Whatever happened?

Whatever happened to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?  You don’t hear about it anymore.  Churches don’t pray with people to receive it anymore.  There’s a big reason why.
Preacher, if you stopped presenting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to your people—Satan made you do it.  If there is no room in your service for people to receive this urgent gift—the enemy seized control of your agenda.  If your people don’t even know what it is—you will answer to God.
No matter how noble, persuasive, or convincing the argument, the decision to exclude the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from the life of the church, is a decision conceived in hell.

Omitting this Baptism was a masterstroke of Lucifer.

He knew this was the most destructive deception possible.  It created lukewarm Christians.  It single handedly wiped out a huge amount of our soul winning.  And, it opened the door to untold heresy.

Today we are swimming in more false teaching, false prophecy and false Christianity than ever before.  All across the internet ministries dabble in new age hybrids of Christian faith, exotic extremes, drunkenness and even perversion.   Turns out, the church is the other swamp that needs draining.

Noted Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias said, “I had dinner with the most popular preacher on television.  He told me that he did not see much difference between Islam and Christianity.”

How can we hang the blame for such foolishness on neglecting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?   Let’s examine the evidence.
Jesus said, “John 16:13  “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Jesus calls Him the Spirit of truth.  He imparts hunger for truth.  It is futile to layer truth on the unwilling soul.  False teaching abounds from the lack of hunger the Holy Spirit awakens.  Let’s go back to the root:

Don’t make a move without it!

Acts 1: 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The church has no witness without it.  Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Apostles considered it an extreme urgency for all who believed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Acts 8: 14 “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.”
-Acts 19: 1 “And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”  4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

We have two extremes in the church:  Those who believe in nothing and those who believe in everything.

  Or to put it another way: We have those know nothing of what the Bible says and those who believe anything, anyone says about the Bible. Both are products of a lack of discernment and power.  It is only after you experience the real presence and power of God that you know what is fake.

Look at the discipleship result of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2: 41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”

One big reason that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not preached today is because it is the natural enemy of church marketing.

When God falls, church culture instantly changes.  Human promotion becomes obsolete.   An audience morphs into an army.  An insatiable hunger for the Word of God replaces sales pitches.
The preacher who withholds the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is guilty of treason—of withholding a priceless gift bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus—of holding back an edge of power that would keep the believer strong, alert, and able to win others.  It endows them with a prayer language that pierces all adversity.  How dare we hold this back!
The Pentecostal revival is the greatest Christian revival in history.  Beginning in the humble Azusa Street Mission, it has blazed for on for over 100 years, with over 650 million converts.  Only one thing explains it:  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

Whatever happened to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?  You don’t hear about it anymore.  Churches don’t pray with people to receive it anymore.  There’s a big reason why.
Preacher, if you stopped presenting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to your people—Satan made you do it.  If there is no room in your service for people to receive this urgent gift—the enemy seized control of your agenda.  If your people don’t even know what it is—you will answer to God.
No matter how noble, persuasive, or convincing the argument, the decision to exclude the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from the life of the church, is a decision conceived in hell.

Omitting this Baptism was a masterstroke of Lucifer.

He knew this was the most destructive deception possible.  It created lukewarm Christians.  It single handedly wiped out a huge amount of our soul winning.  And, it opened the door to untold heresy.

Today we are swimming in more false teaching, false prophecy and false Christianity than ever before.  All across the internet ministries dabble in new age hybrids of Christian faith, exotic extremes, drunkenness and even perversion.   Turns out, the church is the other swamp that needs draining.

Noted Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias said, “I had dinner with the most popular preacher on television.  He told me that he did not see much difference between Islam and Christianity.”

How can we hang the blame for such foolishness on neglecting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?   Let’s examine the evidence.
Jesus said, “John 16:13  “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Jesus calls Him the Spirit of truth.  He imparts hunger for truth.  It is futile to layer truth on the unwilling soul.  False teaching abounds from the lack of hunger the Holy Spirit awakens.  Let’s go back to the root:

Don’t make a move without it!

Acts 1: 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The church has no witness without it.  Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Apostles considered it an extreme urgency for all who believed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Acts 8: 14 “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.”
-Acts 19: 1 “And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”  4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

We have two extremes in the church:  Those who believe in nothing and those who believe in everything.

  Or to put it another way: We have those know nothing of what the Bible says and those who believe anything, anyone says about the Bible. Both are products of a lack of discernment and power.  It is only after you experience the real presence and power of God that you know what is fake.

Look at the discipleship result of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2: 41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”

One big reason that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not preached today is because it is the natural enemy of church marketing.

When God falls, church culture instantly changes.  Human promotion becomes obsolete.   An audience morphs into an army.  An insatiable hunger for the Word of God replaces sales pitches.
The preacher who withholds the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is guilty of treason—of withholding a priceless gift bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus—of holding back an edge of power that would keep the believer strong, alert, and able to win others.  It endows them with a prayer language that pierces all adversity.  How dare we hold this back!
The Pentecostal revival is the greatest Christian revival in history.  Beginning in the humble Azusa Street Mission, it has blazed for on for over 100 years, with over 650 million converts.  Only one thing explains it:  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS

 God is doing a secret work in our day. He is raising up a hungry people who are growing more and more dissatisfied with the fleshly, worldly system as it now exists—even in the church.

