of the Word of God. In this case I was listening to a man who was aiming a major part of his teaching to people who were full of sickness and disease and had been given up to die (I would recommend this audio series to anyone in such a condition). If they will listen to it and believe it, they will be healed. I guarantee it.

Anyway, during the time I was feeding my spirit on this audio series I experienced two miraculous healings in others whom I ministered to. One was a female Bible school student of mine who came to the mission house one day with a fractured leg. A log had rolled off a truck and hit her in the knee area. I guess she didn’t have money to tend to it, so she came to the house walking with a stiff leg. She couldn’t bend it at all. I told her immediately that God would heal her.

Some people might be wondering, “how did you know God would heal her?” Because that’s what His Word says. That’s His will. That’s His character. I laid my hand on her knee and commanded her to be healed. Then I told her to bend her knee, which she hadn’t been able to do. At first she grimaced in pain, but I told her to keep bending it because God was healing her. After about the third time bending it her countenance changed and I could see that the pain had subsided and she was being healed. I then had her walk and even run a little with me outside to further prove that she was healed. Upon the realization of what the Lord had done for her that day, she lifted her hands in the air and began to praise Him with tears of joy flowing down her cheeks. Hallelujah!

After she left the house to go home I looked out the window and saw her walking down the dirt road we lived on with her hands still up in the air praising God for her healing. This was my first year on the mission field in Liberia, West Africa and this was one of the more miraculous healings I had witnessed in my young ministry, and it brought me great joy.

KEEP YOUR FAITH STRONG IN AREAS YOU WANT GOD TO USE YOU IN

My point is that my spiritual initiative was very high because I had been building up my faith and was ready for opportunities to be used by the Lord. I was looking for people to get healed. I was looking to cast devils out of people to set them free. Many more healings and deliverances would follow as I preached the Word of God from a position of strong faith.

If you want God to use you in ministering healing to people you’ve got to keep your faith strong in that area. If you want God to use you to get people saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost you’ve got to keep your faith strong in those areas. As a matter of fact, if you want to be healed yourself you should be feeding on healing scriptures instead of always depending on others to pray for you and believe for you. If you want to walk in divine health I’d highly suggest you keep your spirit strong where you will not compromise and give in to the devil and sickness and disease. If you keep your spirit strong by feeding it on the Word of God, there is continual life that flows to you and through you.

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find themand health to all their flesh” (Pr. 4:20-22). 

How do you know you’ve found the Word of God? You’re excited, fearless, and full of joy at what you’ve discovered in the Word. That’s when your spiritual initiative will be high. That’s when the Word will work for you.

 

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TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY BUT DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR SPIRIT

I am a spirit. I have a soul. I live in a body.

The first time I spoke those words they registered on my heart because that is how the Scriptures define the make-up of man (1 Thes. 5:23). Most people including many Christians don’t even know they are a spirit. Many in the science and educational fields have learned to develop their minds. In athletics many have learned to develop their bodies, but so very few have really learned to develop their spirits. This topic has always fascinated me.

When every human being dies their body goes into the ground, but their spirit lives eternally in heaven or in hell depending on a person’s response to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Bible says: “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord” (Pr. 20:27). This means God will guide you through your spirit. Is it important to you to be guided by the Lord? Your spirit can only begin to be a safe guide after you are born again and have passed from spiritual death to spiritual life (1 Jn. 3:14). Then you must renew your mind with the Word of God so that it can come  into agreement with your new spirit.

The Bible also says: “Though the outward man (the body) perish the inward man (the spirit) is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). In other words, your body is aging, but your spirit never ages but is actually being made newer. If that’s true why don’t we place more emphasis on renewing and developing our spirits? Why are we so body conscious?

The key to developing your spirit is the Bible or the Word of God. Read it. Believe it. Meditate on it. Obey it. And your spirit will grow ever stronger. If you don’t, your spirit will lose the privilege of communing with God and will grow weaker.

Feeding on the Word of God is a high form of spiritual fellowship with God. It is what gives your faith boldness, aggressiveness, and initiative. Many Christians are weak in faith because they are neglecting to feed on the Word.

YOU CAN’T PRAY RIGHT WITHOUT KNOWING THE BIBLE

You can’t even pray effectively unless you know the Word. For example, many things people pray about, the Word already gives them the answer; like those who pray, “Lord, if it be thy will, heal me, baptize me with your Holy Spirit, give me faith, get the devil off my back” etc. The Word gives us instructions in all these areas. God expects you to feed and exercise your own faith and authority and receive from Him.

Others pray unscriptural prayers like the Christian man who was praying to marry an unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14), or the woman who was praying to leave her husband so she could marry another man. Then you have couples who are living together outside of marriage and praying if they should marry or just continue to live together. Your prayer is unscriptural because the Word already gives you the answer (1 Cor. 6:18). Actually it’s an abomination. And worse yet, we now have professing Christians who are debating whether same-sex marriage is okay with God. That’s another abomination. The problem with most people, even so called Christians, is they don’t read, believe, meditate, and obey the Word. That is the reason Christians often accept worldly ideologies and abominable practices.

I feel sorry for people who don’t know their Bible or just don’t believe it and don’t obey it. You are not ready for heaven. You may not even get there. The Bible is the road map. Every other religious book is strange fire from hell. There is no life in them.

The Bible is your faith food. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from of the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). Faith is the currency of heaven. It is how you receive from God. Without faith you cannot even please God (Heb. 11:6).

THE REASON FOR WEAK FAITH

Whenever you cease to feed your faith on the Word of God you will lose your boldness and aggressiveness. Your flesh will gain the ascendency, your puny little mind will suggest flaky and weird things to you, and the reality of spiritual things will grow dim. Your physical senses will rule you, and you will lose your spiritual initiative.

