“Why Mario, if you’re such a great healer, don’t you go and empty the hospitals?”

That was the loaded question hurled at me on Facebook when we announced Living Proof Reno.

My immediate reaction was to scream, “Jesus is the healer not me!”  And to challenge the asker: “do you sincerely want an answer to your question?  If you deeply yearn to know why Jesus doesn’t empty hospitals today—ask Him.  If your heart is honest, He’ll answer you…but His answer will bring a whole lot more than you bargained for.”

I know this guy doesn’t want an answer…he just wants to bash my faith and our outreach. But maybe you want an answer.

The idea of everyone being healed at an event—hospital or otherwise—is not irrational or unreasonable and deserves to be understood.  Especially when you consider these verses:

Matthew 12:15 “But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.”

Luke 6:19 “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

Luke 9:11 “But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed those who had need of healing.”

So why don’t we see more miracles?  There’s a big clue in the account of Jesus rebuking His hometown:   “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’” (in other words heal everyone) Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” -Luke 24: 23-27

They wanted a theatrical demonstration.  They cheapened miracles.  Jesus was repulsed at the thought of gifts of God being paraded like a side show.  This was not unlike the blasphemy of the men of Sodom asking Lot to bring out the angels, so they could defile them.

Ordained roosters strutting their stuff on a church stage can have no part in miracles.  In fact, they should be rebuked for asking for the gift!  “Peter answered, may your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.” -Acts 8:20,21

If you seek glamour and riches skip this message.  If you are dazzled by people you have seen powerfully used, save us both time—do not seek miracle power—you have no heart for it.

Miracles are a messy, brutal, gut-wrenching—and yes, horrifying process.  Frankly, seminars that nonchalantly promise to activate gifts are as dangerous as nuclear waste.  Miracles, signs and wonders require constant self-denial and death to self.

Before our day of pay-per-view miracles and prophecy on demand, there were mighty vessels of God.  I knew some of them.  I saw the towering miracles in their meetings. I promise you, they were nothing like the shallowness you see today.  Much of our approach to the supernatural would sicken them.

Let’s peel back misconceptions and be brutally honest.   Mankind has been able to create mind-bending technological breakthroughs.  We can now do in an instant what previously took decades…but we will never find a shortcut to supernatural power.

The Holy Spirit’s work never changes.  His process of taking raw material and making a living breathing conduit of His power has never changed.  In 2,000 years, it has not been shortened or compromised one iota.

Power always packs a purpose. Luke 4: 17 “And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

The most powerful part of those verses is this phrase: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because.”  Your “because” ruins you for all other plans, purposes, and goals.  You must surrender to the one thing you are assigned to do.  You must be able to list your purpose, articulate it simply and clearly and execute it with extreme focus.

Our greatest need today is a heart full of the passion that moves God to answer the prayer for miracles.  We love to blame all sorts of things for our lack of miracles when the answer is right under our nose—we just don’t want to meet God’s price.  We can live without signs and wonders.

At this moment, I am getting ready for Reno.  I can’t live without supernatural power.  When I pray, I feel destiny.  I hear God warning me: “what I will do under the tent in Reno will frighten you if you are not ready.”   That’s why  I am begging the soldiers of Jesus in this region to be ready—to go and get those who suffer in great sickness—to bring them to the tent.

What is the secret to the miracle-working power of God?  Die to self and do the work of God.  Jesus said,  In  John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

To command devils and diseases you must first confess that these signs should always follow the preaching.  Then abandon yourself to God’s process of imparting authority.   E.M. Bounds said,“The preacher must throw himself–with all the abandon of a perfect, self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal–into his work for the salvation of men.  The men who take hold of and shape a generation for God must be hearty, heroic, compassionate, and fearless martyrs.”  -E.M. Bounds

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you need for information please call us at 775 238 3473  or click on this link  https://mariomurillo.org/

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THE DEMONS THAT ARE STRANGLING AMERICA?

Most preaching today suggests there is little we can do about demonic activity.  But the Bible says “…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God -2 Corinthians 10:4,5

If we can’t tear down strongholds God is guilty of child abuse on a grand scale.  So, can we stop the demons that are strangling America?  Not only can we—it’s our duty.

