PETER ON THE DAY JESUS DIED

First, he screamed and he kept screaming until he could scream no more. Then he fell off a cliff into the abyss of broken souls. He crashed with a force that could have moved the earth. Around him lay fragments—the new and hideous replacements of his former self. Shame replaced love. Cowardice replaced faith. Hope was driven out to make room for the mocking predator. Worst of all was the deep despair he felt as he saw his destiny plunge into a black hole of regret.

This all happened the day after Jesus died.

To survive, Peter virtually became a robot. He reverted to fishing. It’s what he was programmed to do. It’s what he knew best. He went through the motions to avoid every feeling, suppressing every emotion.

The difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot is razor thin. The fever of despair and regret raged in Peter every bit as hot as it had in Judas. It drove Judas to suicide. Why not Peter? Why didn’t he do what the other traitor did? It was because Jesus had prayed for him.

Satan told Peter a lie. Peter not only believed that lie, he now embodied it. And, it is the same lie that Satan is telling America right now—the lie that all the important things are gone forever.

Whenever those who hate God and America try to enforce a change, they call it ‘THE NEW NORMAL.’ They sold us on ‘THE NEW NORMAL’ of abortion, same sex marriage, and godless education. Their latest excuse for seizing control is the coronavirus. Something to remember: ‘the new normal’ is always nothing other than the old abnormal.

Peter was tortured by memories. Though he tried to fight it with all his might, it was impossible not to relive those days. Two mistakes haunted him the most. Thinking he could save Jesus, he had taken a sword and had swung it at the head of the high priest’s servant, Malchus, who, fortunately had moved just in time, losing only an ear. But his greatest horror was his discovery that he was a coward, and that he had denied Jesus three times. The rooster was still crowing in his spirit.

The hardest thing for Peter to forget was the day he met Jesus. Peter had been minding his own business when Jesus interrupted his entire life.  After fishing all night, Peter had caught nothing.   His hands were red and sore from handling the heavy nets.  Every muscle ached. He had nothing to show for a brutal night out on the water.

Then the strange Teacher said, “Let your nets down again for a catch.”  Peter half-heartedly did as he was asked, and the catch was so enormous that it terrified him.  He begged Jesus to keep His distance, “I am a sinful man!” Peter cried.

That’s when he heard the words about his destiny.  “Follow Me and I will make you a fisher of men.”

There is no doubt that Peter was convinced that now, after his failure and denial, it was too late. That fact must be clearly understood or you will not get the impact of the lesson I am about to relate.

It’s dawn on Resurrection Sunday.  Peter couldn’t know that at that very moment, an angel was talking about him.  Mark 16:7, “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that (Jesus) is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told to you.”  The angel added the words “and Peter.”  Why?  Because God knew Peter would have disqualified himself if the invitation was “for disciples only.”

Peter grabbed the messenger who related this to him and demanded: “Are you certain the angel said my name?!” “Yes, the words were, “Tell the disciples, and Peter.”” At that moment, Peter came back from the dead. He knew he was not rejected. He knew the unmatched glory of a true second chance.

Satan had worked hard to prevent Peter’s apostleship, because he knew this man would shake the gates of hell.  The first shaking came on the Day of Pentecost. The wind and fire of the Holy Spirit’s baptism transformed Peter

The coward, who had denied his Lord three times, was lovingly restored by the resurrected Jesus. He appeared to Peter, giving him three new chances to affirm his love. Jesus even provided a charcoal fire similar to the one near which Peter had experienced failure. Peter was completely transformed. He was now a lion carrying a devastating witness. He roared, “This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel!”

In the days after Jesus died, evil exerted a crushing blow on the entire city. All the Christians hid in their homes behind locked doors, and it’s like that today. Satan wishes to crush our hopes and dreams. Evil men would sell us the lie that we must adapt to a grim, cold, and dark lesser vision of America, the church, and our futures.

Those who are marked by God are unstoppable. When the doors reopen for America, God will fully restore our destiny.

But there is one miracle that remains to be explored. Cutting off Malchus’ ear haunted Peter. But there was more to it than just healing an ear. Because, my friend, that night Jesus healed more than an ear—knowing the future, Jesus knew Peter must not be sitting on death row on the day of Pentecost. Jesus prayed “permit even this” and reattached the ear, in order to protect Peter’s destiny.

Right now, He is also guarding yours. This pandemic, cannot stop God’s destiny for your life.

Welcome Back To The War

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible—people who are on the verge of spiritual shipwreck.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.