These God-hungry people are saying among themselves, “This is not it. There is something more. The bigness and the sensationalism of it all has left us empty and dry. We want more. More than entertainment. More than big, showy buildings. More than a shallow celebrity gospel. We want deeper values. We want to see Jesus. We want spotless robes of righteousness. We want to go back to doing things in total dependence on God.”

I see it all over the nation today — disillusioned Christians searching for reality. The people in the pew are beginning to fast and pray. They are the ones who now weep between the porch and the altar. And, they are crying out for more depth and more of eternal values from the pulpit. If the minister of their church goes on in some egocentric way, pursuing expensive dreams, they will go out looking for a place where their deepest spiritual needs will be met.

I know it to be a fact that numerous ministers share my own desperate hunger for a deeper work of God in the church and ministry today. There seems to be a secret underground network of men of God who are stripping themselves down, humbling themselves, and getting back into the secret closet of prayer. Recently I have met a number of ministers, of various denominations, who are praying up to 6 and 8 hours a day. They are fasting. Some of these dear men of God grieve over conditions in the church today. God is revealing to all praying people that a glorious new work of the Spirit is about to break forth. God is going to shake everything that can be shaken. He will tear down the old political, backslidden, ecclesiastical system. He will disown the formal, super-church structure. He will chase out of His presence all who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.

Be honest, saints of God. Are you really satisfied with the religious system today, and especially in your church? Some are. But most are not getting their needs met. I believe we have gotten off the track of true spirituality. The spiritual leanness of so many Christians today is a direct result of getting into the flesh — trying to do kingdom work in our own power, with worldly methods. Our values are becoming perverted.

Shame on us! We are substituting temporal values for eternal ones. We have evangelists and teachers who specialize in telling believers how much God owes them. Material blessings are magnified, spiritual ones minimized. According to some, it is our right to be rich, successful, and immune to all pain.

These teachers point to themselves as examples of prosperity. “Look at me,” it is said, “I have proved the promises. I live well. I am never sick — I have no unpaid bills. I drive the best cars. I live in the finest home. It works for me, so believe as I do and you can have what I have.”

Beloved, how much of that teaching will stand up before the judgment seat of Christ? There is a growing inner knowledge in me that most of our modern, self-centered teaching is going to be consumed before the flaming eyes of the Son of God.

John, in his vision of the Son of God, saw an awesome sight.

“…his head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire…” (Rev. 1:14).

John goes on to say,

“…I fell at his feet as dead…” (v.17).

Will any of us, as teachers and evangelists, be able to stand before those piercing eyes of flaming fire? Can any Christian look Him in the eyes? No ego can withstand His gaze. No self-centered dreams can go unexposed. All secret sin will be exposed as a terrible abomination in His sight.

All the things we have accumulated will burn. All the great works we have done for Him, with such zeal and sweat, will they also burn?

burn

How important is what you are doing to God’s kingdom? God can give you the desire of your heart, but send leanness to your soul. God assisted Israel in their desire to have a king. But He later disciplined them for their selfish motives.

Are you in some kind of competitive race? Are you doing things for God just to keep up with others? In eternity, looking back—how really necessary will it all be then?

Children of God, what is the good of what you and I are doing? Do we have motives based on eternal values? If we truly believe the end of all things is upon us, what should we be doing about purging our values? What is it going to take to wake us up and get us out of the drift toward ease and comfort?

I confess to you that it has taken years for me to live only for eternal values. I grieve when I think back of the time and money I wasted trying to build something tangible for God. I wanted something people could see. How important I thought those buildings were to God’s kingdom. I convinced myself, “God deserves the best.” He does—but not in bricks, mortar, and steel—He deserves the best of our time and yieldedness. Thank God for the day the Spirit revealed to me how shallow my values were! I spent 20 years planning programs, building buildings, running all over the world trying to show God how important to His kingdom I was. All the while my reputation grew as a minister of faith and vision. Yet, after each new project, I felt a letdown. No sooner was one building finished, and I was already planning another. I was an idea-man for God. I had more ideas than any preacher in America. Ideas on how to evangelize. How to organize New Testament programs. The programs and ideas were successful enough to entrap me and keep me on the treadmill of busy-ness.

But all along my heart yearned for more. I knew the blessing was not in building. Not in some well-planned scheme to reach the lost. Not in bigness, and not in activity. I discovered the hard way, that the glory of God, the peace and joy of the Spirit, was in being stripped down, emptied, and made totally weak. God had to expose all my values. He turned His flaming eyes on my soul and showed me I had better reject my old way of doing things, or be lost in a maze of self-imposed activity.

Now, my greatest joy is waiting upon Him for direction. I have made time to be alone with Him, and have prepared my soul to abide in His quiet presence. He is letting me sense what the Spirit is saying to this generation. The more He empties me, the more He fills me with a desire to depend only on Him for everything. I see now that all along the Lord was waiting for me to lay down all my plans, all my ambitions, and be given over to Him as a bondslave. The sweat is now gone – the pressure is off. He is recreating all my values.