Furthermore, if we can’t destroy demon strongholds, Paul is guilty of awakening a false hope.  The whole point of 2 Corinthians 10: 4 and 5 was to provoke the church to take up the mighty weapons of God.

How honest can I be with you?  Satan has done a work that is nothing short of a masterpiece of deception.  He has veered the church away from any practical study of warfare, authority and the anointing.

His weapons of choice are two extremes.  In fact, they are prevailing schools of thought—schools of thought that can only stay in business by severely playing down our authority over demons.  They are the therapeutic church, and the gloom and doom church.

The therapeutic church: How better to take the army of God off the field than to plunge them into open-ended recovery?  The therapeutic church must focus on happy talk and self-fulfillment.  Shaking up their comfort zones with talk of warfare threatens attendance.  To survive, they must fixate impressionable believers on lesser goals and lower living.

Therapeutic Pastors love to say things like… “it’s all in God’s hands.” While that is a comforting truth it is not the one we need right now.  That makes Christians passive.  And, everywhere you look in the Bible it is opposes passivity and advocates action: “fight the good fight of faith…” “Endure hardness as a good soldier…” “Resist the devil…” “Take the sword of the Spirit” …Etc.

The Gloom and Doom Church: Fascination with how the world will end detracts from our duty to resist the devil.  Dates, signs, and conspiracy theories titillate but they do not equip for war.  Key ground is lost while they stare at the skies looking for the next clue.

Again, how honest can I be?  Fear sells books, conspiracy theories sells food for survival not revival.  Gloom and doom prophets—like good democrats—must cheer on global domination, global warming and global disasters to keep Christians buying.  They do not equip you to confront and conquer evil because they don’t want to believe it’s possible.

Mario what can I do?  If you are ready here are the changes we need to make and the steps, we need to take.  It’s time to do things radically different.

1. Begin by revolutionizing the way you pray:  Pray different than you do now.  Stand between heaven and earth as a true intercessor.  Invoke the Name above all Names to get to the very Throne of God with your petition.  Do it the way Moses raised the rod of Aaron over the battle. When you pray, pray violently, pray exactingly, detailing the damage you want done and where you want it done. By the Spirit, speak directly to evil powers. Call them out and cast them down.

God has chosen to act in answer to prayer.  He waits until His people rise and take their rightful place in the arena of prayer to command His works on the earth.

2. Talk about God different than you do now.  Why should you apologize?  What you have works.  What they have doesn’t work.  Arm yourself with your testimony and the blood of the Lamb.  Challenge the double standard.  Why is Jesus the only thing this supposedly open-minded generation won’t talk about?

3. Plan gatherings with great expectation:  Plan events that the Holy Spirit can use to bring revival.  Azusa Street was a small effort that exploded into unimaginable proportions.  How dare anyone think that your small meeting can’t be used in a massive way?  What is wrong with expecting the sick to be healed and the captive to be set free?  Away with powerless and harmless get-togethers!

4. Let holy anger rise when in you until you will die unless God uses you: Young David saw the stalemate.  No one challenged Goliath.  David couldn’t stand it. He offered himself to God.  God is looking for someone like that today—someone who can’t live with evil, who can’t stomach the perversion, and is enraged to see God dishonored.  Someone God can use to turn the tide of America.

If there is one question this blog asks it is this:  Are you so filled with holy rage that you are willing to lay down your life to provide God with an opportunity to vindicate His name before this blasphemous generation?

Demons are holding ground in America not because of their power and strategy, but because of our weakness and ignorance.

Here is your great promise: When God sees someone take up the mighty weapons of God—in the Name of Jesus—and attempt the impossible—God will muster all the resources of heaven to bring you total victory.

THE AMERICAN CHURCH STILL THINKS THIS IS A GAME

Soul-sucking disaster upon disaster, and yet America does not pray. But, I get why. The word of God says, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…”1 Corinthians 2: 14.   What I don’t get is how the American church can still think this is a game.

The world is on fire.   Because of man, and nature—Earth is ready to explode.   Meanwhile the church—like a party on the deck of the Titanic—pats herself on the back for her “big events.”

Nothing has stopped—or even slowed down—America’s depravity.   We have spent more money, time, and talent than ever—yet the church never asks, why we keep doing things that don’t work?

