THE FORGOTTEN POWER

No matter how thin you slice baloney, it’s still baloney.  And, almost everything pastors are told about church growth is baloney. Most of it leads to frustration and disillusionment. Think about it.  Most pastors have taken those trendy courses on church growth. If that is true, then why are so few churches growing?

Here’s the big lie: Fix your organization, your brand, and your staff, if you want your church to grow.  And, hasn’t this worked in many cases?  In many cases? No.  But has it worked in some cases?   Yes, but only because even a blind dog finds a bone once in a while.

How then can we explain the overnight success of some church-plants? If what you mean is more like a franchise then, yeah, that’ll work—because they pour millions into establishing a franchise copy of an existing mega church.   Hello?  Is anyone offering you millions of dollars and vast expertise to help you build your church?

Given enough marketing money, I could get a thousand people to come watch yogurt mature. But is it a crowd you want, or is it a Holy Spirit-built army of Christ-following converts?  To paraphrase Paul, “If I master all the tricks in the how-to-fill-a-church seminar, but do not have a congregation who deeply loves Jesus, I am just another mega-church. If I have a room full of a thousand spoiled spectators, it profits me nothing.”

Some of our good friends shake their heads at the advertising we use for our tent crusades. Our cards say, “Come and experience the love and power of Jesus Christ.” Our friends almost feel sorry for our lack of salesmanship and seem embarrassed that we are being so obvious about our intentions. What they don’t see is what kind of crowd we want. We want people who are hungry for a miracle.  We are not trying to hide anything, and people are weary of being tricked. But more importantly, our cards are soaked in prayer. The crowds come for the right reason—because they have been drawn by the Holy Spirit.

I have many things to say about how churches can grow, but I am going to focus on my favorite factor in growth—one that is greatly underrated: THE EXCITEMENT OF THE PASTOR. Here are the reasons an excited leader is both powerful and crucial.

 

1. Excitement is infectious. A sincerely excited leader has an amazing impact on people. The electricity of a leader who is genuinely excited will draw the crowds without any gimmicks or hype.

Here is an example: Transit authorities in the Northeast have spent a lot of money on advertising, begging people to use their services, and they still can’t get commuters to use public transportation. Meanwhile, millions pour into Disneyland to ride trains that don’t go anywhere. The difference is excitement.

Fresh vision chases away depression. Even eloquence is at the mercy of excitement.  We don’t need more teaching seminars. I fear we’ve been taught to death. We need to pour gasoline on our sermons, and light them on fire.

2. Excitement finds a way. The changes in culture are dizzying. The challenge to build great works for God today is daunting. However, if you leave the challenge in the hands of genuinely excited vessels of God, they will find a way. They have the relentless will to conquer by the simple use of prayer and obedience.

3. Excitement doesn’t care about things that don’t matter. The excited leader is not just living their dream, they are a walking miracle. Imagine Lazarus the day after he was raised from the dead. You couldn’t offend him. You couldn’t scare him and you couldn’t make him feel insecure.

Beloved brother and sister in the ministry, we are not far from being a Lazarus! The truly excited pastor doesn’t care about criticism—doesn’t need the approval of men—doesn’t dread a lack of funds. Paul wrote, “Yea, in all these things we are more than conquerors…”

If an excited pastor is a boon to a church, then there is nothing more devastating than a discouraged and broken hearted shepherd. The last thing that leader ever needs to do is go to a church growth seminar. Any pastor who is wounded and broken from the thankless task of ministering to a fickle generation takes a terrible risk by going to a church growth seminar. Even if they get some growth from the shallow advice being given, it will gravely disappoint them because a wounded heart won’t feel any joy in success.  And, if they don’t see any growth, it could be devastating since it reinforces hopelessness and can lead to despair.

Have you ever broken a pastor’s heart? If so, the damage went far beyond what you realize.

Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give an account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Unprofitable to say the least!

If I could blend the fresh fire that is in the heart of a first year Bible college student with the wisdom of a pastor who has been forged in the crucible of battle, I would have a weapon that is guaranteed to shake the very timbers of hell!  Get your excitement back—by the power of the Holy Spirit—and church growth will happen!