The Final Shaking

What will happen when God begins to shake everything that can be shaken? When all false values tumble and earthly dreams and plans lose their meaning?

Sadly, many of God’s children are going to end up bewildered and confused. As the world moves into the era of economic collapse – when persecution falls even upon civilized nations – when governments are convulsing and tottering on the brink of total collapse — how many Christians will survive the test?

test

A lot of God’s people are going to wonder where they are. Ministers who are caught up in the trap of human vision will leave the ministry confused, all their work to no avail. Multitudes will be asking, “What’s it all about? What’s happening? What does the future hold? Where are we? Who can tell us the mind of God?”

We are now moving swiftly into what we know as the end time. We had better be in possession of a heavenly vision of holiness and humility. The testing time is coming down upon us with lightning speed. It is going to take more than a doctrine or a particular teaching to see us through. We are going to have to really know the Lord in His fullness. We had better have our eyes on eternal values. Only spiritual things are going to remain. Only spiritual people will understand what is happening and not faint. We must be linked up with the mind of the Spirit so we will not be thrown by the radical changes that are coming. We must bring ourselves, to the place we have nothing to lose. We need to walk away from all the junk in our lives — we are going to lose it all anyhow.

How much of God do you possess in this final hour of disintegration and fear? How earthly are you? How transitory are your desires? Have your values been sifted and purged by the Spirit of almighty God? How much of the world interests you — how much time is consumed in chasing after things that don’t matter now?

End-Time Restlessness

You will know when the Spirit is calling you out of the shallow Christianity about you. You will know when the Lord is wanting to touch you in a supernatural way. You will know when He is calling you out of the ordinary. He will stir your nest. An unexplainable divine restlessness will come upon you. You will become disinterested in what you have been doing. All your successes will leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled. Nothing that you have or do will meet the need in you for reality. You will sense that a very deep need in you has not yet been met — questions that have never been answered. A shadow of dissatisfaction will be cast over your entire life.

That is a mark of God’s dealing with you in a supernatural way, trying to get you to turn loose of all that you hold dear. It is His way of showing you that your needs are really spiritual and not physical.

You will feel His magnetic pull back to prayer — back to spiritual hunger, to broken-ness and self-emptying. Soon, you will be touching those satisfying eternal values and your soul will cry out, “This is what I’ve been wanting all along. He has taken away the earthly and replaced it with the spiritual.”

Saints, the key word is hunger. He has promised to fill the hungry heart. I have never been so hungry for God. That hunger almost overwhelms me at times. Every waking hour my heart reaches out to Him. Because His thoughts are always on my mind, the things of the world have lost their value. I see things as Paul did — nothing but the dung of this world. I am becoming a nobody—it feels so good.

Do you also sense this call to a deeper walk with God? Is your soul hungry for more of the Spirit in your life? If so, end the civil war in you — by yielding everything you have to the Master. The misery goes the very moment you surrender all to Him. You can know true peace and happiness the moment you quit trying to be somebody. Want nothing but Jesus, and your life will take on a new meaning.

rest

Don’t Waste Another Hour

My greatest grief is that it took so long for me to get out of God’s way. I wasted years doing things simply out of compassion. I was spiritually blind, not knowing that God must clearly direct every step I take. I had an international pulpit — preaching to thousands — with crowded altars. Thank God He showed me there was much more. The numbers and the crowds meant nothing. I wanted to see people get deeper into the Lord. I wanted nothing more to do with shallow decisions. God had to totally change my way of thinking, and now, like Gideon, I know that big is not always best.

Don’t let it happen to you. Take stock of your life and values. Shut yourself up with God alone in the secret closet. Pray diligently for spiritual hunger. Ask God to give you a spirit of sorrow for wasting so much time. Pray for a greater desire for His Word. Pray for a broken heart. Pray for a purging and a purifying work in your life. Then get ready to be cast into the fire of testing.

“…I will purge the sons of Levi…” (Mal. 3:3)

I can tell you it’s worth it! The purging will not seem joyous, but rather grievous. But you will soon glorify the Lord for the results in your life. All the anxiety will be gone. All worldly ambition will die. Your spiritual eyes will be opened to truth. The Spirit will give you revelation knowledge. You will exchange the riches of this world for the true riches of Christ Jesus. You will wake up each morning with an over-flowing joy. Your soul will cry out “I found what my soul has been longing for. Rest–beautiful rest in my Lord.”

You can then say with David, the Psalmist — “In his presence is there is fullness of joy; at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore…” (Ps.16:11).

Proof Scriptures

“…for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ So then everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God…”(Rom. 14:10-12).

“…The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer…” (I Pet. 4:7).

“… The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light…” (Rom. 13:12).

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build, upon this foundation gold stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire…” (I Cor. 3: 11-15).

The Effects of Seeing The Glory of God!

effectsThe Effects of Seeing The Glory of God!

By David Wilkerson

Scripture makes clear that it’s possible for every true follower of Jesus to see and understand the glory of God. Indeed, our Lord reveals his glory to all who ask and seek for it diligently. Moreover, I believe the revelation of God’s glory will equip his people for the perilous days ahead. Paul states that this revelation “…is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Contrary to some Christians’ thinking, the glory of God is not a physical manifestation of some kind. It’s not an ecstatic feeling that overcomes you. Nor is it a kind of supernatural aura or angelic light that bursts forth. Simply put, God’s glory is a revelation of his nature and attributes!