When the church

-Feeds a sick nation, a sick gospel, that does not deliver from evil, and worse, makes the already converted weaker, we must think it is a game.

-When the enemy is no longer the works of Satan, but the unsuccessful life—we are playing a game.   We must return to the Bible.  The Bible needs to set fire to our sermons.

Many of my Spirit-filled acquaintances are also playing games.  Facebook is like a Petri dish for Pentecostals.  In one compressed medium, you witness the banal bacteria that excites Charismatics today. Witness the games:

-Titles like Prophet and Apostle are flung around indiscriminately.  Every garish emotional experience is hawked as being from God.  One “prophet” says he went back in time and visited Moses.  Who of us has not scratched our heads at preachers, in ill-fitting jeans, live-streaming from a near-empty church, that they are the vessel of the hour?

– “conferences promise that you will get “a word from God” for a fee… as if the Holy Spirit was On Demand.  Or they offer formulas to “activate” blessings.  This is New Age philosophy.  God is not a force to manipulate—He is an awesome person to be adored and obeyed.  Gift arrive, as the Spirit wills, to hearts broken—emptied of self—for the lost, the poor, and the forsaken.

-Everything seems based on angelic visitations, dreams, visions and trips to heaven.  Most of our time is spent on these “experiences” and not on rock-solid instruction from the Word of God.

I believe in dreams, prophecy, healing, angels and visions.   But if they are from God they will drive us to the front line of the culture and not into emotional safe zones.   “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the tearing down of strongholds.” -2 Corinthians 10:4    We are nowhere near strongholds because we think it’s a game.

Beloved, this is not a game.  Christians toying with materialism, celebrity, alcohol, compromise and carnality spell doom for America.   Google, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and the rest of Silicon Valley threaten to pull the plug on churches.  Every day they inch closer to censorship.  Will your zany videos matter if no one can see them?

Our preaching ricochets off a culture careening into indescribable debauchery.  Soon it will illegal to preach the doctrines you are now ignoring.  What a horror!  Pastor you wake up one day with remorse over the truths you ignored—but now they’re banned.

Mario is there any hope?  My hope in God’s fierce love for America.  He will not let this nation go without a fierce fight.  My hope is in some of the last people you’d expect.

 

My hope is in the discouraged preacher.  Honest-to-God preachers who feel like fools when they see the runaway success of compromise.  Psalm 73:12 says, “Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; They increase in riches. 13 Surely, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.”

My hope is in those who chose to fail honestly rather than succeed artificially.

Are you struggling with decreasing numbers and falling finances, even as you present a Christ-centered, Bible based pulpit?   God sees you! Hold on just a little longer.  Fire is coming that will cause a stampede and you won’t know where to put the crowds.

My hope is in the Christian nobodies.  Have you failed?  Did man take away your pulpit?  Get ready…your brokenness is a key to the fire of God in this hour.  A nationwide hunger for reality is about to make shallowness obsolete.

Are you a teacher, business person, police officer or stay at home mom?  Do you burn with a passion for your community?  Get ready for vision and anointing right where you live!

The hour is so dangerous that God must bring down religious empires and promote others to great power and influence.  Satan is also playing games.  I believe that God—through the last people we expect—is about to teach Satan what war really looks like.

PUT AWAY YOUR TOYS AND TAKE UP THE MIGHTY WEAPONS OF GOD

Future generations of Christians—if there be any—will be profoundly baffled by us.  They will ask why—why did we let trivial and foolish matters eat up so much time?  They will agonize over our shallowness.  They will cringe at our amusements.

But above all, they will be horrified that we played all these foolish games against the backdrop of madness and perversion.  In a time of raging wickedness—while we still had the chance—why didn’t we rise in the power of the Holy Spirit?  Why didn’t we deliver an effective challenge to the lies, addictions, and brainwashing of our time?

Not everyone can bear what I am about to say.  The fair-weather Christian and the make believer will shrink before the high calling I am about to describe.  But those who heed this call, and awaken to do their duty, deserve the love and thanks of every true child of God in America.

Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” -1 Corinthians 13:11

It is childish to linger in stupefying religious echo chambers.  It is childish to mingle with delicate, debilitated, and depleted believers.  It is childish to hide behind the towering lie that our God is unable to build mighty warriors.