Millions have left the church.  Many who were on fire for God, even those who were effective vessels, have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announced that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked, because this kind of recanting of faith has now become common.

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  And the facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Perhaps you also were among those who were wounded on the battlefield, but did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as are the people themselves.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back into control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational weight of the unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran you off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  And He is also doing this on a massive scale with others.

He has done it before.  Just prior to the fire falling on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:37)

The Lord is doing this not only because He loves you, but because He wants to spare America.

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)

You are likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise has left her unprotected.  The active ingredient has been left out of preaching—and that ingredient is surrender.  And that is the reason that the power of God to stand against tragedy and evil has never kicked in.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is intensifying as He calls to those who are the fallen, the wounded, and the forgotten.  His wooing is loving and hopeful, but it never disguises the truth.

And the truth is that, in America, entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)

Okay. So you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, or the toxic churcheven the false churchbut why should you lose your soul just to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember—it is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy, you will have to admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what, everything would come out all right.  Even those things that you still had questions about became unimportant, because of your total trust in the character and faithfulness of God!

You have never, before or since, felt anything like His sweet presence.  Those were the best days, and those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him,” Jesus promised.

I admit I am calling forth a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come back home—to return to your best life, your only life.

There is an army rising up, composed of people that Satan thought he had, but is about to lose on a grand scale.

Won’t you turn back to Jesus, and reclaim your first love? Do your first works over again. Then, He will say to you, “Welcome back to the war!”

THIS MAN IS INSULTING YOUR INTELLIGENCE

This man is insulting your intelligence

There are times when Christians especially need to use their brains. Now is one of those times, because Pete Buttigieg is insulting your intelligence.

He wants you to be tolerant. He wants you to be accepting. He wants you to overlook, dismiss and deny what is plainly set before you. He doesn’t want you to believe your eyes. He is the embodiment of ‘what you see is what you will not get.’

Here are three ways he is treating you as if you are stupid.

  1. He believes you are too stupid to remember the disaster of electing someone who has never accomplished a thing. In other words, he wants you to forget Barack Obama. Obama is why we should not vote for Buttigieg. We already tried this. We’ve already had a President with no proven leadership skills.

We’ve already had the mouthful of high sounding platitudes with nothing to back them up. We’ve already tried the ‘Hopey, Changey’ lie. Remember how Obama promised to restore the oceans and heal the earth?

We fell for the warm and fuzzy feeling. We’ve already tried the new that made us look hip and open minded. We’ve already suffered through the messianic community organizer—why would we endure the robot mayor of Westworld?

Mayor Pete is more algorithm than human. He is the carefully worded non-statement, non-position— except for the go-to, catch-all statement of every candidate on the Left: “I am running to defeat Trump.”

We have no idea what he believes. His only conviction, is to have no convictions.

  1. He thinks you are too stupid to see he is a walking contradiction. He claims to be a Christian, and yet condones two things that the Bible deems abhorrent. I will confront one of them: He has a radical view of abortion. He believes a fetus is not a human being, until it breathes. He believes he can prove this from the Bible. Think of it… a child can be murdered, until it takes its first breath!

Here are five passages from the Bible that describe babies in their mother’s womb:

“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the One who formed you from the womb, ‘I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone . . .’” (Isaiah 44:24).

David wrote: “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that, my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the dark of the womb. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through His grace . . .” (Galatians 1:15).

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; they are a reward from Him” (Psalm 127:3).

  1. He thinks you are too stupid to see that he is not a moderate—when he is, in fact, a radical. Pete Buttigieg is trying to be the cure for Bernie Sanders. He is telling us that he is the moderate Democrat who will appeal to the center. This is a total lie.

As Mike Huckabee observed, “Buttigieg is even more radical when it comes to criminal justice reform, pledging to “ensure more people are free, by significantly reducing the number of people incarcerated in the United States at both the federal and state level by 50%.”

Huckabee went on, “Between jails and prisons, that would mean about 1.1 million convicted criminals released into American communities. They wouldn’t all be “non-violent drug offenders,” either – though Buttigieg is saying that as President he would decriminalize possession of all drugs, including meth and heroin.” https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/mike-huckabee-pete-buttigieg-is-no-moderate-all-dem-presidential-candidates-embrace-radical-policies

HE WOULD MAKE HEROIN LEGAL.

What else is Buttigieg hiding? Mayor Pete not only embraces unfettered illegal immigration, but actually wants to encourage more of it.