The Lord himself defines his glory this way in scripture. Therefore, when we pray, “Lord, show me your glory,” we’re actually praying, “Father, reveal to me who you are.” And if the Lord does give us a revelation of his glory, it’s a revelation of how he wants to be known by us.

Moses’ experience with the glory of God demonstrates this truth. The Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel without giving him a full revelation of who the God of Israel was. The Lord merely told him, “Go, and say I AM sent you.” But he gave no explanation of who “I AM” was.

I believe this is why Moses cried, “[Lord]…I beseech thee, shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). Moses had a gnawing hunger and thirst to know who the great I AM was — to know what his nature and character were all about.

And the Lord answered Moses’ prayer. First, he instructed Moses to hide himself in the cleft of a rock. Yet, as Moses waited for the glory of God to appear, he saw no thunder, no lightning, no shaking of the earth. Rather, God’s glory came to him in a simple revelation:

“The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression…” (Exodus 34:6-7).

Now, God only reveals his power or glory with a purpose in mind. So, what was his purpose here? It certainly wasn’t to give Moses a moment of ecstasy. And it wasn’t to give him a legacy, something he could tell his children and grandchildren about.

No — God allowed Moses to see his glory so that he might be changed by the sight of it! And the same is true for us today. God reveals his glory to us so that, by seeing it, we might be changed into his very own image!

Today, Jesus Christ is the express image of who God is. When our Lord became flesh, it was as a full revelation of the heavenly father’s mercy, grace, goodness and readiness to forgive. God wrapped up everything of his nature and character in Jesus. And any revelation of his glory to us now is meant to change us into an expression of Christ!

The apostle Paul understood well the purpose and effect of seeing the glory of God. He saw it as power to change the beholder — to revolutionize the life of every follower of Christ. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Paul is telling us, “Once you get this revelation of God’s glory — of his love, mercy, grace, long-suffering and readiness to forgive — the Holy Spirit will continually open your eyes to more of these aspects of his nature and character. You’ll have an ever-increasing revelation of God, in the way he wants to be known to you!”

Paul then says in an even stronger tone: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

Beloved, God wants to tell us, “Moses understood my glory, and now I want you to understand it. I want to open your eyes by my Spirit to show you who I am. I’m not just a God of wrath and judgment. My nature is love!”

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (3:17-19).

Paul is telling us, “Let this revelation of God’s glory become so real to you that you become rooted and grounded in it. Keep seeking it, studying it, claiming it, appropriating it in your life — until the vision of Christ’s glory bursts forth in you! As you remain in the word, seeking the revelation of his glory, you’ll be changed. And you’ll keep changing, from glory to glory!”

“Unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ…” (verse 21).

1. The First and Foremost Effect of the Glory                                                                               Is a Change in Our Relationship With the Lord!

When Moses saw this revelation of God’s glory — that he is good, loving, caring, gracious, forgiving — he quickly fell to his knees and worshipped. “Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped” (Exodus 34:8).

The revelation of God’s nature overwhelmed this man. He saw how merciful, long-suffering and patient God is with his children — including stiff-necked people, idolaters and those who grieve him. Moses was so stirred by this revelation, he ran out from behind the rock, fell down and worshipped!

It’s important to note that this is the first mention ever of Moses worshipping. Prior to this revelation of God’s glory, we find Moses praying and interceding, weeping and pleading with God for Israel, talking with him face to face. We hear him singing the Lord’s praises on the victory side of the Red Sea. We hear him calling on the Lord at the bitter waters of Marah. And we hear his desperate cry to God at Rephidim, when the people were ready to stone him for not providing water. But this is the first time we read the words, “Moses worshipped.”

I believe this one verse tells us much about the church today. It says a Christian can pray diligently without ever really worshipping. Indeed, it’s possible to be a prayer warrior and intercessor and still not be a worshipper of God. You can plead for your unsaved children, pray for the needs of an entire church, be holy and meek in seeking God’s burden — and yet never truly worship him!

Now, I don’t want to add to the multitude of definitions of what it means to worship. There are already too many books published on the various techniques of worship. But, in short, I will say this: worship cannot be learned! It’s a spontaneous outbreak — the act of a heart that’s been overwhelmed by a revelation of God’s glory and his incredible love for us.

Worship is a response of gratitude. It recognizes how we should have been destroyed by our sin long ago, incurring the full wrath of God for all our failures and faults — but instead, God came to us with the powerful revelation, “I still love you!”

At this point, Moses was no longer pleading for sinful Israel. And he wasn’t asking the Lord for guidance. He wasn’t crying out for a miracle of deliverance, or for power, or for wisdom. He was marveling at the revelation of the glory of God!

Moses could worship even though he wasn’t full of hope for Israel. He knew the people were bent on backsliding — that they were hiding the golden idols they’d brought from Israel. Even though Moses had persuaded God to spare them after their idolatry of the golden calf, now he must have thought, “How will I ever be able to hold this people together? How much longer will God put up with their secret lust and murmuring? When is his patience going to run out?”