I am looking you right in the eye, with a long and steady gaze.  I am mustering all the conviction in my soul.  I am begging you…PUT AWAY YOUR TOYS AND TAKE UP THE MIGHTY WEAPONS OF GOD.

 

Tyranny, like hell will not loosen its grip easily.  But you have this great comfort—the greater the conflict the more glorious the final victory.  You will be granted the honor and thrill of front line participation in the greatest thing God has ever done in the earth.

It is time to pay the price.  Things gotten cheaply are lightly esteemed.  The gold you seek is worth every drop of sweat—every mournful tear—every sacrifice.

Satan trembles at your advance to this higher calling.  Evil quakes at your deliverance from compromise and cowardice.  Hell asks “will they actually take up their rightful weapons and do us great harm?   Let your soul roar an eternal YES!

What can we do about the demons that are strangling America?  Can we dismantle their ramparts?  They have brought bitter division, mass addiction, and total deception.  Can we stop them?  Not only can we, it is our sworn duty to tear them down.

The Bible says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…2 Corinthians 10:4,5

If we can’t tear down strongholds, God is guilty of child abuse of the highest order.  If our weapons are not mighty, He is guilty of letting Paul awaken a deep hope that can never be fulfilled.  The whole point of 2 Corinthians 10: 4 and 5 was to provoke the church to destroy fortresses of Satan by taking up the mighty weapons of God.

The Bible says, “cast down every high thing.”  The traitorous preaching and teaching of today says there is very little we can do.  So many preachers today remind us, “it’s all in God’s hands.” That may seem a comforting thought, but it is wrong—it creates passivity.  Everywhere you look in the Bible it is against passivity and advocates action: “fight the good fight of faith…” “Endure hardness as a good soldier…” “Resist the devil…” “Take the sword of the Spirit…”

God has chosen to act in answer to prayer.  He waits until His people rise and take their rightful place in the arena of battle.  Young David saw the stalemate.  No one challenged Goliath.  David couldn’t stand it. He offered himself to God.

God is looking for someone like that today—someone who can’t live with evil, who can’t stomach the perversion, and is enraged to see God dishonored.  Someone God can use to turn the tide of America.

If there is one question this blog asks it is this:  Are you so filled with holy rage that you are willing to lay down every impediment to provide God with an opportunity to vindicate His name before this blasphemous generation?  Will you put away your toys?

Here is your great promise: When God sees you take up the mighty weapons of God—in the Name of Jesus—and attempt the impossible—God will muster all the resources of heaven to bring you total victory.

Pitting the Bible and the Holy Spirit against each other

Satan seduced many into separating the Holy Spirit and the Bible—pitting them against each other.  The Bible not only predicted this deception—it exposed the motive behind it.

2 Timothy 4:3 says “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…”  What they can’t endure is the Bible.  They drop the God card to fulfill their lusts and blame the Holy Spirit.

The drinking, the carousing, and the blatant new age preaching, did not creep into the church overnight.  It insinuated itself slowly, quietly and under the cover of good intentions.

It began in small doses.  One preacher said, “Why do we trust a book they didn’t have more than the Spirit they did have?”  Another preacher said, “we’re not supposed to worship a book.”

They will tell you they are trusting in the voice of the Spirit more than a book.  What they are really hearing is their own voice…or worse.  They don’t deny the inerrancy of scripture; they simply claim direct revelation from God that’s equal to the Bible.

Bible study has become passé.  Many seek constant prophetic words.  They trust these words without comparing them against scripture.

The Holy Spirit has become on demand.  You’ve all seen the Facebook ads where “prophets” will give you a daily word from the Lord.  Some even charge money to give you a prophetic word. 

A young revivalist claimed to get more from “an angel” than from the Bible.  He even wrote on his website, “I have had experiences in the Spirit that cannot be explained by the Bible.”  Not long after this, he left his wife and children for his secretary.  He is still in ministry defending his experience.

People blame all kinds of things on “leadings of the Holy Spirit.” “The Spirit told me I can leave my husband and children because He wants me to be happy.”  “You may not like the way I dress, but the Holy Spirit does.”  One preacher even compared the Spirit to marijuana and said, “I am toking the Ghost.”