If you want to be a winner in life and have a high place with God, train yourself to think about what God’s Word says concerning every situation in life. When you’re going through a hard time what does the Word say to do? When someone does you wrong what does the Word say to do? When you’re worried and anxious what does the Word say to do? When you’re fearful and afraid what does the Word say to do? When you’re having trouble with your spouse or children what does the Word say about that?

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (Jn. 15:7).

What a guarantee that verse grants us if we meet the conditions of feeding on the Word of God until it abides in us! Just because you’ve memorized the Word or can quote the Word does not necessarily mean it is abiding in you. When the Word is abiding in you there is a holy boldness and a fearlessness that possesses you, which causes you to act on God’s Word. You will rejoice in your trials and count it all joy (Jm. 1:2). You will praise God always and never complain. When you’re full of the Word your spiritual initiative is high and you will even dare the devil to put the pressure on you as you continue to magnify the Lord in your life. You will boldly declare, “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4). When the Word is not abiding in you strongly, you won’t say that so easily.

When you’re not feeding on the Word of God your faith and spiritual initiative are weak and your heart loses its boldness toward the Lord and fearlessness to act on the Word of God. When you reach this point you are in danger because your spiritual armor is not secured properly and your shield of faith is down. You are vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks and life’s trials and temptations. You may quote the Word, but its coming from a place of mental ascent instead of a strong spirit. Your Christianity will become shallow and your faith weak. You’ll be asking everyone to pray for you and believe for you when you’re sick or in trouble because your own spirit can no longer sustain you.

“The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear” (Pr. 18:14)?

BUILD YOUR FAITH

It is of paramount importance that we develop our own faith in the Word of God and pray and learn to receive from God personally. This is what builds a strong spirit. The majority of professing Christians are spiritually shallow and have weak faith because of neglect in this one area. They eat three warm meals a day, but one cold spiritual snack per week. You can never be strong spiritually living that way. You can never receive what God has for you.

There are three basic reasons believers are not receiving from God:

1. They don’t know their authority in Jesus Christ.
2. They are weak in faith.
3. They are living in disobedience.

Reading, believing, meditating, and obeying the Word will nullify these things in your life. This will result in a new bold and aggressive faith.

Read the Scriptures as if Jesus is talking directly to you and obey what He says. That’s when your faith will start to work. Instead of saying, “well, I just don’t know if I have enough faith” just begin to feed on the Word and obey what it says and you’ll have results. You won’t even have to ask yourself whether you have enough faith or not.

Oh believer, take care of your spirit and your spirit will surely take care of you.

Make sure to check out our tetralogy of books: The Real Salvation, The Real Gospel, The Real Jesus and The Real Spirit of Revival. Contained within these books are penetrating truths that will help root out the falsehood in many of today’s modern churches. 

 

 

Amazing 1927 Smith Wigglesworth Message

On Aug. 11, 1927, Smith Wigglesworth stood in Angelus Temple to preach on preparing for the Second Coming of Christ. He told the audience that liquid fire was consuming him. Then Wigglesworth made this opening statement:

“But there will be things that will happen prior to His coming that we shall know. You can tell. I am like one this morning that is moving with a liquid, holy, indispensable, real fire in my bosom, and I know it is burning and the body is not consumed. It is real fire from heaven that is making my utterances come to you to know that He is coming. He is on the way. God is going to help me tell you why you will know. You that have the breath of the Spirit, there is something now moving as I speak. As I speak, this breath of mighty, quickening, moving, changing, desirable power is making you know and it is this alone that is making you know that you will be ready.”

1. There must be special preparation for the return of Christ and at least half of all believers will be totally unprepared. We have to see that these days have to come before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away. I want to speak to you very exactly. All the people which are pressing into and getting ready for this glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless, where they shall be immovable, where they shall be purified by the power of the Word of God, have within them a consciousness of the very presence of God within, changing their very nature and preparing them for a greater thing, and causing them to be ready for translation.

This is the day of purifying. This is the day of holiness. This is the day of separation. This is the day of waking. O God, let us wake today! Let the inner spirit wake into consciousness that God is calling us. There are in the world two classes of believers. There are believers which are disobedient, or I ought to say there are children which are saved by the power of God which are disobedient children. And there are children which are just the same saved by the power of God who all the time are longing to be more obedient.

And we heard the word come rushing, through all over, “new theology” that damnable, devilish, evil power that lived in some of these disobedient children, which in these last days opened the door to the next thing.

2. There will be many Christians who believe that they can do whatever they want and God will look the other way. People are tremendously afraid of this position because they have heard so much on this line: “Oh, you know you are the elect of God. You are sure to be all right.” There have been in England great churches which were laid out upon these things. I thank God that they’re all withered. You will find if you go to England those strong people that used to hold all these things are almost withered out. Why? Because they went on to say whatever you did, if you were elect, you were right. That is wrong. The elect of God are those who are pressing forward.

3. It will be common for preachers to deny the existence of hell. Denying hell prepares the way for antichrist. What? No hell. The devil has always said, “What does Christian Science say?” [Ray says, “We could insert other names here for the times we’re in right now.] No hell, no devil. They are ready for him. The devil has always said no hell, no evil. And these people are preparing, and they do not know it, for the Man of Sin.

4. It is offensive to talk about the blood of Christ. When I spoke about the blood and when I spoke about this infernal thing, the whole place was upset. You be careful when anybody comes to you with a sugar-coated pill or with a slimy tongue. They are always of the devil. The Spirit of the Lord will always deal with truth. These people never deal with truth. They always cover up the truth.

Do you believe it? Who can do it? THE BLOOD CAN DO IT! The blood, the blood, oh, the blood! The blood of the Lamb. The blood of Jesus can do it. Spotless, clean, preserved for God. Give the devil the biggest chase of his life and say these words: “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all unrighteousness.”

5. The world will look to worship a man and will overlook his faults to get him into power. These people are determined to have a man. They know someone has to come. We know Who He is that is coming. They begin to make a man. So they find a man in India, they polish him up as much as they can, and they make him as—well, in appearance, but you know we are told by the Lord that there is soft clothing that goes onto wolves’ backs.