It could seem here that Moses’ pleading on Israel’s behalf was more compassionate than God’s feeling for the people. But the truth is, God had no intention of destroying these people. He already had all his promises for them in his mind.

No, this was a “mercy test” for Moses. The Lord was asking his servant, “How are you going to represent me to the people? Will it be as a vengeful God who’s full of judgment only? No — I am merciful, long-suffering, always ready to forgive my people!”

Here was the revelation! And it set Moses’ heart at ease. Indeed, while he was still worshipping, he began claiming and appropriating the glory God had revealed to him: “God’s mercy will see us through! He is long-suffering, and he will forgive us. What a glory this is! What comfort, what hope!”

Immediately, Moses began praying, “Lord, you said you would forgive the iniquity and transgression of thousands. Well, here are those thousands before you. We’re all stiff-necked and in need of mercy. So, Lord, grant your mercy to us. Pardon our many sins!” (see Exodus 34:9).

This passage proves unmistakably that the revelation of God’s glory is an integral part of worship!

God Is Worshiped When He
Sees His People Laying Hold
Of the Rights He Has Given
Them by His Word.

The revelation of God’s glory should be the wellspring of all our worship. We ought to regularly lay claim to his glory, testifying, “Lord, I know you’re holy and just, and you won’t wink at sin. But I’ve also seen your glory. And I know you’re not out to destroy me.

“You don’t condemn me in my struggles. On the contrary, you show me how loving and long-suffering you are toward me. I know I deserve rejection. I’ve failed so often, I should be cast aside completely. But you reveal to me that you’re merciful, gracious, tenderhearted!”

At times during my years in ministry, I’ve been overwhelmed by enemies who have risen up against me. In those times, I felt the discipline of the Lord like a rod on my back. I remember one period in particular, when I was being slandered on all sides. Other ministers asked me, “David, I’m hearing questionable things about you. Are they true? Is all this stuff about you coming from the devil, or is God trying to speak to you?”

Even that question offended me! After a while I became totally overwhelmed by the emotional pain of it all. I grew physically exhausted from the ongoing battle. At one point, I could barely face going to church to preach.

One morning my wife literally had to lift me up from my chair in my study. About halfway to church, I told her I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t face another person in our services wondering if I was a phony. Finally I cried out, “Lord, what have I done to deserve this? Where is my sin?”

Then, one day, God directed me to this prayer of Jeremiah: “O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:24).

These words from Jeremiah became my daily prayer throughout that severe time of testing: “Lord, chasten me and judge me if you must. But please — don’t do it in anger! If I hear one more wrathful word, it’ll destroy me. I’ll be brought to nothing. Please don’t reduce me to dust, Lord. I’m low enough!”

Whenever I uttered this prayer, the Lord answered me, “David, if I choose to correct you, it’s because I love you. This test is not about my judgment at all. I am merciful, gracious, loving, long-suffering toward you. Now, stand still and see my glory!” This knowledge of his glory carried me through to a place of total rest. God vindicated me on all sides.

Beloved, once you have this revelation of God’s glory, you need never again fear he’ll correct you in anger. He carries his rod in a tender, loving hand. He will discipline us, but only in gracious compassion. He’ll never hurt us or cast us aside. Shouldn’t this cause our hearts to melt before him in worship, as Moses’ did?

Moreover, God reveals his glory in Christ so that we’ll claim it! It is our assigned right, and it is meant to be claimed. When Paul says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God…” (Galatians 2:21), he means, “I won’t nullify God’s offer of mercy by rejecting it!”

Those who truly worship God claim the blessing of his promises. They see the glory of his love in Christ — and they lay hold of that glory, to heal and settle their troubled souls!

2. The Second Effect of                                                                                                                    Seeing the Glory of God Is                                                                                                                 A Change in Countenance!

“The children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him” (Exodus 34:35).

A person’s countenance is the outward expression of what is in his heart. And Moses’ face here simply reflected the glory of God in his soul!

Previously, Moses had been shut in with the Lord for forty days and nights, with no change in his countenance. At that time, he came from God’s holy presence to deal with Israel’s idolatry of the golden calf. No one then saw a glowing countenance from him. But later, when the revelation of God’s glory was made real to him, it changed Moses’ very look!

You can bask in God’s presence all you want. But it is a different matter entirely for his glory to be revealed in you. Paul testified, “…it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him…” (Galatians 1:15-16).

Paul is saying, “I have within me much more than some doctrine somebody thought up, more than just a head knowledge of Christ. I have a revelation of who Christ is — a revelation of his grace, mercy and love. And this revelation has become the very source of all I am and do. It’s the very essence of my life!”

The revelation of God’s glory is indeed wondrous. Yet many have turned that very revelation into a license to sin. Jude describes people “…turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

According to Paul, such people sin “that grace may abound.” They’re saying, in essence, “If God loves to express himself through mercy and forgiveness, then I’m going to give him every opportunity. I’m going to sin and let him keep loving me, so the grace will flow. What a testimony to the world that will be. I’ll be an object of all that love coming down from heaven!”