Here’s a typical conversation with one of these:

“I am not just forgiven of the sins I have committed, and I am also forgiven in advance of the ones I will commit.  Therefore, I never need to repent or confess my sin.”

“That’s crazy, 1 John 1:8 says, ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’”

“Oh, well that was not written to Christians.”

“No Bible scholar believes that.  In any case, that means the Apostle John wasn’t a Christian because he said “if we.”
You can’t prove that.  Where did you get it?”

“It was revealed to me by the Spirit.”

Addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography and a host of other vices overtake believers because the natural protection of the Bible is erased.  Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Why am I condemning all of this?  Because the Bible commands me to do so:  2 Corinthians 4: 2 says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Tuning out the Bible to hear the Spirit has flooded the church with the most carnal and self-centered believers ever.  To reject the Bible while seeking a word from God is to toy with witchcraft. 

The Holy Spirit and the Bible exist in unbreakable agreement.  The Spirit will take you to the Bible, and the Bible will take you to the Holy Spirit.

One of the prime purposes of the Holy Spirit is to help us understand and remember the Bible.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26

You can be sure that if you are not regularly reading the Bible, God will avoid speaking to you through prophecy.  To do so creates a dangerous habit.  Without a biblical foundation, you will have no way to judge prophetic words.

The superiority the Bible over the prophetic is clearly shown by the fact we are told to judge prophecy but never to judge scripture.  2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”

Daily Bible study is a hallmark of those who seek truth.  Acts 17: 11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  True revival is always Bible based.  True preaching will quote scripture liberally. 

We are at a crucial point.  If the Body doesn’t repent of this foolishness, America is sunk.  That is no longer the mindless wrangling of doomsday prophets…it’s a clear reality.

However, there is great hope.  The combination of the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit will more than match today’s wickedness.  God not knew the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship, that would produce special powers for His children.

But, if even a small remnant repent, gets back in the Word, and obeys the Holy Spirit, He will build an army and it can prevail.   1 Samuel 14: 6 promises this: “Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

Don’t let anger over fundraising abuses take us back to a poverty mentality

Jesse Duplantis asked his partners for 54 million dollars for a new jet.  Duplantis is being roundly condemned for this.  Here’s what I have to say about that…

There is no way I would spend 54 million on a jet.  I sit up nights interceding about what I would do with a windfall.  I am wired totally different.  I have a plan from the Holy Spirit that involves signs and wonders, technology, multiplication, training, and mass invasion in dark and poor areas.

However, and some of you will not like this: Jesse is a man of God.  He loves God.  He loves people.  He says God told him to ask for this money.  So, unless you can show A: Where the Bible says he can’t, or shouldn’t ask.  B: You are willing to say God showed you Jesse is lying then don’t lump him in with the real fakes who are stealing money from the Body of Christ.

There are many abuses!  Anger over those abuses is threatening to do something awful.  It is the reason for my message.  We are seeing the return of a poverty mentality—a mentality that will make blanket condemnations, and undermine faith to believe God for the provisions we need to protect our loved ones and the weapons to win this nation back to God.  One man whom I know has been falsely accused is Kenneth Hagin.

Kenneth Hagin never taught, or used the term “prosperity gospel.”  In my opinion, he didn’t even teach word of faith—he simply taught the Word of God.  He took neglected truths and presented them in their proper scriptural order.

We had been subnormal so long that the return to normal looked abnormal.  His book The Midas Touch does an excellent job of exposing abuses and clarifying the Bible’s position on giving and receiving.

Here are the reasons we have no excuse to return to a poverty mentality:

Abuses do not nullify the promises of God!  Romans 3:3 asks a powerful question: “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”  If someone abuses faith—abuses prosperity—abuses fundraising, they do it out of unbelief.  But their unbelief, and their abuses do not nullify the promises of God to prosper us.

Abundance is God’s idea not man’s:  The idea that God wants to give you abundance did not originate with some oily late night shyster.  Most importantly, the promise of abundance is for everyone who believes.

I was out to dinner with a very famous evangelist.  He had just returned from the Philippines.  “The poverty was so great” he said, “I simply couldn’t talk to them about prosperity.”  So I asked him gently, “were they also too sick to hear about healing?”