Mario’s new book will awaken you to your assignment in God’s greatest work in the Earth. It’s $15 each or $12 for ten or more. Get a signed copy plus free shipping by clicking here.  https://mariomurillo.org/product/vessels-of-fire-glory/ 

 

Healing the most devastating emotional problem of Christians

Hebrews 12:9: “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live.”

In a popular movie from some years ago, the main character described the horrors of war:

“I have seen, boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit; there is no prosthetic for that.”                 

What on earth does that movie quote have to do with this letter? It has everything to do with this letter! In fact, it touches on every social ill, including self-destructing starlets, young men who commit murder, and a vast unnamed generation tormented by the bitter failure to find self-worth.

Something unseen is feeding on the American spirit. Colleges scramble to deal with a surge of “mental illness.” People go to anger management and come out enraged. Miracle diets have made their victims fatter. People go into rehab addicted to drugs and come out addicted to rehab.

It is no longer the heinous acts of criminals that stun police as much as the mindless acceptance of these acts by society. Entire neighborhoods concede the future of their children to crack houses, gangs, and pimps.  An entire generation is conceding their future to government control because they feel helpless to face the future.

We were tasked to reach and disciple students at the University of California during the campus revolutions of the 1970’s.   We labored amid tear gas, riots, hedonism, and suicide.

We saw that those students had the heart of an Orphan, and they had an amputated spirit. They came from homes where performance was everything.  At Berkeley they faced a double edged sword—pressure to get good grades and pressure to join the demonstrations. Neither side showed them any mercy.

This is a widespread crippling condition among Americans today.  It is as rampant in the Church as it is outside the church.  The orphan-hearted feel they are on the bottom even when they are on top. No matter how lofty their success, they cannot savor it. Nothing removes their insecurity because hidden software running in their spirits keeps them desperate for the approval of some vague ‘someone.’ They can never please this phantom, but they cannot stop trying.

The last verse of the Old Testament predicts this and names the cure. Malachi 4:5-6 says, “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

To be free of an orphan heart, learn these truths.

1. Transfer your search for approval from an earthly father to your Heavenly Father. Let Him provide the missing nutrients in your past and present. God will heal your devastated childhood.  Hebrews 12:9 says it so clearly: “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!”

2. Remember, important people may do important things, but it is wrong to assume that if we accomplish important things, we will feel important.   Again, even after success, orphans feel worthless.

3. Let the Holy Spirit flood your heart with the Spirit of Adoption!   Lord, let us see how the death of Jesus on the Cross destroyed the curse of sin that separated us from God our Father and made us orphans.  Show us how You yearn to saturate our hearts with the unshakable knowledge that we are Your beloved children.  When we know that through Christ we have Your approval, no one else’s approval will ever matter. And no one will ever be able to make us feel worthless.  Amen.

 

A SPIRIT-FILLED RESPONSE TO CALIFORNIA MADNESS

California is now beyond words. The insanity coming out of their state government boggles the mind and it can be totally disheartening to the believers who live here.

It is never safe to make sweeping statements or try to gauge the mood of all Californians.  No matter how hard you try, you will generalize. But no one can deny that California is pagan, addicted, digitally distracted, angry, skeptical, depressed, and demonically oppressed.

California has for decades been paganized by a media tsunami of filth, the tyranny of secular progressives, and the silence of the Shepherds.

-Poverty is spreading rapidly there and many are victimized by the greatest income inequality in America.  California is now dead last among the 50 states.

-California is the magnet that is pulling the popular votes of fifteen states and the District of Columbia into the Nation Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This movement is an attempt to make an end-run around the Constitutional Electoral College. The purpose of the NPVC is to make the Left-wing politics of the largest population centers the law of the land, and disenfranchise the smaller states and rural communities.

-Californians are over-medicated by misguided doctors and laser-focused drug dealers.