Such people are easy to spot. Their countenance gives them away. Isaiah spoke of Israelites who “…provoked the eyes of his glory. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them…” (Isaiah 3:8-9). The prophet was saying, in other words, “Your sin witnesses against you in your very look. Whatever is in your heart is going to reveal itself in your countenance!”

On the other hand, even the rankest of sinners can tell when you’ve “been with Jesus.” How can they tell? You look like no one else to them! They say, “You’re different. You carry yourself with a humble assurance. And nothing about you seems hidden. You’ve got no dark spot in your eyes, no secretiveness. You don’t seem to carry any grudges or bitterness. If you did, I’d know it. Your life is an open book!”

Sin, however, wears a certain look. No smile can cover it up. And its voice has the sound of emptiness — the echo of a sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal.

But those who have appropriated the glory of God are being changed every day. Their countenance is becoming more and more like that of Jesus!

The Revelation Moses Had
Was Glorious — But It Was
Only a Fading Thing.

The radiance that emanated from Moses’ face and heart was the result of having seen only a little of the fullness of God’s nature.

Even so, when the Israelites saw the change in Moses’ countenance, they knew he’d had a supernatural experience. His sister, brother and the others exclaimed, “This man has been face to face with God. He has gone beyond!”

Today, we have something far more glorious than even Moses had. We actually touch and handle God’s glory. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

John is saying here, “God revealed the fullness of his glory to us in Christ. We saw his glory embodied in a person. And we talked with him. We even touched him!”

Today we not only see the fullness of the glory of God — but it now abides in us! His glory shines forth in our hearts: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Paul is saying here, “Jesus Christ, God in flesh, embodies all that God is. And since we know God is goodness, love, mercy, grace and long-suffering, we also can be assured this is the nature of Christ. Since Jesus lives in our hearts, we know that the glory of God isn’t merely out in the cosmos somewhere. No — the fullness of his glory is in us, through the presence of Christ!”

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Who is this grace? It is Jesus Christ — full of mercy, kindness, love!

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (verse 12). Paul is telling us, “This grace that abides in you is the revelation of the goodness of Christ. And if you will abide in him, his revelation will instruct you in holy living! It will teach you mercy, grace, tenderness, forgiveness!”

One of the Most Important Effects of
Seeing the Glory Of God Is a Change in Our
Relationships With Others.

Once we receive this revelation of God’s glory, we cannot continue in our old ways of treating others. That must all change!

Paul clearly warns, “If the Lord has shown you how tender, kind and loving he is toward you, then you’d better show this same character of God to others.” “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

God is telling us through Paul, “You’ve seen my glory, and you know my nature and character — that I’m gracious, merciful, long-suffering, ready to forgive. Now, I want you to express to others who I am!”

Even though Moses had this revelation of God’s glory, at one point he misrepresented it to the people. He grew impatient with Israel over their disobedience — and he angrily struck a rock with his staff, as if to say, “You stiff-necked bunch of rebels!”

God didn’t take kindly to that at all. Once he reveals to you his glory — his kindness, goodness, grace and mercy — his patience will not endure your misrepresenting his glory to others. Now Moses had misrepresented that glory to Israel. And, as a result, Moses — one of the meekest, godliest figures in the Old Testament — was kept out of God’s fullness. He wasn’t allowed to enter the promised land!

We find another illustration of this in one of Jesus’ parables. He speaks of a servant who was forgiven a great debt by his master. The master showed this man incredible kindness, grace and forgiveness. Yet no sooner was the servant forgiven than he found a man who owed him a small debt — and he began choking the debtor until he paid up. The very one who had experienced great love and forgiveness showed no mercy in return!

Jesus is saying in this parable, “You’re misrepresenting the love of the father! He has given you a touch of his incredible glory, through his kindness and the forgiveness of your sins. Yet, now that you’ve seen his glory, you’re misrepresenting it to the world!”

This is summed up in Paul’s command, “Be merciful to others, even as he has been merciful to you.” The word “mercy” here is extracted from the Greek word for “misery” (“misericordia”). The full meaning of this word is, “to take to heart the misery of another, with the intention of giving him comfort and relief.” Being merciful means taking on another person’s hurt!

This is just what our Lord does for us. How many times has Jesus taken on your misery and suffering, giving you comfort, rest and forgiveness in return? How often has he wiped away your tears and spoken to you a kind word, when you didn’t deserve it? He’s done it time after time after time!

I ask you, then — how can you not find it in your heart to take on the misery and pain of someone you know who’s hurting? The Greek word for “kindness” has its roots in two words: “oracle” and “soft touch.” Are you an oracle of hope to your brothers and sisters in Christ, offering them a word of hope from the Lord, with the soft touch of comfort? According to scripture, all you have to do to be his oracle of love is to represent to others who Jesus is!

The word “compassion” means “being affected, touched by the misery of others, and determining to do something about it.” This doesn’t mean approaching someone in sin, and telling him, “I’ve got a word from heaven for you, brother. You’ve got sin in your life!”

If that’s so, he already knows it anyway. And he would probably answer you with Jeremiah’s cry: “Please, don’t deal with me in anger, or you’ll reduce me to nothing. I’m already down far enough. Don’t reduce me any further!”

