Don’t look for another Jesus Movement. Look for something better.

The Jesus Movement was glorious. I know, because I was there. I saw the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in many parts of California. I preached at the festivals. I saw thousands saved on campuses, including the radical University of California at Berkeley.

But, I am not looking for another Jesus Movement. I am looking for something better. I believe that those who try to recreate something God did before will always be disappointed.  Here are the reasons why:

God is fiercely original.  Psalm 97:1 says, “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Have you noticed how every revival has its own unique sound?  One of the very first byproducts of a revival is a new song.

Our God is a creator of infinite variety, a creator who never stops creating. He wants originality. He never runs out of surprises. Did you ever notice that every miracle in the Bible is unique? That is why Satan can never fully prepare for the approach of revival.   Even after the devil has checked all the doors, tried all the windows, and scanned every horizon, he is still going to be caught completely unprepared when it strikes.

We should thank God for past awakenings, but we must also understand that the next outpouring will look like nothing we have ever seen before. Isaiah 43:18, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?”

Don’t try to organize revival into existence.God will do it in such a way that God alone can take  credit for it.  Today I see a dangerous trend—even among leaders that I highly respect—in which many prophetic and revival movements are trying to organize a ‘New Jesus Movement.’  They are pooling their talent, wealth and influence, thinking they can make a global miracle happen.

I am begging everyone who thinks this is a good idea: please consider history. In 1907, the news of the revival in Wales reached America. Christian businessmen and famous church leaders met to recreate the same revival. They assumed Americans deserved at least as good a revival as Wales.  They raised huge sums of money. They pooled their celebrity and influence, assuming God and the church would follow suit. It died with a whimper, and failed spectacularly, because God refused to be manipulated.

Overlooked by all of these famous Christians was a one-eyed black brother praying in a rented livery stable in downtown Los Angeles. Far from the luxury and prestige of Christian power brokers, in the dust and dinginess of the Azusa Street Mission, the authentic volcano of God-born revival erupted.

Today’s famous revivalists need to reexamine their trust in their own might and power—because “it is not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord!” (Zech. 4:6)

The best and safest move for those who desire true revival today is humility, brokenness and repentance. Don’t try to tell the Body of Christ who the superheroes of revival are going to be. Don’t think for one moment that great influence or celebrity is the catalyst to revival. They never have been and they never will be.

Book sales, notoriety and fame, are of no importance in the strategy of heaven. We might think we are able to predict who will be the vessels of Fire and Glory who will usher in the next move of God—but we can also be dead wrong.

Who knows if, at this very moment, somewhere out there, an obscure preacher in a dilapidated church is sobbing tears of desperation over his tiny congregation? What if ground zero for awakening is an inconspicuous wooden chapel, and not a gleaming church campus?   What if God’s plan is to work through them to bring about something so powerfully explosive on a worldwide scale, that it will make the Jesus Movement look like a polite touch by comparison?

Remember, the greatest heavenly invasion in all history began in a manger, just outside of a small town named Bethlehem. The next one began in a little upper room in Jerusalem. Wherever the next wave of God is going to begin, prepare to be stunned…

 

Join us for prayer in Fresno in Chukchansi Stadium Sunday October 20th

I HAVE TO ASK

Whatever happened to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?  You don’t hear about it anymore.  Churches don’t pray with people to receive it anymore.

There’s a big reason why.

Preacher, if you have stopped presenting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to your people, it is Satan himself who has caused you to do it.  If there is no room in your services for people to receive this gift that is so urgently needed—the enemy has seized control of your agenda.  If your people don’t even know what it is—you will answer to God.

No matter how noble, persuasive, or convincing the argument, the decision to exclude the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from the life of the church is a decision conceived in hell.

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

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

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

How can we hang the blame for such foolishness on neglecting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?   Let’s examine the evidence.

Jesus said, “John 16:13  “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all Truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

Jesus calls Him the Spirit of Truth.  The Holy Spirit is the One Who imparts a hunger for Truth.  It is futile to administer truth to the unwilling soul.  False teaching will always abound when there is not the hunger for Truth that the Holy Spirit awakens.  Let’s go back to the roots of this gift:

Don’t make a move without it!

Acts 1:4: “And being assembled together with them, (Jesus) commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “Which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.””

The church has no witness without it.  Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

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

-Acts 8:14 “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.”

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

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

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

Look at the resulting number of disciples won by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

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

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

When the power of God falls on church culture, it is instantly transformed.  Human promotion becomes obsolete.   An audience morphs into an army.  An insatiable hunger for the Word of God replaces sales pitches.

The preacher who withholds the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is guilty of treason—of withholding a priceless gift bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. They are guilty of holding back a weapon of power that would keep the believer strong, alert, and able to win others to Christ.  It endows a congregation with a prayer language and power that pierces all adversity.  How dare we hold this back!

The Pentecostal revival is the greatest Christian revival in history.  Beginning in the humble Azusa Street Mission, it has blazed on worldwide for over 100 years, with over 650 million converts.  Only one thing explains it:  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost Sunday would be the perfect time to preach the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and to lay hands on your congregation to receive power from on high!

Join me for a night of miracles in Fresno California Sunday Night August 11!