EMBRACE THE HONOR

What I am about to I tell you may be hard to believe.  Especially in these times that are dark, evil, angry and dangerous. There is no question that they are the most challenging days ever: in which to be married, have children, own a business, or lead a ministry.

Paul waged war for the Lord in the perilous times in which he lived, and he told Timothy to “fight the good fight.” A warrior shines best in the hottest battle. We must put on the armor of God, and learn to use the sword of the spirit.

Why should you learn to fight? Until you face the fact that you are locked in mortal combat, you will never stop being confused and you will never take adequate measures to arm yourself. Some even coddle the notion that if they remain a commonplace Christian, Satan will not attack them. But the warrior understands that it is the unarmed who are taken out first.

Rejoice in the honor of being born in these times!

 First, it is an honor because of what you get to see God do.   These are times when you will witness the power of God working miracles and doing special things through special people.  He gives grace that is not available in other, less chaotic times.  It is in times of crisis that He grants extraordinary power, wisdom, and courage. A life of knowing God and serving God is available to you—a life that was not available to prior generations.  Daniel wrote about dangerous times: “…but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” [Daniel 11:32b]

It is in the darkest times that the greatest glory rises.  Isaiah 60:1: “And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

It is God’s grand finale. It is the time when He will at last reveal the mystery of His work in the world, and He will release all the provisions He has been storing up.

 Then there is the matchless honor of suffering shame for Christ.   Acts 5:41 says, “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

Jesus said in Luke 6:22: “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they excommunicate you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Indeed, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same things to the prophets.”

 You were born for this time.  It is not punishment, it is not an accident, and it is an honor—because there is a glorious plan!  There is a holy design, and God in His perfect timing has placed you here on earth right now. We might yearn for simpler times, but the rewards are much greater in this time in which we are living.

But there are consequences for not participating… 

Let me take you back to another dangerous time, and urge you to embrace this, your hour of destiny.

Moses had sent out twelve men, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to do reconnaissance and then report back on the status of the land Jehovah promised to give them. They were at war, but only two of them were eager and ready to enter the land and fight to take it.

Here are the highlights of the story from the book of Numbers:

13:30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are. 33 There we saw the giants…and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight.”

14:1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. But Joshua and Caleb, tore their clothes; 7 and said: “The land we passed through is an exceedingly good land. 8 Since Jehovah delights in us, He will bring us into this land and give it to us. Only do not rebel against Jehovah, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and Jehovah is with us. Do not fear them.” 10Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. 30Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 36 The men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and brought a bad report of the land 37died by the plague before Jehovah. 38 But Joshua and Caleb remained alive, of the (twelve) men who went to spy out the land.

The great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and who are, at this very moment watching from the grandstands of heaven, would give almost anything to be in your shoes!  Jesus said, “I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.” [Luke 10:24].

Today you can terrify the enemy and glorify God by turning the tables. Instead of withdrawing out of fear and feeling like you are victims for being born in these times, like Joshua and Caleb, fully embrace this moment.

See it as a great opportunity. Embrace your destiny, and thank God for the honor of being born in these times!

Listen to what Pastor John Kilpatrick, who led the Pensacola Revival, said about Mario’s new book:
“As I read the manuscript for Mario Murillo’s new book, Vessels of Fire and Glory, I said to myself, “Finally!” Mario has measured the church and the nation in this season and did not hold anything back. His honesty is like the sun rising inside a dark cave. This release is a paradox—it is sobering and refreshing; it is symptoms and the cure. I believe this revivalist has penned a treatise that should be in the hands of all who lead the work of God.”
Mario’s new book will awaken you to your assignment in God’s work to save America. 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/ 

 

Boldness

It is hard to convince many Christians that they are rapidly losing their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  They either don’t believe it is happening, or they chalk it up to ‘fake news’ or ‘politics.’  But the erosion of liberty is not only real—it is the greatest threat American Christians have ever faced.

