President Trump: Utilize don’t idolize.

Immediately, Trump fans may be put off by the title.  I am not saying don’t love Donald Trump.  I love my brother.  I pray for him.  I am outraged by the vileness of the left toward—not just our president—but his wife and children.   We need to extend love and respect to the man.

When I say utilize, I am not speaking of Donald Trump the man—I am speaking of the presidency of Donald Trump.  I am talking about seizing this moment when power is being used for the good of the nation, and gives the church new freedom to preach the Gospel.

Utilize means: use, make use of, put to use, employ, avail oneself of, bring/press into service, bring into play, deploy, draw on, exploit, harness.  My question to the American church is simple: Are we utilizing his presidency?

The enemies of the church utilized Obama’s time in power to greatly expand their operations…and most notably, create a widespread cultural shaming of Christians.  Under Obama there was outright hostility toward the church’s freedom of speech and religion.  Schools shut down Christians groups.  Prayer was wiped out in many public events.  An amazing amount was done that goes against our basic beliefs.

Some believers dislike Trump because they believe he limits the Gospel.  In fact, the opposite may be true.  Military chaplains can again talk about Christ, Christian clubs can again meet on campus, permits for Christian events are easier to obtain, and even social media has begun to remove the muzzle on Christians.

The newfound hatred for the Gospel blossomed under Obama not Trump.  The railing you hearing right now is because the open season on the church is over.

But what are we as Christians doing with the fact that jobs are coming back—are we investing in soul winning?  Now that we have more freedom to witness are we reaching out?  Now that the oppressive restraints are being successfully challenged in court, and the tide is turning toward more religious freedom, are we harnessing the moment?

On the other hand, we must not idolize Trump.  He is not our provider—God is.  We cannot devolve into a cult following where Trump can do no wrong.  We can’t be entertained by his gotcha tweets (a personal weakness of mine) and bravado.  We have to see the big picture.  Respect him, admire him but never forget the urgency of the time.  You have work to do.

True prophets speak truth to power.  If our president reverses course and becomes an enemy of the Gospel I will openly oppose him.  How can I not?

At best, Trump will be in office another 7 years.  That’s not a long time.  In fact, it could only be 3 more years.  In that time, we must discredit the virus the nation contracted from God-hating leftist elites. If we do not, then brace yourself for the most vicious leftist backlash we have ever known.

The Christians who detest Trump and those who idolize him share this danger—missing the hour of our visitation.  You can miss it by being so prideful you can’t accept the fact that God is working through Trump.   Or, you can miss it by sitting around being enamored by his every move instead of getting to work.

You can sum up the books of Ezra and Nehemiah very simply: God has opened an amazing door to restore Israel but too many Israelites couldn’t see it.  Jesus said,  “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”-John 9:4.

Christians who hate Trump

They are the Christians who hate Trump.  Let’s call it for what it is: hate.  It is their hate—strange for professed Christians—that dulls their ability to see the inaccuracy of their comments and their myopic views.

One sanctimonious ranting Christian said, “there’s nothing Biblical about Trump.”  Actually, there’s nothing Biblical about that statement.  The prophet Daniel served Nebuchadnezzar.  Daniel recognized the role a pagan king played in God’s unfolding drama.  The church’s ability to work with Trump is totally Biblical.

Now I must clarify, lest I incur the wrath of Trump supporters.  I am not calling Trump a pagan king—I’m sure he much more moral than his enemies know—I am saying that if Daniel could work with Nebbie, how much more we can work with the Don.

I tried hard to figure out believers who hate Trump.  Our side won a long overdue and miraculous victory and they choose to aid and abet the other side.  Is it because their favorite “Christian” didn’t win and they are sour grapes?

And why didn’t these conservative Christians hold Reagan to the same standard?  They adored him even while Nancy was studying horoscopes in the White House.

They didn’t require any president to be a squeaky clean pastor until Trump.

Yeah his tweets can be a bit much.  And okay, president Trump is not as smooth as Reagan…but, maybe we don’t need smooth right now.