-Californians are bitterly divided by politics. There are the large blue cities which are dominated by Socialist-Democrat politicians and there are the smaller rural communities that are bright red, Republican, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, who are disgusted by the insane laws pouring out of their state Legislature.

Take a look at some of the demonic insanity taking place in California:

-California Senate Passes Resolution Telling Pastors to Embrace LGBTQ Beliefs. Not content with drag queen story time in public libraries and forced instruction on gay lifestyles in public schools, legislators are going even further and violating the First Amendment by making it a crime for the clergy to state from the pulpit what the Bible clearly says, that God will punish all sexual sin.

 –CA Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing ‘Free’ Chemical Abortions For College Students  Students for Life of America (SFLA) President Kristan Hawkins said,” California legislators are recklessly experimenting with students’ lives and health by advancing a plan to force school health centers to become abortion vendors, pushing chemical abortion pills to force an intentional miscarriage.  These Toilet Bowl Abortions would create havoc on campuses, as girls are sent to their dorm bathrooms to bleed and pass an aborted infant in a toilet, without medical supervision or assistance,” Hawkins added.”

-California has decided to effectively separate their state from the rest of America, declaring themselves to be a sanctuary for illegal aliens, protecting them from ICE raids.

-The prison system is a revolving door for dangerous criminals and pedophiles. Currently, there are 100,000 sex offenders registered in the state. This means that 1 in 400 Californians are on the list, living near schools, and mostly unmonitored. California passed a bill that will go into effect in 2021 that will allow most sex offenders to petition to be removed from registries, as long as they have not committed another serious or violent felony or sex crime, allowing them to go undetected and unsupervised.

-California is anti-Second Amendment. They have banned nearly every firearm and any magazine over 10 rounds, blocked citizens from obtaining carry permits, prosecuted those who have defended their families, and added an expensive background check that is required when anyone buys ammunition.

-Worst of all, many feel no hope for the future and are taking their own lives in record numbers. In short, California is in a condition that is beyond words.

-Many more Californians than you realize are saddened by the general defeatism coming from Sacramento. They are fed up with the fake news media, and appalled at the demented teaching being employed by a sick university system.

While that description sounds like I cannot find much good in Californians the opposite is the case. There is much good left here.  In fact, I believe this state conceals a vast number of warriors of faith, generosity, and courage.

When I say California is beyond words, I mean California can no longer be reached by mere words. We must have something new…or, something so old it is new.

What do we do now?  There is a clue in something Billy Graham once said.  When a reporter accused him of setting the Church back 50 years, Billy said, “I was trying to set it back 2,000 years!” In the third decade of the first century A.D., the world lived in a similar swampland of despair, perversion and anger.  Christianity emerged from that morass.  But how did she do it?

The church verified the resurrection of Christ with signs, wonders, and miracles.  The church infused the gospel with their infectious joy, their irresistible love for one another, and their golden service to the poor and the forgotten of society.  These things provided the Christian clout.  This is why Saint Francis—for whom San Francisco is named, by the way—ministered to the poor and operated in the gifts of divine healing, said, “By all means preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.”

What Californians need is what I call The Blatant Attempt.  The Blatant Attempt is drawing a line in the sand that alerts the public and defies Satan. It consists of four clear steps.

 1. A highly public and powerful invitation:We have been guilty of asking people to attend meetings and conferences that are not compelling and do not stir the heart. Moreover, we have been afraid to make that invitation a matter of public knowledge. We must be brutally honest as to exactly what the purpose of the meeting is: to encounter the living God, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

 2. Thus, we must invite them to encounter the power of God in California. We must spell out that God cares for people and has healing power for those who suffer.  Think about it! Don’t you believe that when people brought the lame, the blind and the lepers to Christ there must have been a conversation about what could happen if they came to the event!  That kind of expectation is a must if The Blatant Attempt is to be effective.

3. We must alter the service to meet the challenge. Nothing is worse than selfish Christians. Dismantling and rebuilding our meetings so that they are an event where compassionate Christians lead those who are sick and hurting to a miracle. It should not be another tired event where over-fed, bored saints are further lulled to sleep. If we can still cling to ‘business as usual’ in this dark and desperate hour, it proves how misguided and deceived we truly are. These powerful and anointed new meetings must include fasting and intercession.  The format of these new meetings must be based on surrender to the Holy Spirit.

