WHAT I AM GOING TO DO NOW

No one who knows me well, has asked that question. They know better than that. They know what I am going to do. I’ve even had friends call from great distances and say, “I know what you’re going to do!” More on that in a moment. I want to get to something else.

What happened in Chico was Satan. Paul wrote, “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:18)

When people make up rules on the spot, you know that is Satan. When you are told you can’t have a gathering, but there is a car race going on in the background, that is Satan. When not a single case of Coronavirus is recorded within 200 miles, and you are accused of being irresponsible, that is Satan. When lukewarm churches oppose soul winning and miracles, then you know it is Satan.

The good people of Chico were robbed—not by a virus but by hate and fear. They were robbed by leftists prematurely spreading a panic. In my opinion, they were targeting Christians. Even now, Casinos are still open, while at the same time, churches are ordered to close.  As if Casinos have some magical protection that churches don’t.

Satan wants to stop all of our crusades. Satan knew the momentum that would be generated by this crusade. Here is what really bites: Not one person would have gotten sick from the virus, but a lot of people would have been healed of serious diseases. I believe that cancers would have been healed, along with many other truly life threatening sicknesses.

But more importantly, the worst sickness of all would have been healed—sin sick souls! I just got off the phone with one of our board members. He was telling me how a friend he has been inviting to church for many years, but who would never go, had agreed to come to the Tent in Chico. Only God knows how many other souls would have come.

I had to calm down a fire-breathing army of soul winners who were all set to return to Chico today and hit the streets. At this point, they would have been unduly endangered, trying to pray for people. They would also be in direct defiance of the government’s orders. No, the devil may have won this battle.  BUT NEVER AGAIN!

Do you still want to ask what I am going to do now?   We were born in the fire of student riots. We waded through tear gas and protesters.  During the A.I.D.S. epidemic we never backed down. Ten more epidemics have come and gone since then. What are we going to do?

We will not relent. We will reload. As soon as the ban lifts we will win more souls than ever. We are going to expand our outreach to the Highway 99 Corridor. Every aspect of our outreach will intensify.

I know the Coronavirus is a real crisis. I agree that getting America to lay low will help blunt the epidemic. I am not in disagreement with the call to limit this virus. I do not oppose the safeguards that are recommended now by health professionals.

Here’s what I do oppose. I oppose the Left which is creating a parallel crisis of fear and panic. They seek to divide and blame and inflame mindless passions. But, what else is new?

My other issue is this: closing down churches while leaving other places where people gather wide open does not look like an effort to stop a virus. It looks like an effort to stop the church. And what will California do after this virus passes? Will they let up on the church or have they created a pretext to stop the church any time and for any reason they want?

I remember how, during a major drought, they raised the price of water with a solemn promise that when the drought ended prices would return to normal. Instead, right when the drought subsided they invented one of the most insidious surcharges I’ve ever heard of. It’s called an elevation charge. They charge people for how high the water had to flow to get to them—even when there was zero evidence that it cost them anything extra to deliver the water.

This is an hour when discernment is crucial. The church must abide by rules that protect the public and help stop the pandemic. But the church must also be aware when being shut down is not happening because of a virus, rather, it is happening because the Left wants to shut down churches and stop the Gospel.

But they will fail.

“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord. (Is. 59:19-20)

 

The CaliforniaVirus

A caravan of trucks is making its way toward Chico, California. They are carrying everything needed for a full blown Tent crusade. Vessels of God from many parts of America and other nations are on a pilgrimage to Chico. This holy core of workers say Jesus told them to join Him on the frontlines of a hurting city. They took the flights others told them not to take. They told their bosses that winning the lost and healing the sick takes priority.

A friend is someone who walks in, when everyone else walks out. This holy core of workers is the best friend this or any city could ever have. We would never tell the police to skip their duty because of a virus. We would never tell a nurse or doctor to hide at home. We would never tell any first responder to take the day off because they might encounter risk. How can we say any less to a soldier of the Cross? How can we overrule them? If they say they have a mandate from God, who are you, or who am I, to tell them differently? All I ever say is, “Make sure it’s God, then act on it!”