But there is something else that is really strange, (hypocritical is more like it) why didn’t these guardians of morality speak out against Obama?  T.D. Jakes even attacked Franklin Graham for questioning Obama’s Christian Faith.  Told him not to judge a brother.  Hold that thought as we explore another question…

How could you not question Obama’s Christianity?  Obama begged the question by dropping the Christian card whenever it suited him (something Trump never does).   Meanwhile, Barack fought for same sex marriage, late term abortion, and was the most Biblically hostile president in our history.

Click on this link to see the list of his acts of hostility toward Christians   https://wp.me/p1vrzp-3DQ  

Back to Jakes.  So why do so many Christian leaders—who said it was wrong to judge Obama—judge Trump?

Trump is not a pastor.  He is a businessman who loves America.  As far as his faith?  I am not qualified to determine his spiritual depth since I’ve never had the chance to meet the man.

“He is like Hitler and the church is being fooled” said another comment.  Please remove your tinfoil hats and listen.  Hitler never had 98% of the media against him.  Trump has never called for a new constitution.  Hitler never tried to protect Israel.  I could go on and on.

Maybe if Trump had been the first president to address the march for life.  Maybe if he had chosen an on fire born-again vice president.  Maybe if he has rescinded executive orders that banned federal funds from Christian organizations.  Maybe if he overruled the Johnson Amendment that banned the free speech of pastors.  Maybe if he had moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem.  Maybe if he had put someone on the Supreme Court who helped Christian bakers practice freedom of religion.  Maybe then you would support him.  Oh wait…he did all that.

God has done a miracle and the enemy wants to make short work of the amazing breakthroughs we are witnessing by dividing the church.  Instead of being a religious outlier you should be thanking God, praying, supporting the president, and voting.

God is selecting people and working in them for unmatched power to attack evil.

Satan is flooding the world with evil while Christians have grown passive.  Believers are ignorant of what God expects them to do to stand against the torrent of wickedness.

Shallow, flattering teaching is the perfect greenhouse gas.  It’s fumes dull reality. It kills natural urgency.  Taking a stand becomes a distant fantasy.

Satan has sold the church fool’s gold.  Instead of taking up weapons mighty to the tearing down of strongholds, we pursue money, cheap grace, and celebrity.

Our faith has grown flabby. We don’t know our weapons.  We don’t know our authority.  We don’t know our marching orders.  We don’t know what to say to this generation.  Most of all, we are ignorant about what is right around the corner.

Peter recognized when government crossed the line.  Acts 4: 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

He also understood what to do when government tries to ban the Gospel: “Acts 5: 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

They are coming after your freedom.  They will force feed your children the Antichrist agenda. That is…unless we wake up to our purpose and destiny.   I am calling you out for special power in this hour.

If you are finally ready, then do these things:

1. You must be filled or refilled with the Holy Spirit.  You must have fire, or you must have fresh fire.   The courage to face the onslaught of hatred that will be thrown at you can never be met by human power.  To say what you need to say, to obey when you need to obey can’t come from human motivation.  You must have the same Spirit that fueled world-changing saints in all times. God never meant for anyone to preach or lead without a clear baptism of the Holy Spirit.

2. You must flow in signs and wonders.  Our culture is beyond words.  They must see proof of the power of God.  God means for you to provide that proof.  The authority you need won’t come cheaply or instantly.  (Read my blog on the price of God’s miracle working power https://wp.me/p1vrzp-53e

3. Get ready to do something for God that will boggle your mind.  God is selecting people and working in them for unmatched power to attack evil.  Habakkuk 1: 5 “Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.”

He is creating people who can turn the tide of wickedness.  He doesn’t care about your age or your education.  He searches for someone who is travailing over the evil and will die without power and purpose.  They want to be in the fight—they want to be in the thick of it.  Isaiah 6: 8 says, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

4. Prepare to pray in a way you never imagined.  God is pulling you out of the damaged religious crowd into special intimacy with him.  You are not going to pray like before.  E.M Bounds said, “To say prayers in a decent, delicate way is not heavy work. But to pray really, to pray till hell feels the ponderous stroke, to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens-this is hard work, but it is God’s work, and man’s best labor.”