If I listed everything the church was allowed to say ten years ago that she can’t say today, you would be horrified.  Without a miracle, your children and grandchildren will have to survive in a world that will totally ban their faith—and what is even scarier: they will have to face it without you.

The doctrines of our faith that offend are: the Cross, the Blood of Jesus, the reality of Hell, sexual purity, and marriage.  Preachers who feel the heat from government censorship are already deleting these doctrines from their sermons.  They’ll tell you it’s to reach a bigger audience—but, trust me, it’s the heat.

What can we do to stop the church from being driven underground?   No one who is truly a man or woman of God can seriously entertain the idea that we should stop preaching these truths.  That is not even an option.  What then can we do to reverse this pernicious loss of liberty?

An even better question is: What does God do when a nation tries to silence His church?  The answer came to me suddenly.   Hear me out, it is not what you think.  It is way beyond petitions, or elections.  The revelation I am about to relate to you, struck me with paralyzing clarity. I am amazed I never saw it before.

However, nothing I am about to say will help you, not one point I am making will have its intended impact, unless you have a heart for it.  If you are still in denial about what is happening, I can’t help you—this message can’t help you.  If you think I am dispensing alarmist extremism, then you are just another part of the threat.

But, if you want to hear God’s heart on this crisis—if you hunger for more than half-answers, then you have come to the right place.  You can ask the Holy Spirit the most important question you could ever ask: “What do You do when a nation tries to silence Your church?”

Here it comes:

When the leaders of Jerusalem arrested Peter, they didn’t know what to charge him with or how to punish him.  They knew they had to silence the church.  There was no doubt about their intention.  They were prepared to do anything to stop the Gospel—so what was stopping them?  Answer that, and you will know what the exact marching orders are, that the church needs today.

What was hindering the council members was the glaring presence of the man who came with Peter and John.  This was the crippled beggar who used to sit at the Gate Beautiful.  A spectacular miracle had occurred!  He had occupied the most visible and lucrative begging station in Jerusalem.  Everyone knew him.  Word of his miraculous healing filled Jerusalem, and a mad chorus of praise was rising over the Eternal City.

Their deep consternation is vividly described in these verses: Acts 4:14 “And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded (Peter and John) to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.””

Their profound dilemma was not lost on Peter.  The Holy Spirit had revealed to him the divine solution to government censorship.  Peter had clearly settled on a course of action—the very action we need to take today. It is the action we take in our tent. He left with a battle plan. He was armed with critical information.

He gathered the people of God, and ordered them to pray.  He was about to pray a prayer that is the precise model for our crisis. He faced the same threat we face.  Remember that word: “threat.”

You will recall I told you that nothing good can come to you from my message, unless you see how urgent the hour has become?  Peter began his prayer by calling the situation ‘a threat.’  We must do this, also.

In Acts chapter 4, Peter prayed: 29 “Now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”

Peter is showing us that boldness is essential.  Only boldness will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Not only this, he is forever settling the question of preaching.  Preaching must not leave anything out.  It is by sharing the whole counsel of God, that the church is protected, and able to continue her work.

Next, Peter is admitting that the vehicle for that boldness is signs and wonders.  God must stretch His hand over an angry culture, perform supernatural healings, and overrule the agenda of man.  Such is the case today.  Look at how God answered:

Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

Not only were they filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness, but God answered their prayer for miracles.  In the next chapter, the very shadow of Peter was healing the masses. (Acts 5:15-16)

Ignore those who aren’t willing.  Set the time and place to go to homes, houses of worship, schools, offices—anywhere where true prayer can be raised up to God.  Prove this promise and see: the Spirit will fall; you will receive a tongue of fire, and miracles will come.  I am not talking about self-absorbed emotional light touches.  I am talking about undeniable, medically verified, city-shaking divine healings.

And you will see that now, as in that day, no law, no argument, and no politician will be able to silence the church!