That doesn’t mean we do not take the Coronavirus seriously, we do! We will not act recklessly, or break any law.  We are in compliance with state guidelines, and we will obey any civil authority when it comes to this crusade. However, we see another virus that is just as deadly.

The virus we are fighting in Chico and all along the Highway 99 corridor, is the CaliforniaVirus. It is deadly. Morally bankrupt intellectualism is why millions writhe in meaningless lives in this State. Meanwhile, their leaders in Sacramento heap more misery on them and then force them to pay for it. The grand experiment of California values has created America’s greatest human tragedy.

In Silicon Valley, workers who gave their lives for a company are being replaced by cheaper labor, and to add insult to injury, they are forced to train the people who are stealing their jobs. In Hollywood, vacuous and ignorant celebrities preach to us about the sacrifices we must make, while they live in obscene luxury.

Giddiness is a symptom of the CaliforniaVirus. It’s how a parent can grin and feel enlightened as a transgender man in a sexy sequined dress reads a story to their 5 year old. It’s how teachers can scold a first grader for calling a friend Johnny who has changed their name to Sally. This Virus redefines child abuse.

This infection of the mind and soul has caused them to come up with ideas like free needles for addicts, and AWOL methods of handling the homeless. (https://sites.google.com/a/coyotes.usd.edu/awolatusd/social-issues/homelessness)

It’s how San Francisco, the most beautiful city in America, has been transformed into a slum, covered in human and medical waste. The fever of CaliforniaVirus is how educators have ignored their children’s need to learn how to read and write, and instead, have indoctrinated them with leftist ideology and books about sexual positions. It is why more and more of our children are turning to suicide.

The Virus says that if a fetus makes it to full-term and is born alive, the mother can still have it killed. The Virus says we should leave our border open so the other virus can get in.”

Its final symptoms are denial and smugness. So what if crime is off the charts? So what if addiction is pandemic? So what if our kids won’t know how to make a living? Who cares if innocent citizens are murdered by those who have illegally invaded our nation? The Virus says, ‘Lift the restrictions on criminals, create a revolving door in our prisons and at the same time, remove the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.’

The CaliforniaVirus will destroy more lives than any other virus. It drains joy, decency, and sanity from its victims. Let’s admit what this virus is…it is pure despair-inducing evil.

So: Why are we here in Chico?

Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for the CaliforniaVirus!

It restores dignity. It breaks the chains of addiction. It infuses a lost heart with unstoppable hope. It cleanses the past, empowers the present, and guarantees the future!

Jesus will be in the Tent curing the CaliforniaVirus. Our message is clear, and yes, we will be hated for its clarity.

Nothing can say it better than Acts 2:40, “(Peter) went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!” (The Message)

We are saying to the masses that are lying crushed beneath the weight of California’s moral turpitude—

COME TO JESUS AND BE SAVED AND HEALED!

FIVE PROVEN WAYS TO WIN SOULS IN CALIFORNIA

Jesus called His Father, the ‘Lord of the harvest.’ “…when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”” (Matthew 9:36-38)

Those words tell us a lot. It tells us that God the Father is leading the charge to win souls.  We then join Him in the harvest. It is a good reminder to us never to be intimidated by California culture. Yes, there is hostility, perversion, and hardness of heart. But none of that is a match for God.

Satan does not want you to believe there is a harvest in California—a vast harvest. If we only knew how many people God has right now on the verge of being converted to Christ, it would truly shock us all!

Here are five proven ways to win souls in California.

1. Be baptized in the Holy Spirit. 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 Baptism of the Holy Spirit was given, first and foremost, as a gift to empower soul winning. Every other benefit, while glorious, is secondary. The primary reason for this gift is: power to be a witness.

The Baptism will put wise words within you and boldness to speak those words. You may think you are too shy to witness. You may find it impossible to picture yourself sharing your faith. But the Holy Spirit will rise within you and make you a powerful and effective soul winner. Consider the difference the Baptism of the Holy Spirit made in Peter. He went from a man who was so afraid, to the point that he denied Christ three times, to a man who was as bold as a lion and who converted thousands on the day of Pentecost.

2. Write a short summary of your testimony. Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives unto death.” The most effective weapon you will ever use to win souls is your own account of how Jesus saved you. Memorize it. Make it a habit to refer to it often.