6. That people believe that certain preachers are of God simply because of their crowds and their buildings. A person said to me, “You see, the Christian Scientists must be right—look at the beautiful buildings. Look at all the people following them.” Yes, everybody can belong to it. You can go to any brother you like, you can go to any theater you like, you can go to any race course you like, you can be mixed up with the rest of the people in your life and still be a Christian Scientist. You can have the devil right and left and anywhere, and still belong to Christian Science.

7. As churches turn away from the Holy Spirit many believers go to false teachers. The secret of many people going into Christian Science is a barren church that had not the Holy Ghost. Christian Science exists because the churches have a barren place because they haven’t the Holy Ghost. There would be no room for Christian Science if the churches were filled with the Holy Ghost.

8. The last days are a time for the true people of God to engage in extravagant asking. Up to this present time, the Lord’s word is for us, “Hitherto ye have asked nothing.” Surely you people that have been asking great things from God for a long time would be amazed if you entered into it with clear knowledge that it is the Master, it is Jesus, who has such knowledge of the mightiness of the power of the Father, of the joint union with Him, that nothing is impossible for you to ask. Surely it is He only Who could say, “Hitherto you have asked nothing.” So God means me to press you another step forward. Begin to believe on extravagant asking, believing that God is pleased when you ask large things.

End-Time Prophetic Vision Reveals Simultaneous ‘Satan and God Revival’

The following is an end-time vision given to an established, seasoned minister of the gospel, Dr. Mark Barclay, and told in his own words. My heart was quickened when I read it and I thought: “This vision needs to be circulated to the body of Christ worldwide for we are seeing the increasing effects of it being unfolded in this hour, although it was given more than 25 years ago.”

If you are skeptical of these things I would encourage you to listen to your heart as you read it and allow the Holy Spirit to bear witness with you.

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. … But the anointing which you have received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. For as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in Him” (1 John 2:20, 27)

Here then is the vision told in the minister’s own words:

“In 1987 I was a speaker at a camp meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I spoke during the Thursday evening service. Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin spoke during the Friday evening service. I remember that I had just flown in from meetings in Paris, France. I mentioned to my wife how much I would like to stay and hear Dr. Hagin speak. She agreed.

As Dr. Hagin entered the pulpit, he began to pray in tongues. When he started, I started. A moment later, I was caught up in a vision (I was told later that it was probably more like a trance). As I went into this vision, I remember how Dr. Hagin’s voice was getting quieter and quieter, until I could hear him no more. It was so quiet all around me I felt like I could hear my own heartbeat.

All of a sudden I felt evil, as if it were surrounding me. Anger rose up in me, and fear tried to get a grip on me. Suddenly, something caught my attention out of my left eye. I turned hard to the left to see what it was. I saw the circumference of the earth, from one edge to the other, and this horrible black, dark cloud was rising up over the horizon. Somehow I knew it would eventually fill the entire earth.

An alarm went off in me, screaming to me to run away from it as fast as I could. I felt like I should scream at it, to stop it in its tracks by using the name of Jesus. I began to rebuke it and started to say, “In the name of Jesus … ” I didn’t quite get it out, and the Lord said, “That will do you no good.”

“What?” I said.

The Lord said, “Son, you cannot use My name to stop what I prophesied. I am not causing this dark cloud, but I did prophesy it would happen in the last days.”

I remember in the vision that I asked the Lord “What is this? What is this evil, tempestuous, dark cloud?”

The Lord said, “This is what I showed My prophet, Isaiah (Isa. 60:1-2). This is every evil thing you can name. It is every demon, it is every disease, it is sickness and bacterial attacks that haven’t even been discovered yet. It will cause humans to do things to humans that aren’t even human. It is filled with insanity, and many people will lose their mind and their faculties. It is murder, terror, rape, abuse, terrorism, torture and much worse. It is filled with deceptions, heresies, perversions and filth.”

Some things the Lord showed me I have not had permission to speak.

I also saw people—many, many people. Some were running into the dark cloud, and some were being sucked into it. It reminded me of this very powerful Shop-vac I have. It will not only suck up the dirt but also my tools, if I don’t pay attention.

I saw may people screaming with terror and actually being dragged into this cloud. Though they were refusing it and resisting it with all their strength, they still did not possess the power to stop it.

I was so disturbed when I saw a cross on someone’s pocket or jewelry. I remember saying to the Lord, “Who are those people being drawn into this filth and terror, wearing the Christian symbol of the cross? Who are these people, not even resisting? And who are these people, resisting with all their might but it does them no good? They just keep disappearing into this horrible, evil cloud of gross darkness.”

The Lord answered me and said, “Oh, these are those who do not have clean hands and a pure heart. They have been warned but ignored the warnings. Some even wanted this filth as their lifestyle.”

I asked, “Well, who are these wearing the cross?”

“Oh,” the Lord said, “These are the people who claim Me as Savior. Many of them have desired this filth and even fought for it. They make excuses but are not excused. The ones who are resisting thought My prophets were exaggerating and from the old school, and they denied the warnings. Now that this evil has come, they possess little to no power, and certainly not enough to resist and overcome this horrible onslaught of enemy power. Only those with clean hands and a pure heart will be able to totally resist this. It will cover the earth.”

There was much more to this, but I began to come out of the vision and once again heard Brother Hagin speaking in tongues from the pulpit.

I asked my wife what had happened, and she said, “Nothing, he hasn’t done anything but pray in the spirit.”

I began to realize that nobody seemed to see this vision or get caught up into this trance but me. I held my wife’s hand a little tighter and began to pray fervently in the spirit. As I did, I got caught up in the spirit again.