What do all of these things I am asking you to do have in common?  Every one of them involves a leap out of dead church life.  They are a courageous declaration of war on the godless ideologies that are destroying our nation.  They are an irrevocable decision to be in the middle of God’s greatest acts in history.

It is time for a new breed of Christian warrior

Day after day, I have written the burden of the Lord.  Often, the words have been directed at leaders.  The messages have targeted shallowness, compromise and hypocrisy.  They have accused leaders of gross negligence in the face of Satan’s assault on the church and the nation.

This time the message is for faithful warriors of God.  Something is burning within my soul.  Everything within me cries IT IS TIME FOR A NEW BREED OF CHRISTIAN WARRIOR.

Evil will soon feel their wrath and power.

Who are these people and what do they look like?  The Bible says God knows those who are His.  He knows who has remained true.  He knows who has been rejected for refusing to conform to the counterfeits.  God made them misfits to fit into a special order.

Jehovah has reserved hidden wisdom for them.  Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.”  In this message I want to encourage you and fire you up for the secret work of Jesus in this hour.

A visit to the throne of God

You want to become a part of this new breed?  You must begin with a visit to the throne of God.  It is here…and only here, that you can be equipped for the amazing task ahead.  Not only is this visit possible it is mandatory—it is scriptural.

Ephesians 2: 6 says “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”

What do you see from this vantage point?  You see that Satan has as much chance against God as an amoeba has surviving on the surface of the sun.  But what else do you see?

You see that all the vile railings of our culture are not—in any way—a threat to the purposes of the almighty.  He knows the hollow arguments of the haters.  He is not moved by the mental monopoly of fake news and leftist social media.  He saw it all coming and prepared the response.

The Lord of the universe is not poor.  He has pooled untold wealth to transfer it into the hands of trusted, proven, purified vessels whose only passion is to obey.  Jesus saw the future and uttered an explosive prayer: PRAY THE LORD OF THE HARVEST TO SEND WORKERS INTO THE HARVEST.

Notice He did not say ministers, or celebrities.  He said workers.  Many want the titles, attention, and rewards…but they don’t want to do the work.  A special core is rising that burns white hot with passion win lost souls and heal the sick.  They are hidden now but soon they will shine like the sun.

Learning to ask for big and mighty things.

Those who are called to this new breed of spiritual warfare will ask and receive things that prior generations could not imagine.  Simply put, we are talking about awesome things!

To become the askers, they need to be, they will be tested severely in order to come forth as gold.  Their claims will not be elementary claims for personal pleasure but for massive changes in the culture.  They will exploit demons, they will strip principalities of power and authority.

Learn the truth of the slingshot. 

They will be hurt, wounded and brought to the brink of despair before their breakthrough.  In their pain and agony, they will cry out why—why am I being pulled away from my promise?  Why does each day take me further and further away from what you promised me?

God is deliberately building up the tension—the frustration—the fire to act…and at just the right moment, He will release you.

I don’t need to ask if you are a part of this new breed of warrior—nothing else explains you.

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It will start happening right away.

In a private dialogue, the Pope is understood to have said to Juan Carlos Cruz—a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests— “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter.  God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.  The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

Earlier, the Pope made news for saying there was no hell.  Later, the Catholic Church denied he ever said this but no denial has come from the Pope himself.

These statements are a blatant denial of the Bible.  That is nothing new.  In fact, we are about to see a massive push by ministers to abandon the Bible.  How could this be happening?

It began subtly.  A popular pastor would dodge questions on talk shows about hell, or Jesus being the only way to salvation.  They artfully defended their dodge by saying they were trying to reach a wider audience.

The trend did not stop there.  Pastor Andy Stanley, who leads 30,000 people in Atlanta, took it to the next level by teaching that the Bible should not be used in soul winning because the Bible while inerrant, is not sufficient.  He insists that since old Testament stories are so hard to take literally our faith should be based more on the Resurrection of Jesus.  But Jesus Himself said, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” — Luke 16: 31

Bible abandonment is also widespread in Spirit-filled churches where prophetic words have replaced Bible teaching.  They infer that we should trust the Holy Spirit over the Bible—which is an insane false dichotomy.  One spirit-filled Pastor even said: “This old book is divisive; I am only going to trust the Holy Spirit.”