He wants amnesty for all 11 million illegal immigrants. He wants you to pay for their healthcare. He is for decriminalizing illegal immigration altogether.

Buttigieg even wants to create a new “community renewal visa” to funnel cheap foreign labor right into the areas where American citizens are struggling most for jobs and higher wages.

Pete is trying to con you. He thinks you’re too dumb to see it. But he is wrong…

Welcome Back To The War

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible—people who are on the verge of spiritual shipwreck.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.

Millions have left the church.  Many who were on fire for God, even those who were effective vessels, have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announced that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked, because this kind of recanting of faith has now become common.

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  And the facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Perhaps you also were among those who were wounded on the battlefield, but did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as are the people themselves.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back into control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational weight of the unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran you off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  And He is also doing this on a massive scale with others.

He has done it before.  Just prior to the fire falling on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:37)

The Lord is doing this not only because He loves you, but because He wants to spare America.

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)

You are likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise has left her unprotected.  The active ingredient has been left out of preaching—and that ingredient is surrender.  And that is the reason that the power of God to stand against tragedy and evil has never kicked in.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is intensifying as He calls to those who are the fallen, the wounded, and the forgotten.  His wooing is loving and hopeful, but it never disguises the truth.

And the truth is that, in America, entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)

Okay. So you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, or the toxic churcheven the false churchbut why should you lose your soul just to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember—it is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy, you will have to admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what, everything would come out all right.  Even those things that you still had questions about became unimportant, because of your total trust in the character and faithfulness of God!

You have never, before or since, felt anything like His sweet presence.  Those were the best days, and those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him,” Jesus promised.

I admit I am calling forth a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come back home—to return to your best life, your only life.

There is an army rising up, composed of people that Satan thought he had, but is about to lose on a grand scale.

Won’t you turn back to Jesus, and reclaim your first love? Do your first works over again. Then, He will say to you, “Welcome back to the war!”

IT ISN’T STOPPING OUR NATIONAL DISASTER

Why does the American Church think she is successful?  Her outward success hasn’t even tapped the brakes of our impending national disaster.  I wish I could say we had stopped the flood of filth and addiction.  I’d even be happy if I could say we had slowed the flood.  But no, as the flood rises, we take pride in how well we can keep people safe and dry in artificial arks of glass and stainless steel.  We celebrate things that are utterly irrelevant in the disaster that is even now at the door.

Across America, countless gleaming Christian campuses churn out activity at a dizzying pace.  Millions of dollars change hands to fuel methods that have zero impact on the enemy. The machine is manmade and utterly useless before the demonic principalities that are tearing our nation apart, limb from limb.

What right does this multi-faceted machine have to say it is effective?  What result can it point to as an example of victory over evil?

The ‘outward-success-machine’ that men have built is not of the Holy Spirit.  It runs on toxic fuel.  Every day we witness the toxicity evidenced in the tragedies of celebrity leaders who are crashing and burning. Why, you ask?  Because this fuel can neither feed the soul of a preacher, nor can it replenish their spirit.

Too many ministers are conditioned to drawing life and self-worth from the adulation of the crowd, instead of receiving fulfillment, power and peace from a life of prayer.  As a result, instead of living in the presence of Jesus and beholding His face, they have grown an unnatural heart that is capable of celebrating hollow successes that they should be ashamed of.

They are thrilled when thousands come to hear them, when they should be crying out in agony.  It is a destructive talent indeed to be able to gather thousands and leave them untouched by conviction.  Few, if any, ever repent under the influence of their ‘seeker friendly’ sermons—a repentance that could have been the budding of the first leaf toward a national awakening.

The devil doesn’t respect personality, human initiative, or feel-good sermons. He only respects the anointing.  He does not stop advancing in the face of concocted-Christianity.  But Satan is absolutely paralyzed before a word that issues forth in power and anointing directly from Jesus, Who is the Head of the Church—the devil only flees before a rhema word that is launched by a pure and anointed member of Jesus’ body on Earth, the Church.

Nothing fits our current condition better than the picture I am about to portray:

Jesus is seated on a donkey, the traditional manner in which the kings of Israel announced their reign.  He is on His way from the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem.  A roar of adulation not heard since King David returned from a victorious battle shakes the great city. The masses are saying all the right things, “Hosanna! Save us now!  Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!”  The roar is so great that the Jewish religious leaders implore Jesus to tone down the masses.  He tells them that if He did, the very rocks would cry out.