Just like before, Brother Hagin’s voice got quieter and quieter until it was gone. I found myself alone again. It was so quiet I could hear my own heartbeat. Suddenly, a piercing light hit the corner of my right eye. It was so bright that I instantly shrouded my head with my hands and arms. It reminded me of the intense light that my optometrist uses to examine the back of my eyes. Actually, it was much brighter than that.

Everything within me said, “Turn and look into it. Turn now, and run into it.” Yet there was this hesitation because it was so bright it seemed to shine through me. Finally I gave in to it and looked directly at it. With both eyes I saw the depth of this bright cloud. Just like the dark cloud I had seen before, it was coming up over the horizon of the earth. I could tell that it was going to cover the planet. I just knew that I knew that nothing could stop it.

I remembered asking the Lord, “What is this? What is this massive, earth-consuming, bright cloud?”

The Lord answered me and said, “Oh, this is My glory. This is the glory cloud that I showed My prophet Isaiah (Isa. 61:1-2). This is what I promised, that My glory will fill the whole earth.”

“Well,” I asked, “what is inside the cloud?”

“It is filled with the greatest miracles humans have ever seen. It is filled with healing for every disease, and a cure for every sickness. It is power to overcome sin and filth—to receive the truth and reject error, heresy and doctrines of demons. It is a full manifestation of My Spirit. It is the full anointing of Jesus Christ and more, much more.”

He showed me other things that I have no permission to speak at this time.

I saw people in this vision, just like before with the cloud of darkness. Many, many people were running into it and almost frolicking in it. It was like my first response—too bright to behold, and then I wanted to run into it. There were those who seemed to want to pull away from this glory cloud.

“Lord, who will enter into this great glory of God and enjoy this awesome power?” I asked.

“Those who have a pure heart and clean hands,” the Lord answered. “They are the ones who will escape the horrible vacuum of the evil, dark cloud and be consumed with My glory. I will require you to tell these things to My people at an appointed time.”

Now is that time! As I travel the world over, I see both of these manifestations happening. In fact, I see them beginning to intensify. Sometimes I say that both God and Satan are having a revival among men. We will now see more and more people running to each cloud, causing a great gulf or divide. Could this be the separation of sheep and goats, or the separation of wheat and tares?

I am not a conspiracy-theory person. I am not a fear-based preacher. I am not a prophet of doom. So what I am about to say is none of these. But, I am actually witnessing the spirits of the Antichrist, prepping the people of the earth (including many church goers) for the arrival of the Antichrist himself. I see demons (spirits of the Antichrist) going throughout all the earth. They are slowly re-programming the minds of men (doctrines of demons) to systematically disassemble the work of Christ and disengage the army of God.

You can avoid this, if you choose. If you choose not to, you will suffer the consequences. Please don’t do that!” —Dr. Mark Barclay (marktbarclay.com)

America’s Last Call: A Vision From Kenneth Hagin Sr.

From time to time I like to share visions and prophecies that men of old received from the Lord concerning the times we are living in now. I have shared this one before, but in the light of what has happened since the recent election and the hatred and race wars in our nation, I believe we are very close to the larger fulfillment of this prophecy.

The fear of the Lord comes on me each time I read such words that men spoke as they were moved by the Spirit of God. I am not frightened of such warnings because my heart is transparent before the Lord. I’ve allowed the searching light of His Word and Spirit to continually scan my life. I may miss it at times, but I’ve always endeavored to judge myself and be quick to repent and quick to forgive. I would encourage you to do the same so you don’t miss God’s plan for you in these end of days.

May these living words produce a consciousness of God and His holy fear in your life that gives birth to godly repentance, if necessary.

This vision was given decades ago. Think how much closer we are today to the more complete fulfillment of this vision. This is a great reminder and sober warning for all of us to heed and not just to admire the accuracy of it.

The Vision

As I looked to the west, I saw what appeared to be a tiny dot on the horizon. It was the only moving thing I could see. As I watched, it grew larger and came toward me, taking on shape and form. Soon I could see it was a horse. As it came closer I could see a man upon the horse. He was riding toward me at full speed. As he approached, I could see he held the reins of the horse’s bridle in his right hand, and in his left hand, high above his head, he held a scroll of paper.

When the horseman came to me, he pulled on the reins and stopped. I stood on his right. He passed the scroll from his left hand to his right hand and handed it to me. As I unrolled the scroll, which was a roll of paper 12 or 14 inches long, he said, “Take and read.” At the top of the page in big, bold, black print were the words “WAR AND DESTRUCTION.” I was struck dumb. He laid his right hand on my head and said, “Read, in the Name of Jesus Christ!”

I began to read what was written on the paper, and as the words instructed me, I looked and saw what I had just read about. First I read about thousands upon thousands of men in uniform. Then I looked and saw these men marching, wave after wave of soldiers marching as to war. I looked in the direction they were going, and as far as I could see there were thousands of men marching.

I turned to read the scroll again, and then looked and saw what I had just read about. I saw many women—old women with snowy white hair, middle-aged women, young women and teenagers. Some of the younger ones held babies in their arms. All of the women were bowed together in sorrow and were weeping profusely. Those who did not carry babies held their hands on their stomachs as they bowed over and wept. Tears flowed from their eyes like water.

I looked at the scroll again, and again I looked to see what I had read about. I saw the skyline of a large city. Looking closer, I saw the skyscrapers were burned-out hulls. Portions of the city lay in ruins. It was not written that just one city would be destroyed, burned and in ruins, but that there would be many such cities.

The scroll was written in the first person, and seemed as if Jesus Himself were speaking. I read: “America is receiving her last call. Some nations already have received their last call and never will receive another.”

Then, in larger print it said, “THE TIME OF THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND.” This statement was repeated four or five times. Jesus also said this was the last great revival. He went on to say: “All the gifts of the Spirit will be in operation in the church in these last days, and the church will do greater things than even the early church did. It will have greater power, signs and wonders than were recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.”