4. We must contend to make revival permanent. When the Glory blasts through, keep going!  There should be no return to normal, this should be the new normal.  Trust God to give you strategies to host His presence from now on! Maintain the fire, and channel the fire into a sustainable way of life.

This is my exhortation to every ministry in the State. I would love to work with you, but whether we work together or not these truths are for all Spirit-filled leaders in California. But what I have just described to you is what we will continue to do, until the raging river of God’s Glory floods the Central Valley!

P.S. Our tent crusades are a blatant attempt to declare the Gospel that is beyond words.  I have an absolute assurance in my spirit that we are about to see the greatest demonstrations of healing power California has ever witnessed!

Click here to read more about what we are doing in California   https://wp.me/p1vrzp-6vJ

 Click here to become a worker in our outreach   https://app.mobilecause.com/form/Yc4rjg?vid=1lwvn

THE LEFT

Global warming, Russian collusion, White Supremacy/Racism—the trifecta of the Left—the constant drum beat of the “woke.” Always screamed about very loudly, but never defended by rational conversation or facts. Their endless plaintive cry, body language, and screeching confirm the sad, sad truth that emotion rules over substance and logical reason.

Global warming.  The myth of Climate Change took a hit today from an unlikely source: Joel N. Myers, Founder and CEO of AccuWeather.com.  He stated, “There is no evidence so far that extreme heat waves are becoming more common because of climate change, especially when you consider how many heat waves occurred historically compared to recent history.”

Hysterics are the order of the day for the Left, prompting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to say that the world will end in 12 years.  Yet, the Loony Left wants to prosecute anyone who doubts their weather claims. They want oppressive policies that would limit freedom and even imprison detractors of their theories. They are not trying to fix anything, they are trying to take total control through myths.

They will fly their polluting jets to conferences that conclude that you are a vile person for not changing your lifestyle and limiting your carbon footprint.

Russia collusion. The people who live in the districts that Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, and Gerrold Nadler represent must not need better schools, more jobs, clean water, stronger law enforcement or anything you normally elect someone to work for. These political hacks are literally doing nothing but chasing a hoax. They are deranged in their wish for Trump to be impeached. How the people in these districts can tolerate this is truly dumbfounding. I say again, they are doing nothing for you, while they chase a crime that simply doesn’t exist.  25 months and 25 million dollars later, there is no collusion. Yet, these three demand further investigations.

White Supremacy: They say White Supremacy fuels the mass shootings.  Let’s look at what the media will not tell you. Connor Betts gunned down nine people and injured dozens more in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday, and this warped loner declares himself, in his notebook, to be a servant of ‘evil incarnate’ and rants about everything from schizophrenia to satanic rituals and massacres.

The pages read, in part: “I am the servant of the serpent evil incarnate, flesh consumer, light destroyer, fueled by hate, rage (is) my strength, distrust (is) my shield.”

But, this mass murderer also supported Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and ANTIFA. The media buries the news of a left-wing mass shooter because it doesn’t advance the narrative of White Supremacy and who Trump supporters really are.

Then, the Left cites economic injustice and poverty in the inner city as proof of White Supremacy. The only problem is, they have been in charge of these neighborhoods—they have spent the money—they have controlled the people. If this is their evidence, then White Supremacy either doesn’t exist or they are the White Supremacists.

Show me a major U.S. city run by Democrats for decades, and I will show you a city in decay, filled with crime, murder, drugs, and poverty. Example: Cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore, where every week there are mass shootings that dwarf the mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton.  Yet, the national news outlets never report them.  Currently, in Democrat run Chicago, there are 51 criminals who have been charged with first degree murder, who have been put under “house arrest.”  The message: Murder someone, and the worst that can happen to you is: you will be sent to your room.