What is causing this betrayal of the Bible?  The answer is, the global, sexual, and social justice revolution.  A tidal wave ostracizes the doctrine on hell, moral purity and Jesus as the savior of the world.  Ministers find the pull to compromise irresistible.

To shy away from truth is the worst thing the church can do right now.  There is still a window of opportunity for moral awakening…but that window is closing.  Here is what you should do:

First, take your stand for Jesus and the power of the Word of God.  2 Timothy 3:5 says, “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”  Neither your loyalty, nor your money should be going to religious businesses that attack the Bible.  Taking your stand means to get out of churches that are ashamed of the Bible. This is not a case of being judgmental or holier-than-thou, it is a matter of obeying the word of God.

Next, do not give into fear.  The Bible isn’t going anywhere:

  Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over My word to fulfill it.”

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Finally, I must make these parting points.

Satan has done a masterwork sidelining the church as he plunges the earth into darkness.  Now, you can believe there is nothing we can do about it—or you can join the amazing remnant that God has foreordained for this hour—a remnant that will be armed with special power to convict sinners, and work miracles in the mighty name of Jesus.

You can accept that America is too far gone but I see Americans struggling to hear the truth—even the hard verses in the Bible.  We saw this in Las Vegas!  Those who love the Bible need to wake up and let God use them to keep this Word for the next generation.

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” -Jude 3,4   The Bible tells us we must take up the defense of the Word of God that was first delivered to the saints.  Let’s obey God.

 

Backslidden in the pulpit

Paul wrote his last letter to his spiritual son Timothy.  One warning stands out: The worst enemy Timothy will ever face is not devils, Roman tyrants, or barbarians.  It will be preachers who are backslidden in the pulpit.

2 Timothy 4: 3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

Here it is again in the Living Translation: “For there is going to come a time when people won’t listen to the truth but will go around looking for teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. They won’t listen to what the Bible says but will blithely follow their own misguided ideas.”

These preachers overrun the church today.  They are created by audiences with sensual desires.  They are the toast of a generation that never reads their Bibles.  They are the product of churches gone wild.

Why am I writing this?  The answer is in the prelude to Paul’s warning to Timothy in this final letter.  2 Timothy 4:1 says, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

These firm but loving words, are solemnly given.  Timothy you will stand before Christ.  He will judge fake preachers with great wrath and burn up their works.  Don’t be one of them.  Fight them.  Rebuke whenever it is needed.  Instruct with patience as often as is needed.  Don’t just do it when you feel like it.  Prove that you are one of the real ones.

 

But Mario, what real harm are these ministers doing?  More than anything or anyone else is doing to the church.  More than you can possible imagine.  They are not merely doing more harm than good—they are doing all harm, and no good.

Preachers who are backslidden in the pulpit are a clear and present danger to the church and to themselves.  Their messages create mutants—a huge number of Christian preemies—born in congenital compromise.  Lacking the essential nutrients to start a life with Christ as Lord.

How else do you think we lost marriage, gained late-term abortion, and headed down the path of Sodom and Gomorrah?  While the backslidden preacher didn’t cause our flood of immorality—they kept the army of God from rising up to stop it.

Because they are backslidden in the pulpit, churches are hostile to true saints.  The remnant of God is grieved.  They cry tears of sorrow and disbelief at what is pawned off as vessels of God.  They struggle to find a church with even a hint of reverence or the presence of God.

To their shame, they, and their followers, have discouraged sincere young preachers.

Do you see any difference between the following situations?

-Urban youth see the lifestyle of drug dealers and pimps and ask “what’s the use of flipping burgers for minimum wage?”

-Young preachers see the tricks, the flamboyance, and easy money of carnal preaching while they struggle to get partners for a righteous cause.

Lost in all of this is the definition of a real man and woman of God.  Let me remind you with these words from E.M. Bounds:

“The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self–emptying faith and a self–consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God.”

I wrote this in direct obedience to God.  Judgement is coming on preachers who are backslidden in the pulpit.  Maybe Jesus can use this to save you before it’s too late.