I believe in visions we have seen and experienced many healings, but we will now behold amazing miracles that have not been seen before. Jesus continued: “More and more miracles will be performed in the last days which are just ahead, for it is time for the gift of the working of miracles to be more in prominence. We now have entered into the era of the miraculous.

Many of my own people will not accept the moving of my Spirit, and will turn back and will not be ready to meet Me at my coming. Many will be deceived by false prophets and miracles of satanic origin. But follow the Word of God, the Spirit of God and Me, and you will not be deceived. I am gathering my own together and am preparing them, for the time is short.”

There were several other exhortations to watchfulness, to awaken and pray, and not to be deceived. Then I read, “As it was in the days of Noah, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be. As I spoke to Noah and said, ‘For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth

“So today I am speaking and giving America her last warning and call to repentance, and the time that is left is comparable to the last seven days of Noah’s time” (Gen. 7:4).

“Judgment is coming. Warn this generation, as did Noah his generation, for judgment is about to fall. And these sayings shall be fulfilled shortly, for I am coming soon.” Jesus repeated, “This is the last revival. I am preparing my people for my coming. Judgment is coming, but I will call my people away, even unto Myself, before the worst shall come. But be thou faithful; watch and pray, for the time of the end of all things is at hand.”

THE HIGH PLACE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER

Why do you think the early apostles chose not to wait on tables but instead gave themselves to prayer and the Word (Acts 6:4)? I mean, what was their main reason and motivation for this unbending commitment?

The common answer would be that they had to pray and study so they could stay in a place to minister to people. Of course, that’s a part of it, but a more careful study would reveal an even deeper reason. It was vital that they stay in the Spirit, hearing from God, and contending, not only to keep all that they had gained from Jesus, but to thwart off the enemy and make new advances in God. Isn’t this what Jesus taught and exemplified for them in His earthly ministry?

All ministers are to live a life of prayer and stay in the Word in order to continue to give birth to the things God wants to do.

Would the disciples have been multiplied in Jerusalem if the apostles had not given themselves to prayer and the Word (Acts 6)?

If the 120 had not waited on God would they have received such a miraculous and spectacular outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2)?

If Peter and John had not participated in the daily hour of prayer would the cripple man have been raised up at the gate Beautiful (Acts 3)?

If Peter and John had not reported to their own company and prayed with them after they were severely threatened and beaten, would they have been granted signs and wonders to continue preaching boldly (Acts 4)?

If Stephen had not prayed forgiveness for Saul would there ever have been an apostle Paul (Saul – Acts 7)?

If Ananias had not prayed would Saul have ever been raised up in the way he was (Acts 9)?

If Cornelius had not waited on God in prayer and fasting would he have received instructions from the angel of the Lord that led to the first outpouring among the Gentiles (Acts 10)?

If Peter had not been sensitive to go up on the housetop to pray while lunch was being prepared would there have been a wide and effectual door opened to the Gentiles at that time (Acts 10)?

If the church had not been in constant prayer for Peter would he have been delivered from prison (Acts 12)?

If the handful of prophets and teachers at Antioch didn’t take the time to minister to the Lord and fast would they have heard the direction of the Lord that changed the landscape of the early Church and gave birth to a missionary movement (Acts 13).

As it was in the beginning so it must be so now. We are living in the time of the end. There is a famine for the true word of the Lord. There’s been a great decline of the power of God. There is an apostasy of the Word and the Spirit. We are nearer to the Lord’s return than ever. If we as ministers are not examples in prayer how do we expect others we lead to pray?

It’s going to take a deeper place in prayer to give birth to the move of God He wants to bring in this hour — prayer that is done in tongues with very little English or understood language. It’s going to take deeper supplications and intercessions with groanings and travail. Carolyn uttered this phrase in prayer recently: “His anointing is with me and everywhere I see is bright, but I gotta go farther.”

When we pray mysteries from our hearts there’s so much power and light, but it takes faith to go there and pray this way. There is so much light to be carried into the present darkness. If we really want a move of God we must understand this element because every move of God starts like this and is maintained in the same way. Let there be a release and a birthing of these things. May God anoint us and many more to pray like this, for the day and the hour demand it.

Fasting will help us get there.

Abundant grace to you.

FROM MY HEART: THE LIFE OF A TRAVELING MINISTER

In this time and season of our lives God has us ministering primarily in churches. After being full time missionaries for many years and then being involved in a great revival for several years in Pensacola, Florida that assignment was difficult to accept. I wrestled with the Lord about it for a long time, but then yielded to it, becoming not only obedient but willing. Some Christians struggle with the obedience part, but my challenge has always been with being willing. As a result, we were not eating the good of the land, but struggled, living hand to mouth and week to week. We’ve seen things begin to turn around when we finally got willing.

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

Recently I started working on our latter part-of-the-year ministry itinerary. As I looked at my calendar I saw a lot of white space, meaning not too many confirmed meetings. In the traveling ministry there are spurts and there are lulls. It’s unsettling at times because we draw the larger portion of our finances from our road offerings, but throughout our many years of ministry both overseas and Stateside we’ve learned to trust the Lord. This is our life. When people choose to partner with us it really lightens the load. Most bonafide traveling ministries don’t live on a fixed salary like many pastors do.

As I went to the Lord in prayer concerning our second half of the year ministry schedule I asked Him to open new doors and ministry opportunities. We love to go to places we’ve never been because there’s not that familiarity factor that can sometimes be confining (think of Jesus’ own home town). My wife and I travel and minister together, and we want to be where the Lord wants us to be – whether with many or with few. We could hustle and fill our own calendar, but it’s so much better when the Lord orchestrates it.

Before the sun had set on this particular day, a pastor I’ve never heard of or met, messaged me and invited me to come to his church, which is a few states away from us. Then to top it off, he connected me with a friend of his that sets up other meetings for guest ministers that come to his area. I never asked him for one thing. He initiated it all. Before the week was over my wife and I had nearly one month’s worth of meetings in several churches in two different states. Praise God! We love when the Lord moves like that in answer to prayer. He is faithful. When God orchestrates meetings and connections like this, it is sweet, and it whets your appetite for more of His Divine leadings.