E. Stanley Jones was the Billy Graham of his day. He developed a debate forum where atheists and intellectuals were challenged to face off with Christians. Often he would not divulge who was going to defend the Faith before these prominent atheists. Then he would introduce his team: new converts. Time and time again the intellectuals would be stymied by the simple power of a changed life. No matter what they threw at these new believers, they would get the same answer back, “All I know is, once I was lost, but now I am found.” That is your edge!

We have all been told we need ‘ice breakers’ and deep theological statements in order to witness. Not true! What we need, and what the hurting soul needs is the simple story of your transformation.

3. Identify your harvest field. A better name for this is your circle of influence. These are people you deal with in your everyday life. They are hairstylists, waiters in your favorite restaurant, classmates, friends, and even family.

They know you. They have seen you on your good days and on your bad days. They already know what you believe, and they respect you. While it’s true that the whole world is our mission field, this is your primary harvest field.

It won’t be strange if the subject of your walk with Jesus comes up. This will happen because they have been watching your life. They can tell a difference between how you respond to problems, and what problems do to them. This is why we must live what we preach. They see the power of Christ in how we handle a crisis.

It is inevitable that an opportunity to share your miracle will present itself.

4. Reap the ripe harvest. Don’t argue with fools or angry people. It is a total waste of time and worse. Mark Twain said, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

The Bible says it this way: “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.” (Proverbs 26:4)

Why waste your time trying to convince someone who only wants to fight? Especially when you are surrounded by people overwhelmed by their life and who have great anxiety about the future. They are asking deep questions. That is a harvest ready to be picked.

But there is another gigantic reason to discern the harvest, and it’s in the following two verses.

Joel 28, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh…”

John 16:8, “And when (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…”

The first verse tells us something wonderful came upon all of humanity on the Day of Pentecost. The second verse describes what the Spirit Who fell on them is doing in them. Every human being is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That influence is convicting them of sin, and warning them of the disaster of living their life without God.

How wonderful to realize that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit makes you the perfect voice to someone who is already under His influence.

5. Don’t just invite them to a meeting—bring them.

Here is exactly how we instruct people to bring souls to our Tent: Don’t just invite people—ask them to come with you. Pick them up and drive them to the tent. Buy them a meal either before or after the crusade. If it is before, it is a wonderful chance to brief them on what they are about to experience. Tell them they will hear a message that will encourage them and give them inner peace. Tell them that they will see a demonstration of the power of God that will confirm that what they are hearing is real and that it is the truth.  Or if you choose to go out afterwards, it is an outstanding opportunity to reflect on what happened during the meeting.

I work hard to enforce the atmosphere God wants in the Tent. Our theme verse is this: “Nevertheless, they stayed there a long time, preaching boldly, and the Lord proved their message was from Him by giving them power to do great miracles.” (Acts 14:3)

We don’t do fire tunnels, inner healing, personal prophecy, or marathon worship. Is it because we want a harmless user-friendly service? Not at all! You will see prophecy in the Tent that causes the hearers to be convicted of their sins. They will fall to their knees and “worship God, declaring that God is truly among you” (see 1 Cor. 14:25). There will be messages in tongues and interpretation. We do cast out demons. There will be instantaneous healings and addictions will vanish.

Can you guess the difference? Everything we do in the Tent is to show the lost soul that they are loved and that the power of God is real.

The bottom line is that we must win the lost in California. We have no excuse for not doing so, because the harvest is indeed ripe. Along with our regular worship we need services that are unselfish. You aren’t serious about winning the lost if there is no deliberate plan to get them there. You aren’t serious about winning souls if you make outsiders sit through 90 minutes of a single phrase like, “Open the floodgates of heaven.” You aren’t serious about winning souls if your meeting is strictly for saints to get a deeper buzz than ever before.

I challenge you to try the things I have written about in this blog. Just under the surface, California contains the largest harvest in America!

Victory Report from California

We knew God had chosen Chico for our first tent crusade in 2020. The enemy remembers Chico. It was once the site of a great youth awakening. I know because I was in it! It was an outpouring that produced powerful leaders.