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 31: Residents, activists, and friends and family members of victims of gun violence march down Michigan Avenue carrying nearly 800 wooden crosses bearing the names of people murdered in the city in 2016 on December 31, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Nearly 800 people have been murdered in the city this year and more than 4000 shot as the city copes with its most violent year in two decades. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Is the Left trying to fix any problem that actually exists? The answer is a deafening, NO. They are far too busy creating problems. Their victims so far are:

 The nuclear family: A source of social stability and well-being for thousands of years. They shattered it with everything from shaming moms who wanted to stay home, redefining marriage, gender fluidity, drag queen story hours, gender-free bathroom crusades, and the oppression of churches. The list could go on and on.

Economic opportunity: The Left has never met a tax or a new regulation they didn’t like. Bloating government to strangle small business is their stock-in-trade. Given a free hand, their economic policies have always led to recession.

The human spirit: Convincing minority youth that they are victims destroys hope and incentive. The Left has turned self-pity into an art form. It was inevitable that they would worship Socialism. Socialism at its heart is for those who believe they can’t make it on their own without food stamps, free cell phones, and the bottomless government grab bag. They have been convinced they will not survive without these programs.

Is the Left trying to eradicate poverty? About as much as the drug dealer is trying to eradicate addiction. It is only by inducing fear, self-pity, and entitlement, that they maintain control.

America has been taken over by a Leftist spirit that is the antithesis of everything America was founded on. We are not engaged in a debate between the ideologies of the Right or the Left—we are in a war between addiction, degradation and atheism versus  liberty, decency, and a future.

Look at them. Do you see solutions, inspiration, openness, or compassion?  No you do not. You see a Party of delusional Don Quixotes who are tilting at windmills, while they trample honor, truth, and decency in their quest for a nonexistent cause.

Yet, in this fog of delusion, there are some hopeful signs of life.  Roughly 400 pastors and faith leaders will descend on Lynchburg, Virginia later this week as two major evangelical forces unite together in the beginning efforts of a 2020 national ground game aimed at restoring Judeo-Christian principles across the country and mobilizing an evangelical army of pastors to lead the way.

The closed-door, two-day event will be held at Liberty University, one of the largest evangelical universities in the country and is organized by the American Renewal Project, led by influential political mechanic David Lane. They’re bringing in the pastors for the affair, many of whom are expected to take part in a political training session as they mull over whether to run for local or statewide office.

Pray for an awakening like this to spread to churches all over America!

Pray like you know what is at stake!

 

 

Programming

A man of God and his wife, who are dear friends of mine, were placed in an awkward but all too familiar situation recently. They were at a reception with other spiritual leaders when hard liquor was offered to them. They politely refused and slowly excused themselves, trying hard to mask their shock.

That is not the end of it. A “prophet” later confronted them and told them that they were being legalistic for not drinking. He went so far as to say that unless they got in line with the new “revelation of freedom,” their church would not grow.

 This is no longer a case of just saying drinking is okay. Now they are saying you should be drinking if you want to be in the flow. That “flow” is part of a scheme for rapid church growth that compromises many other areas of Christian life—and programs believers to backslide. The Bible predicted this deception…

Isaiah 59:15 says, “So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.” Some pastors today are attacking church members who seek to be holy…accusing them of a having a religious spirit.

 Have we really come to the point where believers are making themselves a target by pursuing holiness?  The answer is a loud, “YES!” Many churches in America have become mere factories that are churning out converts who are preprogrammed to backslide. And don’t fool yourself, this church growth machine is found even in spirit-filled churches…even in so-called ‘revival’ churches.

 Holiness is now rejected and called a ‘religious spirit.’ Satan rejoices at this, because it has created the greatest display of false success in the history of the church. Many churches are now conveyor belts that attract large numbers of people only to have them rapidly fall off at the end of the belt.

In fact, the ones who fall off may be the fortunate ones, since there is a chance that they will crash and burn and eventually come to their senses in true repentance. But, woe to those who are backslidden and don’t even realize it, because they have been taught the lie that they can never backslide!