HOME

There are many things to attend to at home when we return from long road trips. There are affairs to settle and things to take care of, but we try to keep the main thing, the main thing. Prayer and the Word is the main thing. Once we lose that we’re ineffective.

In our small traveling ministry my wife and I wear most of the major hats including preaching, writing, budgeting, travel planning and scheduling, Web and PR/marketing strategy, and needless to say, most of the grunt work. We do outsource some of our work to 2-3 different people – mostly the technical kind of work. It is just challenging to carve out the time to really learn that aspect without other areas suffering lack, especially the spiritual. 

As an example of our home life, after being on the road pretty consistently for the last two months I returned home and watched and cared for my aged Mom for an entire week while my bother and sister-in-law took a vacation. Carolyn had to spend some time in the ministry office and catch up on our finances – make bank deposits, pay bills, receipt our donors, work on our newsletter,  etc. There was laundry to do, a house to clean, a car to maintenance, etc. – just your normal run-of-the-mill stuff.

At home is where I do most of my writing because it’s easier to focus. I continue to write blogs and articles weekly while regularly working on our travel schedule and corresponding with ministers and friends – some who look to us for fatherly counsel and encouragement, or many times just need a listening ear. We are not compensated for our writing. I’ve had friends ask me if Charisma magazine pays me for writing a weekly blog. The short answer is no, but they do give me a platform, which the Lord opened up for me. It’s an honor to do what we do full time, and we never want to take that for granted. But our agreement with the Lord is this: We pray, You pay. This is Your doing, not ours. You called us and sent us, not we. It really is that simple, and the Lord provides.

INVITATIONS TO CHURCHES

It’s much easier to receive invitations to minister than it is to initiate them. The traveling ministry is quite unique and delicate in this regard. Personally, it feels as though the motives of your heart are constantly under scrutiny.

A dear pastor friend of mine told me that he can tell pretty quickly if guest ministers are at his church for an offering, or to promote their own vision and ministry, or if they are really there with a true heart to minister to the people. One day when another nearby pastor called and offered to share his guest speaker with him, my friend obliged. After the service one or two ladies from the church cooked a big meal for the minister and his wife to eat, but they declined, telling them they needed to go. They got their offering and went on their way. Not good ethics as an unspoken sour taste was left in the mouth of those ladies and that pastor.

I have another good pastor friend who had a guest evangelist in his church one time who requested to receive his own offering. He regrets giving him that privilege as this evangelist milked the people and walked away with a very large offering. I don’t believe most ministers act this way, but a few bad apples puts that sour taste in many pastors’ mouths. Additionally, pastors are inundated with requests to help fund projects, programs, and schedule guest speakers. That can get old and wear someone down in a hurry. We try to be sensitive to that sort of thing. Carolyn and I are relational people. We love local pastors and churches as well as many missionaries around the world and the nations they serve.

We continue to work on our end of the year calendar and are starting to get into the first half of our 2018 itinerary. Let us know if you’d like us to come to your area. We’re sorry to say that we cannot honor all overseas invitations unless expenses are covered, or at least, equally shared. We trust you understand.

THANK YOU

Finally, we’d like to thank every church and individual who sows into our ministry. We’d like to thank the churches who have invited us to minister to their people over the years and supported us as missionaries. We’d like to thank missionaries and international  hosts who have invited us to their nations. We count it an honor to carry the Word of the Lord and to impart His Spirit and fire to those He sends us to. Our journey has always been marked with specific miracles and healings as well as supernatural moves of the Holy Spirit. The Lord continues to frequently give us a word of wisdom for nearly every church and place we go to, often with the demonstration of the Spirit.

Thank you for reading this far and for allowing us to share our hearts with you and what we do. I felt it was necessary for the many followers we have to understand what we do. Thank you for being a part of our lives and for all your love, prayers, and financial support.

NOTE: August is a vacation month for many Christians and churches, and next to the Christmas holidays, is one of our most challenging times financially. If our articles and/or this blog have been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider sowing a financial seed this month into our ministry to help us, or better yet, becoming a monthly partner? Thank you! 

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WHEN YOU’RE STRIPPED OF EVERYTHING BUT STILL HAPPY

This is truly a story for the heart, so you may want to read it in a place where you are free to cry.

There was a song written by Neil Young that I used to love to hear as a young man. Some of you in my age group may remember it as well. It’s lyrics always touched me deeply.

Old man take a look at my life

I’m a lot like you were

I need someone to love me

The whole day through

Ah, one look in my eyes

And you can tell that’s true.

Now as an older man, caring for my aged parents in the final sunset of their lives, making a minor change to the lyrics seems more appropriate and meaningful. I know my dad would sing it this way:

Young man take a look at my life

I’m a lot like you’ll be

I need someone to love me

The whole day through

Ah, one look in my eyes

And you can tell that’s true.

FAMILY HISTORY AND HARD TIMES

Like so many in their middle years I am helping to care for my aged parents. In the past year I have gotten to know a side of my parents I never knew before. You see, they’ve been stripped of all that was familiar and predictable in their lives. My dad has said to me repeatedly that he feels like a bird in a cage. They are now living with my brother and sister-in-law. With their mobility now limited, they spend most of their days in the house.

Additionally, my dad has become my mom’s caregiver, cooking for her and administering insulin for her diabetes through a needle four times a day. He is doing all this while having to deal with his own health issues, having been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, which includes poor circulation and shortness of breath. Over the past year he has become very tired caring for my mother, experiencing a loss of his normally healthy appetite and taking longer naps during the day.