Jesus told the disciples of John, “tell John, the poor have the good news preached to them.”-Luke 7: 44

So I ask you what is the good news to the poor?  Let’s ask Jesus: Luke 4:18 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed.

For each of these groups Jesus promises is a benefit beyond salvation.  To the broken heart—a healed heart, to the captive—liberty, to the blind—sight, to the poor—provision.

Now you know why I receive offerings in the inner city.  I know that if the poor learn to become givers, they will see a miracle that will break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Overflow amounts are God’s idea not ours:  Jesus said, “Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

 

Look at the descriptions of the amounts: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. 

Look at another example of an overflowing amount is in 2 Corinthians 9:6 “…and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”  And we all know the words of Malachi “you will not have room to contain it.”

Why would Satan work so hard to pervert a beautiful truth right now?  He knows the danger of righteous people having much more than they need.  He knows what they will do with wealth.

There are a lot of angry Christians out there.  Some glorify their lack because they are jealous of those who have been bold to believe.  It’s like the older brother of the prodigal son who was angry and jealous that his brother was given a great feast:

Luke 15: 29 “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”  This brother never bothered to ask.

Instead of torturing yourself wondering why others are blessed—or sit around sulking about how much holier you would be with money than others…why don’t you surrender yourself to God—get rid of your unbelief and accept James’ explanation of your problem: “You have not because you ask not.”

Backslidden in the pulpit

Paul wrote his last letter to his spiritual son Timothy.  One warning stands out: The worst enemy Timothy will ever face is not devils, Roman tyrants, or barbarians.  It will be preachers who are backslidden in the pulpit.

2 Timothy 4: 3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

Here it is again in the Living Translation: “For there is going to come a time when people won’t listen to the truth but will go around looking for teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. They won’t listen to what the Bible says but will blithely follow their own misguided ideas.”

These preachers overrun the church today.  They are created by audiences with sensual desires.  They are the toast of a generation that never reads their Bibles.  They are the product of churches gone wild.

Why am I writing this?  The answer is in the prelude to Paul’s warning to Timothy in this final letter.  2 Timothy 4:1 says, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

These firm but loving words, are solemnly given.  Timothy you will stand before Christ.  He will judge fake preachers with great wrath and burn up their works.  Don’t be one of them.  Fight them.  Rebuke whenever it is needed.  Instruct with patience as often as is needed.  Don’t just do it when you feel like it.  Prove that you are one of the real ones.

 

But Mario, what real harm are these ministers doing?  More than anything or anyone else is doing to the church.  More than you can possible imagine.  They are not merely doing more harm than good—they are doing all harm, and no good.

Preachers who are backslidden in the pulpit are a clear and present danger to the church and to themselves.  Their messages create mutants—a huge number of Christian preemies—born in congenital compromise.  Lacking the essential nutrients to start a life with Christ as Lord.

How else do you think we lost marriage, gained late-term abortion, and headed down the path of Sodom and Gomorrah?  While the backslidden preacher didn’t cause our flood of immorality—they kept the army of God from rising up to stop it.

Because they are backslidden in the pulpit, churches are hostile to true saints.  The remnant of God is grieved.  They cry tears of sorrow and disbelief at what is pawned off as vessels of God.  They struggle to find a church with even a hint of reverence or the presence of God.

To their shame, they, and their followers, have discouraged sincere young preachers.

Do you see any difference between the following situations?

-Urban youth see the lifestyle of drug dealers and pimps and ask “what’s the use of flipping burgers for minimum wage?”

-Young preachers see the tricks, the flamboyance, and easy money of carnal preaching while they struggle to get partners for a righteous cause.

Lost in all of this is the definition of a real man and woman of God.  Let me remind you with these words from E.M. Bounds:

“The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self–emptying faith and a self–consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God.”

I wrote this in direct obedience to God.  Judgement is coming on preachers who are backslidden in the pulpit.  Maybe Jesus can use this to save you before it’s too late.

I wrote this because we need to shout it from the rooftops that God will bless those who go after Him with a clean heart.  He will give them untold provision and power.  He will raise them up in true promotion.  He can still change the world through pure hearts and broken vessels.