I wrote this because we need to shout it from the rooftops that God will bless those who go after Him with a clean heart.  He will give them untold provision and power.  He will raise them up in true promotion.  He can still change the world through pure hearts and broken vessels.

THE WAR ON REPENTANCE

Destroying America is one of Satan’s highest priorities.  The thought of a post-American world makes him giddy with delight. He can’t plunge the earth into utter darkness while the United States is a world power.  That’s why he’s labored so tediously, and forcefully to bring down our nation.

His great obstacle is the praying church.  They stop him dead in his tracks.

His only hope is to fool the the church into defeating itself.  Satan has studied the Bible and the church for millennia.  He knows our Achilles heel.  He finally found the right tactic: bury the doctrine of repentance.  He used cheap grace to do it.

The following are two quotes on cheap grace.  One is from Joseph Prince and the other is from Detrick Bonhoeffer. They are direct quotes.  They reveal a startling contrast.

Joseph Prince said, “His grace is cheapened when you think that He has only forgiven you of your sins up to the time you got saved, and after that point, you have to depend on your confession of sins to be forgiven. God’s forgiveness is not given in installments.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

The first is saying we cheapen grace by repenting.   The second is saying we cheapen grace by not repenting. 

Which one do you believe?  I believe Bonhoeffer who—by the Grace of God—faced down Hitler.  Actually, there’s no choice…Jesus not only taught us to repent, He taught us to do it daily.

In Luke 11, Jesus said, “when you pray.”  How often are we supposed to pray?  Everyday.   What is in that prayer? : “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” That is repentance.

The war on repentance—and the cheap grace that started the war—is vividly portrayed in 1 Corinthians 5.  A sin in the church was so outrageous, even the pagans had never heard of it:  A man had taken his mother as his wife.

Even though it brought shame on the church, the leaders did not want to correct this man.  They declared war on repentance.

Was it because he was a popular personality? 

Matthew Henry said, “He might be a man of great eloquence, of deep science, and for this reason very greatly esteemed, and followed, and cried up, by many among them. They were proud that they had such a leader. Instead of mourning for his fall, and their own reproach upon his account, and renouncing him and removing him from the society, they continued to applaud him and pride themselves in him.”

Do you really think the American Church is any less guilty of covering sin in order to protect a celebrity?  Who among us has not heard of rampant immorality?  Who among us has not seen popular leaders caught in gross sin, given a slap in the wrist and quickly returned to their pulpit?   The justification is a mantra that has become so tiresome: “grace covers all of this, I don’t need to repent.”

There are many godly men and women in ministry in America.  But there is also a club of leaders who cover for one another’s sins.  They trade pulpits, they live in regal splendor, and they protect their people from the rightful demands of God.

Paul was horrified by the wicked behavior of the leaders in Corinth.  It had trashed their reputation in the city.  Paul was so grieved that he ordered them to turn the man over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his soul might be saved.

Where are the men and women of God today who are horrified by unfettered carnality?   Where is the pastor who is responsible for the young man who currently preaches using liberal portions of obscene language boasting of his deliverance from “Evangelical Christianity?”

Paul brought such swift and supernatural correction that it produced godly sorrow.  And you know what… he was glad, for their sorrow produced life.  In 2 Corinthians 7:9 he said, “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.”  How can anyone read that and say  we never need to repent?

Their war on repentance is more evil and dangerous than you know. They have disarmed a truth that is central to saving our nation.  They have done it to control people and hold on to power that all rightfully belongs to Jesus.   It is so dangerous that God’s hand must expose this falsehood.  He must bring down strongholds of counterfeit Christianity, and restore biblical authority.

But something good will come of it.  Look for nobodies to step up in awesome power like Paul.  They will rebuke this insane foolishness and release the soldiers of Christ to true authority and levels of power we have not seen.

Small churches will be chosen to turn the tide.  Vessels too humble to image promotion will indeed be promoted.

Nevertheless, God has stopped winking at the war on repentance.  He will punish those who kept the church from “turning from their wicked ways.”  The sword is even laid at the root.  God will not let America die at the hands of those who are fighting to keep us from repentance.