When I observe my parents today my mind reflects back on the entirety of their lives, especially their younger and stronger years—how hard they worked, coming over as immigrants from Portugal and pioneering a new life on foreign soil. They learned a new culture, a new language, and a completely new way of life in their mid-30’s with two young boys to care for. They’ve spoken to me often of those early years of struggle and disappointments.

My dad is a fighter. He had to fight for my mom who was often taken advantage of by relatives whom we lived with in our first year here. He had to fight for my brother and me, who were often denied privileges that our American-born cousins had.

For example, my parents tell the story of having our cousin’s mini-go-cart hidden from us so we wouldn’t play with it any more. You see, during our first year in America my parents had nothing. They lived with my dad’s parents in a three-story house that my uncle and aunt owned. My dad is a very proud man—in mostly a good way. In order to compensate for our lack, he worked sometimes 16 hours a day, losing weight and gaining stress all along the way. He made sure my brother and I got our own mini-go-cart and a new bicycle to boot. He wanted to gain the upper hand over his selfish relatives and prove to them he could give his kids good gifts, too.

The first few months in the new land were brutal. Our finances were slim. As a young husband and father, I’m sure my dad had moments when he doubted his ability to provide for his family, and wondered if he’d made the right decision to migrate to America. I know my mom reminded him regularly that it was his decision, and it was his side of the family who were eager for him to come, but now were singing a different tune.

I’m sure this caused my dad to question his decision many times, but like the fighter that he is, he just kept plowing on ahead. But soon his hard work paid off, and with my mom also landing a job in one of the local jewelry factories, they were able to purchase their first house at the end of that first year.

THE GIVING TREE AND REAL LOVE

This all reminds me of a great story heart-warming story told in a wonderfully illustrated book written by Shel Silverstein called, The Giving Tree. The book describes the relationship between a family apple tree and a young boy. The tree is able to talk, and throughout the boy’s life the tree refers to him as “boy”.

The tree provided a place for the boy to climb and eat its fruit and swing from its branches. In his adolescence the boy wanted money, so the tree suggests he sell his apples. As a young adult the boy wanted a house, so the tree suggests he cut branches to build his house. Finally, in middle age, the boy wants a boat, so the tree suggests he use the tree’s trunk, leaving only a stump. Each time the tree gave to the boy, the text said, “And the tree was happy.”

This is where the aged people in our society come back into view, especially those dear loved ones in our lives, whom we care for so deeply. In the final pages of the aforementioned book, the boy sits near the tree as an old man. The tree says he has nothing left to give. The boy who was now an old man said he only wanted “a quiet place to sit and rest.” The book ended with, “And the tree was happy.”

In the past year I’ve begun to observe and pay attention to my parents more closely. I’ve often witnessed them, especially my dad, weep the deep weeping of a broken man. I know he feels like that tree. He’s been stripped of everything. He’s become a stump. He’s a bird in a cage watching his old tattered feathers fall off one by one. I’ve prayed over him and my mom many times, at times embracing them, hugging and kissing them, and pouring out my heart to the Lord for them because I know it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for them. In this latter season of their lives, I’ve truly become a pastor to them and have learned so much about human nature and the cycles and seasons of life. It is painful to watch your parents age, but there is a joy and peace in it if you’ll learn to see it through the Father’s eternal eyes.

When my brother and his wife have gone away for well deserved breaks, I’ve spent an entire week and some weekends with my parents. As I just sat with them and communed heart to heart with them, I noticed something. Their bodies would respond to my love. They would sleep better. They would eat better. They would feel better emotionally. The Lord was teaching me something precious. Much of what most of our elderly citizens need is just love—to be heard, to share their hearts, to tell their stories, to have their necks squeezed and their cheeks kissed.

The other day when I took my dad in for a doctor’s appointment he confessed to me secret sins and youthful lusts from his past life. I assured him that Jesus had forgiven him of all of it, that he was now born again and God would not hold his sins against him no matter how serious his sins were at the time he committed them. As I listened to him rehash his past sins I began to realize that he was preparing his own heart for eternity—making sure all was confessed and cleansed, and that another trustworthy human being, whom he knew loved him deeply, was there to be a witness.

He also shared with me the demands put on him by my dependent mom. His concern was that she didn’t realize how weak and frail he himself was getting, and he wondered how much longer he could care for her, and how she would fare if he died first. But he was committed to her, in sickness and in health, by life and by death. He made the decision long ago that he would go to his grave as a tree stump, stripped to the bone of all he had to give.

In that moment of heart to heart communication with my Dad, I knew what real love looked like, and it warmed my heart. For me life and success is no longer the fame of ministry, money or some fleeting definition of success. It is not in the degrees we’ve earned, the social status we’ve achieved or the material things we own. Our lives are simply summed up in how well we’ve loved.

Real love is allowing yourself to be stripped of your limbs, your branches, and all the fruit you’ve borne and become a stump for the cause of others and finally being able to say,

“And the tree was happy.”

WANTED: HEARTS THAT CARE

(Here’s another account of a faithful witness who works among the most suffering and needy people in America. She is calling for more workers to go into the harvest fields.)

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “ (Mt. 25:34-36)

THE LOST LAODICEAN CHURCH

I was sent to the USA by the Lord to serve in 2005. I came to a wealthy town in MO on the outskirts of Kansas City. The poverty that was mostly hidden was savage. I saw the terrible spiritual state of people, and how they needed God’s love so much. God showed me people, mostly women, hidden behind closed doors, their blinds closed, windows tightly shut in a prison of life’s making. Such hurt, lostness, rejection…everything. And who was going to knock on their doors and show them the love of Jesus, and ask what they could do for them?

A huge megachurch in my area stands proudly on top of a hill with a million dollar gymnasium, a Starbucks cafe, and a $70,000 singing Christmas tree, with all the trappings to entertain people, if only they can afford to attend. Meanwhile, there are women sleeping in cars with their little children, cripples living in poor run-down apartments with no bed to lie on, just hard floors… and I could go on and on.