 

 The growth we celebrate today is a grand illusion that hides the greatest turnover ratio ever.

Doesn’t this explain why so many believers have been deceived by these false teachings, and have been reclaimed by the enemy? Doesn’t this explain why the church has no authority to push back against the flood of evil in our nation? How can we field an army of warriors when the church is setting them up to fail? Forgive me, but I am about to get passionate!

How can it be that the very vessels chosen of God to equip the saints, have instead conspired to create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness?

Listen to most sermons today. They give the impression that the church has exhausted herself trying to serve God, or that she has overdone sacrifice—that now she needs vast portions of comfort food.  That’s the way it sounds when ministers keep telling them to relax, and quit trying so hard, because, ‘Daddy is so pleased with them.’

 Even after there’s proof that a congregation has become a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate club of moody consumers—preachers will still heap on them one more message of pampered entitlement.  Forgive me…but it’s kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.

Sundays are too often a celebration of how much God lets you get away with. Pastors are giving sermons full of soothing guarantees that confuse God’s love with His approval.

1 John 5:4 says “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

There are two things to take away from this promise. The first is that a major goal of the child of God is to overcome the world. That goal is largely missing in modern preaching—preaching that sees the world as a kind of ‘friend’ and not as a mortal enemy. (15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. I John 2:15).  Secondly, it shows us the desperately urgent place of faith—faith that overcomes! That is also missing.

 We program failure when it is not clear at the moment of conversion that we must die to our own will, and Christ must become Lord of our existence. That is an ultimatum that cannot be postponed. Without it, you are producing new converts who will have no power to overcome evil. They will have no hope of growing in faith. You are robbing them of the joy of the Lord!

Repentance, spiritual warfare, and the authority of the believer, are all subjects that would protect the child of God and help them stand against the enemy. But these preachers never get around to these truths because they are afraid it will stop the influx of people. Think of that!

Gently suggest the church could go deeper—call for more prayer meetings—voice concern about inappropriately dressed women—tell them you don’t want to party with them, and they will scream, “YOU HAVE A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT!”

What was once normal discipleship is now ‘legalism.’  Anything that dampens their festivities is judgmental. What have we done?  We have unleashed a counterfeit liberty.  These are not the features of a Spirit-led people.  These are the clear symptoms of people with sick souls deceived and careening toward disaster.

 But the final nail in the coffin of this deception is this: It is utterly unnecessary to compromise to get a crowd. Jesus never had trouble getting a crowd. That is why He focused on changing the crowd. Go ahead and boast about growth, but you must do it at the expense of truth—the truth that while churches grow, the nation is dying—and the very people tasked by God to save America are having zero impact!

The greatest gift God can send a church is a holy child of God whose heart is for revival.  A holy child who longs for the fire, glory, and power of God to electrify the church.  Make them your enemy and you have also made an enemy out of God. Woe unto you, if you have ever called holiness a religious spirit.   God bless you, if you love holiness and understand what a treasure it is!  1 Timothy 6: 6 “Now, godliness with contentment is great gain.”

 Thank God that at this critical hour the Holy Spirit is separating to Himself a core of Christians. These are pastors and regular believers who are praying to go deeper into God. They are busy saying to each other, “This sideshow is not God! There is so much more! No way can Satan win if we take our stand on the authority of the cross!”

 He is imbuing them with boldness, wisdom, signs and wonders, and most of all…a blazing passion for holiness!

 “Pursue peace with all people, and pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14 

 

 

BRAVE CHURCHES

The way some experts talk you’d think turning a church around is a long hard road. But here is a solution much faster than we realize.  First, we must fix a grave mistake. Closing the altars, ordering people to tone it down, and focusing on recovery programs brought a crowd.  However, what if that crowd leaves with no power to face our toxic culture? Let people experience the power and glory of God at the altar. Train people to wait in prayer with them. Sound simplistic?

Right now we are awash in advisory sermons. The titles are similar and predictable: “How to handle fear, uncertainty, finances, relationships, marriage, and children.”   We are drowning in whiteboards, blackboards, statistics, PowerPoint presentations, props, and illustrations.