All of His disciples and core believers must have thought, “This is it.” They have been secretly hoping that Jesus is about to set up an earthly throne, conquer the Romans, and return Israel to its former glory. But strangely, even as the joy of the crowd is overwhelming, Jesus begins to weep.  He knows this is too little, too late.

Luke 19:41, “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

The roar of our concerts; the glitz of our technology; the grandeur of our meeting places, our modernization of prayer, and even our New Age-like fascination with the gifts of the Holy Spirit is all a shallow grave.  It has the trappings of being of God, without the engine of God driving it.

By what authority do we claim that ‘church-incorporated’ has the power to save America?  Please enlighten me.  I am all ears.  Moreover, if my words offend you, but they don’t even move you to check your heart, doesn’t that alone bespeak our tragedy?

America will not be saved by shallow thrill seekers. Satan laughs at the antics that distract us in this hour as we stagger toward disaster. But is it also too little too late for us?

But wait…what is that I hear?  I hear a rumble—so faint at first.  YES!  It is the sound of a mighty God Who will not share HIS GLORY WITH ANY MAN!  He would save America His way!  He is at this moment rolling up His sleeves to intervene, and in a most embarrassing way—a way that will bring people we don’t like, who are doing things we didn’t expect, in the places we had written off…

I am addressing those who are, or who desire to be, honest vessels of God: Take heart, you who have been forgotten—you who have been run over by the tractors of Church-incorporated.  Our heavenly Father has not forgotten you, far from it!  He is right now preparing to grant power, fire and miracles! Hallelujah!

 

Mario has a new book! Listen to what Pastor John Kilpatrick, who led the Pensacola Revival, said about Mario’s  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/ 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Back To The War

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible—people who are on the verge of spiritual shipwreck.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.

Millions have left the church.  Many who were on fire for God, even those who were effective vessels, have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announced that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked, because this kind of recanting of faith has now become common.

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  And the facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Perhaps you also were among those who were wounded on the battlefield, but did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as are the people themselves.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back into control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational weight of the unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran you off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  And He is also doing this on a massive scale with others.

He has done it before.  Just prior to the fire falling on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:37)

The Lord is doing this not only because He loves you, but because He wants to spare America.

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)

You are likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise has left her unprotected.  The active ingredient has been left out of preaching—and that ingredient is surrender.  And that is the reason that the power of God to stand against tragedy and evil has never kicked in.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is intensifying as He calls to those who are the fallen, the wounded, and the forgotten.  His wooing is loving and hopeful, but it never disguises the truth.

And the truth is that, in America, entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)

Okay. So you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, or the toxic churcheven the false churchbut why should you lose your soul just to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember—it is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy, you will have to admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what, everything would come out all right.  Even those things that you still had questions about became unimportant, because of your total trust in the character and faithfulness of God!

You have never, before or since, felt anything like His sweet presence.  Those were the best days, and those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him,” Jesus promised.

I admit I am calling forth a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come back home—to return to your best life, your only life.

There is an army rising up, composed of people that Satan thought he had, but is about to lose on a grand scale.

Won’t you turn back to Jesus, and reclaim your first love? Do your first works over again. Then, He will say to you, “Welcome back to the war!”

Building something great

I have been pondering these questions:

Can we overcome the evil that is rampant in our times and do something big for God?

Can visionaries still come to the forefront and seize the day?

Can true prophets arise, and speak the heart of God to a dying world?

If you’re looking for a cheap pep talk—a soothing shortcut—or the flattering words of the God-is-our- Daddy Movement—if you think serving God is just a tongues-talking Candy Land game, then save us both time, and ease on back into your cocoon.

But if you look at the present system of church and feel empty—if there is an inner fire that tells you “THIS IS NOT IT!  THERE HAS TO BE MORE!” —you have come to the right place.

Our journey begins with a sad joke.  A mechanically challenged young man who wants to cut some firewood goes into a hardware store.  He asks the store clerk for advice.  After being shown the chain saws, the clerk says, “With a chain saw you can cut entire cords of wood in no time.”  Sold.

The young man returns three days later angry and frustrated. “You told me I could cut cords of wood.  All I got was a few lousy sticks, and this thing is way too heavy to handle.”  Baffled, the clerk grabs the saw, yanks the pullcord and the saw roars to life.  The young man asks, “What’s that noise?”

In the greatest moral war America has ever faced, the church is trying to saw wood with a giant unstarted chainsaw.   To fight that war, our Christian Colleges insist on graduating tepid troops of singing psychologists and grinning marketers.