If you’ve had a revelation of the Lord’s glory, you know what it means to taste his love, mercy and forgiveness. And you’re being changed by that glory. Now, Jesus says, take that glory and shine it on the world around you. It’s time to act in love, as your Lord has continually done for you!

 

YOU HAD TO BE THERE

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You Had to Be There 

By Mario Murillo

February 2, 2016

Sunday night, January 31st, Faith and Wisdom Church, Branson Missouri: She came will multiple ailments—especially in her shoulders—but what she did next will burn in our memories forever.  More on this in a moment…

The last 48 hours will be bracketed in American history by two events.  As Iowa caucused to elect a president—Branson was crowning Christ King of America.  Only time will tell which of the two will have the greatest impact on the destiny of our nation.

Every revival has its critics.  Naysayers vowed that a 2 month break in Branson would douse the flames of revival.  Instead, the fire got hotter—the people pressed in deeper and signs and wonders emerged with greater force.

Even I had my dark night of the soul before I returned to Branson.  God used John Davis to encourage me with a powerful word of how the people were still excited and waiting for the next level of the Branson Outbreak!

EXPECTANCY

But even before these meetings began there were omens.  People felt an irresistible urge to travel to Branson at a time of year when the city virtually closes down.   Leaders came from Los Angeles and one prominent missionary arrived from the Ukraine.  A holy voice was inviting people from all regions and walks of life.  Some were told they would be revolutionized, others were given promises of healing, still others could not tell you why they were pulled to this place.

Friday night: felt like a reunion of long lost friends and yet it felt as if there was no break in the action.  My message declared the need for EXTRAVAGANT ASKING.  The verse of the hour was John 16: 23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”   The mandate of God was simple:  Compared to what you should ask of Me…you have asked nothing!

Dino copySaturday morning:  Ron McIntosh preached a timeless call to true revival and the urgency of admitting we are all gifts and ministries in this miracle.  As Jovita Shepphard and the worship team began singing “There is power in the name of Jesus.”  Undiluted Glory drenched the people.  They discarded doubt—ignored their own needs—and wholly embraced their role as soldiers.  Never—and I mean never—have a people sung the phrase THERE’S AN ARMY RISING UP where I was overcome with the reality that an army indeed was rising up.

Sunday Morning:  Pastor Gary McSpadden stoked the flames of revival even higher by declaring to Faith and Wisdom church “We are now a revival church!”  This was a rhema word…for as he spoke it the presence of God invaded the house.  People hit the floor, bodies were healed…you could feel the plans of Satan being foiled and the Kingdom of God overtaking Branson.

Sunday Night:  The house of God filled with people and a crackling expectancy filled the air.  A rare and beautiful mixture of excitement and reverence overcame us all.   The worship team from Faith and Wisdom took the lead and sang as I have never heard them before.

 

shoulders

Then Dino came to the piano.   We had a program but it was about to go up in flames.  As he played, a churning glory filled the room.  The music had a startling impact on the people.   As Dino neared the end of the song people spontaneously began to cheer.  Dino looked at me and said “Mario, people are being healed now!”  Truer words were never spoken—indeed a cluster of healings manifested simultaneously in all parts of the auditorium.   Soon we witnessed spines, hearts, ears, every limb, and cancer and well, the list seemed to go on and on.

The woman I mentioned at the beginning came will multiple ailments—especially in her shoulders—but what she did next will burn in our memories forever.   She raised both her arms to heaven.  Her new shoulders refused to let her lower her arms.  (We have all raised our arms and felt the fatigue and pain after a few minutes.)  Now listen:  She held her arms aloft for almost 40 minutes.  She had a heavenly gaze…if you permit me—I will tell you she seemed to be in a trance.

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I was reminded of Moses holding the rod of God over the battle.   Aaron and Hur helped Moses keep his arms up—in this case the Holy Spirit was doing it.   The entire time that here hand was raised the miracles kept coming.  She was not healing the people…Jesus was.

Lost souls came to Christ…they had gotten best kind of Soul Winning Sermon you could get.  “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” -1 Corinthians 2: 4

How can I do justice to what happened in the last 48 hours?  I cannot…you had to be there

P.S. The miracle in Branson shows no sign of letting up!  I return to Branson on Sunday 6 PM February 28th!

BRINGING LIVING PROOF TO A CITY THAT WAS LEFT TO DIE

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Bringing Living Proof to a city that was left to die

By Mario Murillo

Before seven days pass, Mario Murillo Ministries will be able to say something astounding:  “We invaded the nation’s worst crystal meth region and then we invaded America’s most dangerous city.   While Yuba City still vibrates with the Spirit of God, we are already putting boots on the ground in Flint, Michigan.”   

The picture you see is a major miracle.  That was when the mayor of Flint gave us the key to the city and proclaimed June 29th Mario Murillo Ministries’ day!  This weekend we return after several years.

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Nearly 1.1 million people have now read this blog.  Our regular readers are the most dangerous Christians in the world.  I know you by your comments.  You are alarmed at the disaster in America, but you are confident about God’s power to save our nation.

There is another thing about our regular readers that is amazing…they are, well, readers.   Facebook is making some people stupid.  (Facebook is even now listed as a top factor in divorce!)  This social media is a parade of catchy videos.  Reading is a lost art.