I used to deliver 70 trays of bread and cakes each week to the hungry – especially in one apartment block where people were desperate for help and for God’s love. There are many addicts in need of help, wives beaten by desperate husbands, and who knows what was happening to their children — all hiding behind closed doors.

The effect of me just knocking on the door and seeing the haunted, desperately pained faces smile when the simple words, “God loves you, and I am here to see if there is anything I can do to help you” were spoken was enough to break your heart. The gift of a loaf of bread and a cake were probably the first kind gesture they’ve had in years. Some of those dark and dank apartments smelled like an animal cage — a result of people having locked themselves up in there for years and living day after day in those conditions.

I looked around that town, and I saw only one pastor (a cripple himself) and his precious wife out there bent on helping the needy, when they themselves had so little, and worked from an old car and their little church, which was a rented office. People who called themselves Christians had yard sales, some of their stuff given away — like “good-as-new” expensive furniture that they were discarding, with “stuff” bulging from their big expensive homes, yet there were people living in their area in desperate need of help that they simply didn’t want to know about.

Although it was bit overwhelming, I did all I could. I had a pantry, and clothes closet, and took in people who wanted to get their lives in order (God’s way). I did what I could, but it broke my heart to see such a prideful, selfish “me” attitude wherever I went, and I have often wondered if any one of those stinky, dirty lost souls had wandered into one of these high falutin self-appointed churches, what the reaction would be. God created each and every one of them just the same and loves them just as much, and I am sure it grieves Him to see these people dying in their sins, not knowing the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

I live in North Carolina now, and do what I can, when and where I can, often simply going to Walmart to pray for people and lay hands on them to heal them. But there are countless numbers of people behind closed doors that are drugging and drinking themselves to death. As Jesus said, “The harvest is ripe, but the workers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest will send workers.” And it’s not money, but hearts that care, that are needed. The heart of Jesus, and His Holy Spirit is what is needed.

It is the cross of Christ that He died on at Passover, and the death of self we died with Him, so that life may come from it, that needs to be awakened in Christians everywhere. We must share this resurrection life of Christ with others that they might live also. As far as these luxurious homes and lifestyles are concerned, I remind those who read this of the words of Paul himself.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:8).

I work with kid-gloves walking on eggshells to bring the love of God to families that have lived and known only violence and addiction to alcohol and drugs.  There is so much dysfunction and pain in this country that needs addressing, and so few who will “go” in the name of the Lord to address this terrible affliction.

The kids of today are lost because their parents are lost. How can the parents guide the poor children if they do not have the godly wisdom that is needed to teach them God’s ways? And as the church becomes weaker and weaker, so Satan’s strongholds become stronger and stronger, and more and more vocal. There truly is a great departure from the faith in the church today as Paul prophesied (1 Tim. 4:1), and for the most part, Jesus’ warnings go unheard and unheeded. Apart from a small remnant, a large portion of the Church in America are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, and know not the truth of God’s Word. It’s high time for many of our church members to humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways, repent earnestly, and seek God’s face and plan.

May God give us hearts that care and is followed by corresponding actions.

View short inspirational video:

Change begins when we start to care.

 

A CONFUSED CULTURE AND THE AMERICAN CHURCH OF THE FUTURE

(This is a testimony and a personal eyewitness of what is going on in a sector of the Church today. Could we see more of this in the near future? And are we ready to deal and minister to these kind of people?)

Our culture today is raising the most gender-confused generation this country has ever known. Heterosexual today? You can be homosexual tomorrow. The next day? Bi, or maybe trans. It’s a smorgasbord of poison that is rotting people’s souls.

This year alone, we here at ____________, have dealt with a teenage girl beginning a same-sex relationship as well as three girls cutting themselves and a fifteen year old who had a baby. (She assured me just months before that she and her boyfriend weren’t sexually active. When did they start? The day after we spoke?) Last year, it was a twenty-something who ‘became’ a man.

I’ve been a crossing guard for the city of ____________ for fifteen years. Last year, I noticed a fifth grade girl slowly changing in dress and mannerisms. Now I hear she thinks she’s a boy and is going by another name. This year there’s a fourth grade boy who constantly dresses like a girl. My heart breaks for him. But his parents are lesbians and I guess confused parents produce confused children.

If you need some good news right about now, the three teens we took to the ____________ last year are still sticking to their pledge to remain sexually pure. Some get it. Some don’t. Always been that way. Always will. But we keep preaching.

I recently watched a video of a transgendered man who came to faith in Christ. As he gave his testimony, I couldn’t help noticing how strange he looked. Sort of like a man/woman hybrid. I also thought this might be what the Church of the future will look like. To those praying for revival, are you ready for guys like this to darken the door of your church?

It’ll be a stretch, I’ll admit, but don’t newly converted sinners often come with baggage? We tell people to come as they are, and if this is how they are, then this is how they’ll come. Besides, how often can the newly converted make amends for the mistakes of the past? Many live with the results of their sin: children from one night stands, relationships with ex-spouses and children that are too far gone to be reconciled, bodies sick from destructive habits, time behind bars, etc. Yet we know that if the heart has turned to the Lord, true repentance brings forgiveness of sin and new life in Christ.

The same is true with the transgendered. They might not be able to undo what they’ve done to their bodies, but do we believe the Lord can undo what they’ve done to their souls? Or do we believe the transgendered must revert to his/her gender of birth in order to be really saved? Just sayin’. And those of us who lived through the ’60s thought things couldn’t get any worse. Surprise! But I refuse to believe anyone is outside the grasp of God’s grace or that the Blood of Jesus is powerless against certain sins. It’s what helps me get through the day.

Please pray these kids would find their identity in Christ; that they would know Him and be inspired to discover what life in Christ is all about; that they would realize that in Him they’ll find the confidence to live in this world without bowing to the deceitful pressures of the world. No more confusion as to who they are or who they were meant to be. — A faithful witness