FIND YOUR ASSIGNMENT IN GOD’S WAR TO RESTORE AMERICA. READ MARIO’S NEW BOOK.

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AMERICA LOVED PREACHERS

By Mario Murillo. A funny thing happened when celebrity preachers tried to get America to like them: America ended up hating them.

I am writing this with deep love for, and loyalty to, the local church. There is no desire to take a cheap shot at anyone, or to cause division within the church.  I have to write this, because love does not lie or withhold needed correction.

America has abandoned God, Christian values, as well as Israel, and our nation is racing toward disaster.  Evil festers when good men do nothing.  Denying it will not change it or make it go away.  Its effect on you and those you love will not be stopped by delusional teachings of spiritual entitlement.

So how do we turn the American Church around?  That is the question I posed in a previous post.  Now I continue to answer that burning question by saying this:  in order to turn the church around we must face the fact that America liked us better, back when we told the truth.

Here is an illustration from the Bible.  Jonah ran from his calling. Then God sent a great storm.  The captain of the ship that Jonah boarded in his flight from God had a gut feeling that Someone was angry about something. When they found Jonah asleep, they asked him, “Who are you?”   When he admitted he was a runaway prophet, Jonah 1:10 tells us, “Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, ‘Why have you done this?’ For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.”

Americans feel a psychical resentment toward the church.  I say psychical, because it is intuitive and subconscious.  They really cannot explain why they are angry with us. They may claim it is our politics, or falsely accuse us of racism, or even rightly point out our flaws, yet this present dislike of the church stems from something much deeper.  They are asking us, as those men long ago asked Jonah, “Why have you done this?”

When the outside world observes our ‘illustrated-electronic-happy-talks’ they get a gut feeling that we are hiding something.   They also suspect that our nation’s storm, similar to that of Jonah’s time, is partly because preachers are not confronting sin anymore.  As one non-Christian pundit put it, “If there was more hell in the pulpit, there would be less hell in the ghetto.”

At this point in our national disaster, a mega-church is like having a great party going on on the deck of the Titanic—you may be having a great time, but you will not save America from the frigid angry ocean.

Here is the real rub…if numbers matter so much to our mega-churches, then why are we ignoring the most important statistic: overall church attendance in America has fallen dramatically?

They liked us better, when we were not trying to be liked.  There was a day when men of God stood in pulpits as free men.  They were free of any need to be liked or successful.  A. W. Tozer said, “These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.  They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.”

We are impressed by churches that can draw 15,000 people.  But that is nothing compared to back in the day when America liked us better…a whole lot better.

Look at the picture of Billy Graham in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1963.  120,000 are inside, and another 30,000, could not get in.  On the scoreboard it says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No man comes unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6).   Not one person was offered a visitors gift bag filled with CDs.  No one was in the dark about the purpose of the meeting.  Billy stood there and simply told them that they had to come to Christ or be lost for all eternity.

Look at this picture below of Billy preaching in Times Square in New York City.  We cannot even imagine any of this happening today.

When Billy prayed for sermons he focused on hearing what the Holy Spirit wanted him to say.  He wanted a message that God could use, and not words that would dazzle the audience.  When Billy was in the pulpit, he completely died to his private opinions.  He got out of the way, so that the Holy Spirit could work on the audience.

We bought into the lie that if we ‘made nice,’ and took out the scary parts of our message, we would be liked, but we ended up more despised than ever.

“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23)

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas said, “Jesus did confront his culture with truth—and He ended up being crucified because of it.  I believe it’s time for pastors to say, you know, I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for Truth regardless of what happens.”

They may not like us for telling them the truth, but they will at least hear the Truth!

BOLDNESS

If I listed everything the church was allowed to say ten years ago that she can’t say today, you would be horrified.  Without a miracle, your children and grandchildren will have to survive in a world that will totally ban their faith—and what is even scarier: they will have to face it without you.