A person who reads something that makes them think is even rarer. That makes the success of this blog even more amazing.

Our regular readers need no explanation about why we are going to Flint, but others might.   So why are we going to America’s most dangerous city?   Let me answer that question with another question. Can you think of a better place for the miracles of Jesus to appear?  This phrase that ignited Yuba City also applies to Flint: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”

Mario Murillo Ministries believes in applying supernatural change where it is needed most.  Our battle cry is: “In the Name of Jesus, where there are devils, they are coming out, where there is disease and addiction, healing is coming in!”

Flint has a crime rate that is seven times higher than the national average. I am not trying to sell you on the misery and despair that oozes from Flint.  There is no way to really show you the epidemic of addiction and violence.  No city in America has been decimated the way Flint has.  If you could be here with me you would find it hard to believe that this is an American city.

No place in America embodies the devastating impact of empty-headed liberalism and corporate greed like Flint, Michigan.  Here is an American city left to die because General Motors and the Unions could not compromise.   Both of these groups used the good people of Flint as a bat to beat each other to death.  GM and the Union survived, but the city did not.

Then something worse arrived: the government.

If you were to pick the one thing that does the opposite of its intended purpose, it would be government programs.  They are an epic waste of money.Geneva

One huge reason we are back in Flint is Geneva Spears.  She has prayed and shared the Gospel in Flint for 30 years.  Here she is, doing what she does so well, rallying people to pray and leading them into revival.   It is an honor to work with her again.

My greatest conviction is revival.  There is no substitute for a moral awakening.  It is not simply the best thing, it is the only thing.   I am going to Flint to answer a question deep in my soul; if Satan can make Flint a trophy of hell, why can’t God make it a trophy of heaven?

I am asking for your prayers for this great endeavor.  And, if you live near this region join us for these amazing meetings.

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The most dangerous phrase in America

MADNESS copy

The most dangerous phrase in America

By Mario Murillo

Nine innocent people are killed in church for their race!?  It is evil, sickening and demands maximum outrage.

But outrage is the issue with America…we cannot find the right kind of outrage.  “Reverend” Sharpton and white supremacists have the absolute wrong kind of outrage.  If all you can do is foment and incite, you’re just another hater.   Something this heinous demands a deeper look.

America, you are drowning in hate and Satan is laughing.  He knows how effective hatred is.  “Inflame in them hate over a perceived injustice and drive them to insane acts of violence.”

When a black man murders a cop, Satan laughs.  When a cop murders an unarmed black man, Satan laughs.  Both crimes are on his side.  Both evils advance his purpose.

When Dlyann Roof let a woman live so his message of hate could get out, his words to her were, “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.”

Recently a man robbed a store in Philadelphia and said, “I am sorry to do this but I have to feed my family.”  His was a far lesser crime with the same root cause.

Have you discovered the most dangerous phrase in America?  It is the words, “I can’t help myself.”

charleston-shooting

Bruce Jenner cannot help but become a woman.  Rachel Dolezal can’t help but become a black woman.  Islamists cannot help but kill for Allah.  And Dylann Roof says I have to do this.  “Right and wrong don’t matter anymore, I have to do this.”

“Do this for the greater good,” is the other lie that Satan uses on us.  Look at Harvard University.  Her name is Sandra Korn. She is a senior at Harvard and columnist for the Harvard Crimson.  She believes that free speech is a threat to the Liberal agenda.

In a recent column, Korn unambiguously insisted that the university should stop guaranteeing professors and students the right to hold controversial views and pursue research that challenges liberalism. “If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals?” asked Korn in her column.   Sandra Korn can’t help it; she has to silence the opposition.

How can I compare Sandra Korn to Dylann Root?  She wants research destroyed that undermines her goals.  She is a book burner.  Heinrich Heine, the German poet, said, “Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”

We must see hatred for the colorless, asexual, unpolitical monster that it is.  And the first examination for hate must be self-examination.

If we can see nothing wrong with our group and everything wrong with the other group, we keep hate alive.  Satan laughs because his agenda lives to destroy another day.

Justice cannot be known let alone achieved without God.  Christian, you have a choice. You can see this as a dark hour or as a shining moment for the Gospel.

We are constantly barraged for our stands on morality. But a moral stand is a belief in power.   It says, “I cannot help myself, but God will help me.  I do not have to yield to any urge that is beneath my dignity as a child of the King.”

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We must push back against the lies against our faith.  The Gospel is not a crutch; it is an engine that drives us to right choices.  And, as I seem to recall, Jesus got rid of crutches, he didn’t hand them out.

No place in America embodies the devastating impact of the phrase “I can’t help myself” like Flint Michigan.  Here is an American city left to die because General Motors and the Unions could not compromise.   Both of these groups used the good people of Flint as a bat to beat each other to death.  GM and the Union survived, but the city did not.  They abandoned Flint because they couldn’t help it.

A minister friend asked me, “Why are you going to Flint?  Didn’t you just come out of a grueling 5 day crusade in Yuba City?”  Not only this, he wanted to know if it was dangerous to go because of this devastating tragedy in Charleston.

My answer was immediate… I asked him if he could think of a better place or a better time for the miracles of Jesus to appear.

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