The problem is, the anger, division, loud perversion and persecution, people face outside the church make these teachers and their instructive messages are woefully inadequate.  What happened?  The answer is…life.   Life happened and it is gripping believers in deep need for something more than words.  You would be shocked to know how many would trade all the witty messages for a pure dose of the presence, power, and glory of God.

Happy face sermons do not give power over a time like this.   What is happening now runs off the over-optimistic maps drawn in pulpits. Tragedies can uproot  these neat formulas like a palm tree in a hurricane.   Hip theories will collapse like a brick house in an earthquake.

Every honest Pastor can report causalities in their church.  Many who were once vibrant soldiers, today languish in a shadow existence.  They are out of church, disconnected from their former passion and sick in body and soul.  The ongoing political debate and demonstrations have only added to the crisis. The conflicting opinions of church leaders leave the army of God baffled and vulnerable.

Why are we surprised that modern believers suddenly need more?  The power that could answer a thousand questions and extinguish a myriad of personality ills has been ushered out of church.

Paul’s cure was simple: an undeniable encounter with the fire of God…”that your faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. -1 Corinthians 2: 5.

The answer to fear today is to burn it out!  Just for shock value, I’ll use this phrase…perfect love casts out fear but so does perfect fear.  No doubt many will think it is crazy to take a wonderful verse like 1 John 4:18 “perfect love casts out fear” and mess it up.  But I am not messing it up I am fulfilling it!

PERFECT FEAR DOES CAST OUT FEAR!  We have downplayed and even banned something that Christians desperately need.

Go back with me to 758 B.C.  Isaiah the prophet enters the Temple in fear for his life.  The tide of public opinion has turned against him.  The death of his friend and protector King Uzziah has put the finishing touch on 5 years of ministry that was just treading water.  His despair is now complete. He is enters the Temple looking for comfort from God.

He kneels in prayer, resting his elbows on the altar seeking solace from the storm. Instead, the building starts quaking, knocking his elbows so that he is now punching himself in the face.

He looks up and sees Seraphim:  Angels of fire, fire that burns hotter and brighter than any sun. They tower over him from each end of the altar.

Their voices roar, vibrate, boom and dislodge the mighty beams of the Temple!  “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.  THE WHOLE EARTH IS FILLED WITH HIS GLORY!”  Back and forth, again and again, they blast this mighty proclamation until Isaiah could not bear the fright!

The mighty God Himself stands before Isaiah unfurling the indescribable train of His Glory!  The prophet convulses beneath weight of glory.  From his bone marrow came an all-consuming cry… “WOE IS ME!”

The startling effect of the Glory of God—a wonder working fear—overrules human fear.   No threat matters now.   This demonstration of Glory conquered his suffering.   Isn’t this exactly what Paul meant?: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18.   Of course Paul is speaking of the final GLORY…but it is a part of our birthright to have earthly collisions of glory: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”-1 Corinthians 12: 7   An overarching, fear destroying encounter is the legacy of every child of God.  “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all

The twelve disciples were gripped by fear of the storm.  But when Jesus rebuked the storm their fear of drowning was replaced with an awestruck wonder.  They exclaimed: “what manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him!?”

We are told that General Patton won battles because his men were more afraid of him than the Germans.   Again, ours is not a negative fear but the  holy awe born from the manifestation of God’s glory.

This truth reinforces the fact that “Perfect love casts out Fear”  because love disciplines, love gives us what we need… and what we need today is a not subtle pat on the head.   We need a fear-killing encounter!  Solomon said in Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Why are we blocking people from experiencing the fire of God?  Why would we keep this miracle from people?   I am talking about fire—fire that keeps them from the evil one—fire that forges a reverence, and turns them into your best soldiers.

We should have made room and time for people to be filled to prevailing levels of the Holy Spirit and fire.  If we had, we would not be nursing hordes of Christians on life support. We would have an unstoppable army!

There is still time to reverse course.  If you have never been drenched by God then obey Him and seek to be overcome by His Glory.  If you have received in the past now is the time for FRESH FIRE!