It is hard to convince many Christians that they are rapidly losing their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  They either don’t believe it is happening, or they chalk it up to  ‘fake news’ or ‘politics.’  But the erosion of liberty is not only real—it is the greatest threat American Christians have ever faced.

The doctrines of our faith that offend are: the Cross, the Blood of Jesus, the reality of Hell, sexual purity, and marriage.  Preachers who feel the heat from government censorship are already deleting these doctrines from their sermons.  They’ll tell you it’s to reach a bigger audience—but, trust me, it’s the heat.

What can we do to stop the church from being driven underground?   No one who is truly a man or woman of God can seriously entertain the idea that we should stop preaching these truths.  That is not even an option.  What then can we do to reverse this pernicious loss of liberty?

An even better question is: What does God do when a nation tries to silence His church?  The answer came to me suddenly.   Hear me out, it is not what you think.  It is way beyond petitions, or elections.  The revelation I am about to relate to you, struck me with paralyzing clarity. I am amazed I never saw it before.

However, nothing I am about to say will help you, not one point I am making will have its intended impact, unless you have a heart for it.  If you are still in denial about what is happening, I can’t help you—this message can’t help you.  If you think I am dispensing alarmist extremism, then you are just another part of the threat.

But, if you want to hear God’s heart on this crisis—if you hunger for more than half-answers, then you have come to the right place.  You can ask the Holy Spirit the most important question you could ever ask: “What do You do when a nation tries to silence Your church?”

Here it comes:

When the leaders of Jerusalem arrested Peter, they didn’t know what to charge him with or how to punish him.  They knew they had to silence the church.  There was no doubt about their intention.  They were prepared to do anything to stop the Gospel—so what was stopping them?  Answer that, and you will know what the exact marching orders are, that the church needs today.

What was hindering the council members was the glaring presence of the man who came with Peter and John.  This was the crippled beggar who used to sit at the Gate Beautiful.  A spectacular miracle had occurred!  He had occupied the most visible and lucrative begging station in Jerusalem.  Everyone knew him.  Word of his miraculous healing filled Jerusalem, and a mad chorus of praise was rising over the Eternal City.

Their deep consternation is vividly described in these verses: Acts 4:14 “And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded (Peter and John) to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.””

Their profound dilemma was not lost on Peter.  The Holy Spirit had revealed to him the divine solution to government censorship.  Peter had clearly settled on a course of action—the very action we need to take today. It is the action we take in our tent. He left with a battle plan. He was armed with critical information.

He gathered the people of God, and ordered them to pray.  He was about to pray a prayer that is the precise model for our crisis. He faced the same threat we face.  Remember that word: “threat.”

You will recall I told you that nothing good can come to you from my message, unless you see how urgent the hour has become?  Peter began his prayer by calling the situation ‘a threat.’  We must do this, also.

In Acts chapter 4, Peter prayed: 29 “Now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”

Peter is showing us that boldness is essential.  Only boldness will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Not only this, he is forever settling the question of preaching.  Preaching must not leave anything out.  It is by sharing the whole counsel of God, that the church is protected, and able to continue her work.

Next, Peter is admitting that the vehicle for that boldness is signs and wonders.  God must stretch His hand over an angry culture, perform supernatural healings, and overrule the agenda of man.  Such is the case today.  Look at how God answered:

Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

Not only were they filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness, but God answered their prayer for miracles.  In the next chapter, the very shadow of Peter was healing the masses. (Acts 5:15-16)

Ignore those who aren’t willing.  Set the time and place to go to homes, houses of worship, schools, offices—anywhere where true prayer can be raised up to God.  Prove this promise and see: the Spirit will fall; you will receive a tongue of fire, and miracles will come.  I am not talking about self-absorbed emotional light touches.  I am talking about undeniable, medically verified, city-shaking divine healings.

And you will see that now, as in that day, no law, no argument, and no politician will be able to silence the church!


COME AND BRING THOSE WHO NEED A MIRACLE TO THIS OPEN DECLARATION AND DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF CHRIST IN FRESNO