 Secret Number One:  Separate yourself.   There is a promise in the Bible that is timeless, omnipotent, and unstoppable.  It is a promise that transcends the mad railings of evil men, dark times, and limited resources.  It is a promise that will prevail in any culture, and at any time. Read the promise carefully:

2 Timothy 2:20 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses (separates) himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now, flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Those words were not written to some surfer in the 1960’s living in a bubble, but to a young leader embarking on ministry in the midst of the Roman Empire, facing both lash and lions.

Separate yourself from the drunken compromised preachers of today.  Separate yourself from shallow faith.  Separate yourself from those who need “a daily word from the Lord”—turning prophecy into an ecclesiastical horoscope.  Separate yourself from those who want to “activate gifts” without pressing in to know the heart of God.  If you do these things, a great work will have already begun.

 Secret Number Two: Learn practical dependency on the Holy Spirit.  Satan’s best work is not done by atheists, but by misguided Christians.  The devil prizes above all else his ability to get ministers to take matters into their own hands—to build by their own wits—and build the perfect disguise.  The current whited sepulchers are vast empires bearing Christian labels.  These are machines God never built.  They are trophies of hell meant to distract the Body of Christ, and waste time and money.

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. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

What do you see in those verses?  They should both bless and horrify you.  All the authority to build, direct, provide, strengthen and guide the church was vested in the Holy Spirit.  We have offended a precious friend!  We have driven away the very Person we needed most!

The American church thrashes about like a child in a kiddy pool, never guessing what she is doing wrong.  She hired marketers when she could have simply asked the Holy Spirit. She pointed to false success to justify her existence.  We don’t need a superman. We need supernatural men and women filled with the Holy Spirit.

You must be baptized in the Spirit and then learn to be led of the Spirit.

 Secret Number Three: Trust the process. God invented planning. Therefore, the Holy Spirit will give you a plan. The trick is, you can’t take shortcuts. You won’t always see the logic.  And you may grow weary and even come to doubt the sanity of your course.

You won’t be allowed to do things that others get away with.  You will be driven to prayer and into the Word of God over every step you take. You are taking the road least traveled.

Do what God tells you to do, and never stop doing it.  Again: Trust the process.  No matter how your guidance seems to go against the grain, obey His voice!  When you have no money but God says invest it in a vision—do it!  When close associates turn on you—still do it!  Trust the process.  When you face a withering storm of criticism because of your choice, keep going forward.

Follow these three secrets. Then, look around.  You will see people doing mighty works of God in the Earth.  You will see the glaring difference between those who are fueled by the Holy Spirit and those who are not.

But, you ask, “Will these secrets work in this day and age?”  Yes! They always have and they always will!

 

The Best Kind of Church

What is the best kind of church for this dark hour?  What kind of church transcends outward success and has true impact? What kind of church does not kill its pastor or crank out lukewarm believers?

Right now God is recruiting men and women to lead a new kind of congregation. He is asking for volunteers to build churches that can save America. He is offering you a glorious opportunity to build a storm proof, battle tested family of believers.   An army who will not just survive, they will thrive.

I am writing to the sincere, brokenhearted pastor and to the people who love that pastor. I want this to be a word that brings life, hope and direction. You will not hear this in any seminar on church growth. It is a radical departure from what you have been told.  But there is no doubt this will work.

1. Let go. Let go of the stress of human church growth models. Let go of the nasty people—both the pharisitic who criticizes all you do and the parasitic who sucks the life out leadership.  Let go of the pressure to please anyone but God.  Let go of the fear of finances. Let go of the fear of failure. Now what are you left with? You are in a complete state of joyous dependency on God. 

2. Seek Jesus. I am absolutely telling you to break away and seek God. Don’t seek guidance. Don’t seek provision. Don’t seek growth. Just seek Jesus until He is more real than anything you fear.

David Wilkerson said this after Christ set him free from man made ministry: “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 bond slave. The sweat is now gone – the pressure is off. He is recreating all my values.”

3.Tell the people they are destroyers of the works of the devil. Does that sound oversimplified or strange? The fact is, this is the most lethal announcement Satan will ever hear in your church .

1 John 3: 8 tell us that Jesus was purpose driven: “for this purpose was the Son of God revealed that He might destroy the works of the devil.”  However, the purpose that drove Him was totally unlike what modern preachers love to talk about.  Jesus is a destroyer of the works of the devil.  Why is that important to note?