Just one believer who walks out of your church endued with power from on high will be a contagious force to grow your church in both quantity and quality.

THE GREATEST COLLISION OF THE AGES IS UPON US

The greatest collision of the ages is upon us.  Day after day, I have written the burden the Lord has placed upon me.  I admit it.  These blogs are designed to fervently rebuke the unrighteous religious leader.  On the other hand, this blog is a fervent encouragement to the righteous core who have held to their integrity.

But do you really want to know why God had me write to you day after day?  It’s because—despite all the darkness, perversion, division and violence—regardless of how low society has fallen—I believe—with atom of my being—an amazing act of God is on the horizon.

We are not just going to see a great falling away…but a great harvest.  A harvest beyond anything we can imagine.  It will begin in shocking location in a shocking way.  It will baffle believers as much as it does sinners.

Therefore I have been forced to write messages that target shallowness, compromise, hypocrisy, and gross negligence.  Gross negligence—because it wasn’t just what they did—it was when they did it.  As Satan unleashed his most destructive assault on the church, and the nation, they puddled around in false success leaving their post unguarded.  I know that’s a serious accusation…but I stand by it.

Driven by lust for growth, they wantonly closed their ears to the political disaster that dismantled faith and morality in America.  They should have been putting the Word of God in people.  They don’t awaken a hunger for revival.  They create evil appetites.  They weaken and distract the church from true revival.  They should hang their heads in shame for speeding up our demise.

To me, they are as guilty as those who voted to destroy marriage—they are as guilty as those who voted to force our taxes to fund abortions—they are as guilty as the architects of the God-hating mobs that roam our streets, teach in our universities, and people our institutions.

If they asked me how I could accuse them of such horrible crimes, I would simply ask them how could you waste critical time building a man-made entertainment center when you could have contended for a moral awakening?

Am I harsh?  Perhaps, but I am not alone.  Charles Finney said, “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.  If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

On the other hand, this blog calls out a special remnant who are restless.  They don’t fit anywhere.   They don’t even understand why they have held to their integrity.

What is coming soon will be simultaneously glorious and humiliating.  Glorious to a company of people who, at this moment, labor in obscurity.  Suddenly they will be raised up.  At the same time many who are celebrity preachers who will suffer a great demotion.

The greatest harvest in the history of Christianity will be placed in the hands of special ones—faithful ones.   Already they are being chosen.  Already they have an appointment with destiny that will bring them into an unimaginable nearness to Jesus.

Those who are called to this will ask and receive things that prior generations could not imagine.  We are talking about awesome things!

They may not know who they are.  They don’t have an inkling of what is about to overtake them.

The Lord is testing them in obscurity.  It’s the only way that yields a vessel who can be trusted with great power.  They have been rejected for refusing to conform to the counterfeits.  God made them misfits.  Because He knew what was coming.

God not only knew the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship, that would produce special powers for His Children.

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 burns white hot with passion win lost souls and heal the sick.  They are hidden now but soon they will shine like the sun.

But there is another miracle awaiting this unique breed.  They will be allowed to see the world around them from the vantage point of the throne of God.  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 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.

And that response has already begun in our crusades.  Altar calls that render the audience helpless before the power of God.  I have not seen this since the Jesus Movement!

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.

Finally, learn the truth of the slingshot. It may explain everything you are going through right now.

They are being 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?

Like a slingshot, God is deliberately building up the tension—the frustration—the fire to act…and at just the right moment, He will release you.   There is a great falling away coming and it will result in new voices and new anointing leading to the greatest harvest of souls in history.

 

 

BREAKING NEWS:  THE POWER OF GOD IS STARTING TO RADIATE ON THE STREETS OF RENO.  THE TENT GOES UP ON SEPTEMBER 19TH AT 700 SUTRO STREET IN RENO.  PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO LIVES NEAR RENO THAT A MIGHTY OUTPOURING IS COMING AND TO JOIN US IN THE TENT FROM SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23RD TO THE 28TH.