Robert Maddux was born again at that time in a remarkable manner.  Yanked out of darkness, he became a true man of God—a pastor and a powerful influence upon the lives of many leaders.  Gaylord Enns is still leading leaders here in Chico, but carries a message to the nations about the Love of God. He was swept up in the fire of revival in that same visitation. Roger Houtsma met Jesus in an epic way and became a miracle- missionary evangelist who conducted many towering crusades in India. And, it was also in Chico that I was called to preach.

Lonnie Decker is also another hero, a mighty woman of God. After her husband went to be with the Lord, she became the pastor of his little country church. I remember the night that she said she would open her heart, home, and church to the hippies God was saving. And God began saving them in an amazing way. Soon we saw rallies with thousands in attendance.

Another wonderful part of the history of the Lord’s work in Chico happened in the City of Pacifica, just south of San Francisco. I happened to be at the home of Cecil and Lillian Cooper. Cecil was a vice president at Bank of America. During dinner he slid a brochure in front of me. The brochure was for a resort named Richardson Springs.  He said, “I’m buying that resort and I am going to open a Christian conference center. I am calling it Springs of Living Water.”

“The Springs,” as we affectionately called it, became a hub for revival—a home for converted hippies and so many who were converted out of the drug culture.  Many mighty voices ministered there. Dick Mills, a man with a true prophetic gift that many of you may remember, was a powerful force at The Springs at that time.

Soon, the Springs became the home of Donnie Moore’s amazing youth camps, where thousands of young people continue to be revolutionized every summer.  Then The Springs became a Youth With a Mission base, and remains one to this day.

The first tent crusade of 2020 carries the greatest challenge. The reason is simple: it is the most rushed.  There is little you can do during the holiday season. So, when the New Year arrived, we hit the ground running. The training we received last year proved to be of invaluable help for the coming meetings! We learned to ignore what we saw with our natural eyes, and to only go by the Word of God.

All of the permits we required came in on time. The literature came together beautifully. Workers reported for duty, even when given minimal notice. All the while, we felt the presence of the devil nipping at our heels, trying to get us to stop. But, this year, we have never slowed down. This year, we have ignored even the most daunting threats and have just kept charging forward.

The enemy wanted to bury, and bury deeply, those vast wells of revival that still exist in Chico. The success of this tent crusade has hinged on successfully implementing a new weapon God had given us: it is called the Night of Miracles.

In Fresno, Dinuba, and Hanford, it was the Nights of Miracles that set the stage for the breakthrough. These Nights are a kind of D-Day for usbecause they are the initial beach landing.

But in Chico, we found ourselves at a loss to know where to hold our Night of Miracles. Suddenly, the phone rang and we received a call from Josh Jameson who assists Steve Grandy at Jubilee Church in Chico. They wanted to do what they called a Word Explosion in January. We immediately realized that we were to team up to do an event that would bless Jubilee and at the same time give us the breakthrough we needed in Chico.

Of course, the devil came with all his usual lies. He said no one would show up. He said the religious spirit over the city would smother any fire that might come. I got so excited by every lie he told. Because I knew the opposite must be true. And was it ever!

That Sunday night, the church was full early, and the faith level was sky high. The same thing happened on Monday night.  There were clear miracles of healing, yet something even more important happened. It is so important because it exposed a fallacy about Chico, and for all of California, for that matter.

SOULS WERE SAVED AND SOULS WANTED TO BE SAVED.  Those of us in the church always wish that the unsaved would want Christ, but we have been conditioned to believe they are closed to the Gospel. The Devil dreads the idea of souls being saved, and the secular-progressives laugh at the idea of youth turning to Jesus. All of that went up in smoke at Jubilee in Chico!

Now, I want to bring the most exciting news of all…and I need your help. On Tuesday, February 11th at noon, I am going bring a special message to pastors and leaders, and you will never guess where. Talk about full circle…the free luncheon is at the Springs! The Youth with a Mission base at Springs of Living Water will be the location for this historic lunch.

You already know the Tent goes up in Chico at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds March 15th through the 18th, but first, we will gather the leaders for a special time in the Word and Power of God. This luncheon is free, but you must register. Call us at (775)-238-3473.

Please remember to hold us up in prayer. I look forward to seeing you there!