It shows the people the purpose that should drive them.  They are an extension of the purpose of Christ and not some freelance boring substitute. So much is said about being purpose driven. Here is the purpose!

If the people redefine themselves as destroyers of the works of the devil it will instantly transform your meetings. Gone is the harmless fellowship or self-help seminars. From this point on, church services are demonstrations of the power of God and training sessions for your people to go out and destroy the works of the devil.

Your people will cease to attend church to do time, or learn to tread water. They will expect miracles. That part is the key to reaching modern America.  If church becomes a center for Holy Spirit led signs and wonders. If the moving of the Spirit is free and balanced then outsiders will see undeniable proof of the power of Christ. That becomes the attraction.

Today we have been ushered into one of two extremes in church models. One is totally entertainment business model that runs like a machine. The other, sadly, is a model of reaction where declining attendance and religious defiance drives preachers to preach angry sermons and put increasing bondage on their dwindling numbers.

Church should attract but for the right reason. When the reason is right it, brings people who are hungry for truth, who need a miracle, who yearn for deliverance from addiction, perversion and all the damage of our sick and stupid culture.

Best of all they not only come—they stay. You don’t have to cater to their whims because they have met Christ and have been ruined by His glory.

4.Give the Holy Spirit actual and not symbolic control to make revival sustainable. Once you start growing and the crowds come, you will need wisdom from beyond this world to make it sustainable. Don’t violate the power that brought you this miracle by falling back into human wisdom and old habits. Determine to make your dependency on the Holy Spirit real not symbolic or mystical. The more you do this the clearer His guidance will become.

How can you not try this? If the possibility exists for a congregation that is excited, unselfish, supernatural and uniquely forged to save America why wouldn’t you be open? I pray you will!

Does Jesus know you?

I asked, “what do You want me to say to the tent crowd tonight?” As I prayed I knew something was coming that was totally unexpected. The Holy Spirit commanded me to ask the audience a question. He told me to ask them, “does Jesus know you?” I didn’t immediately understand until I went to the Bible and read these words:

Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

I was praying for the crowd that would fill the tent. Night after night, God’s power has fallen in Marysville. He granted stunning miracles. He saved lost souls in numbers that amazed. But tonight I felt the urgency of God to confront the greatest danger in the church.

The burning question of this hour is not do you know Jesus. The burning question is does Jesus know you? 

I have never seen so many people in such grave spiritual danger as today. People are infesting churches who say all the right things and seem to believe the right things. They even do mighty works in the name of Jesus but Christ does not know them.

They never began a right relationship with Christ. No wonder they have not been with Him. No wonder they do not commune with Him. He does not thrill them. They are not pressing in to minister to the Lord. They are distant from Christ and don’t even know it. They follow a caricature of Christ. The artificial Jesus they follow does not require surrender.

Did the real Jesus actually say that these souls would be lost? Will there be a more miserable soul on that day than the ones that did everything but the one thing that mattered?  Can there be any greater agony that to falter at the finish line because you never saw the hideous motive behind your religious activity?

Jonas Salk developed the first truly successful polio vaccine. The achievement required a delicate balance. It had to have dead polio cells that would trick the body into developing antibodies that would stop the actual polio virus if it ever attacked the body. That is a miracle in science but the same process is a disaster in the church.

Much of the preaching today kills the active ingredient of the Gospel. It is a vaccine that creates the worst immunity in history. In this case the soul, not the body is fooled. It is fooled into thinking it has experienced Jesus. It falsely consoles its victim into thinking they have been redeemed.

The disaster comes when God tries to actually save them. When the true Gospel is presented they are immune. They are not convicted. They think they already know God.

But how can they continue this charade? The only way it can go on is to teach a false version of love that lets you sin all you want. God is lowered from being a holy consuming fire to a codependent enabler.

There can be artificial Christians who practice signs and wonders because that is another aspect of the entitlement. Since sin is not longer a deterrent they freely and audaciously seek the miraculous. What they don’t realize is that their power is not flowing from God but from Satan who now has the right to fool them and demonstrate false signs through them.

2 Corinthians 11: 13 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

Does Jesus know you? Does your power flow from an intimacy with the Lord. Do you find yourself checking your heart? Have you bothered to check to see if you are in danger of this horrendous end time condition?

In Psalm 139:23 and 24 the psalmist is not asking to know God, he is looking for something deeper, he wants God to know him.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I know of no more widespread danger than this one. Does Jesus know you?