World Changing Faith

TO BEGIN WITH, I BELIEVE SOMEONE WILL READ THIS AND CHANGE THE WORLD-Mario Murillo

How did we lose world changing faith? We lost it because our culture disparages greatness, audacity, courage, originality, and heroism.  Our children are barraged with messages of defeat and limitations.  Worse yet, they are told that wanting to excel might hurt someone else’s feelings.

The curse of so many of today’s educators is that they have trained this generation to believe that they are to do just enough to get by.  Instead of going for brilliance and creativity, many are conditioned to harp, whine, and have a temper tantrum against the unfairness of the world.

“Besides,” their teachers say, “you can’t change the world.”  Teachers themselves believe this ideology makes the world safer.  Seneca had it right when he said, “It is not because the times are dangerous that men do not dare, it is because men do not dare that the times are dangerous.”

Small people with small minds mold the future.  You can be sure that if small men cast large shadows, it means the sun is about to set.  Is there anything we can do to push back the approaching darkness?  Where are the world-changers?

Tragically, the lie that you can’t change the world also permeates Christian Colleges.  Christian leaders are being trained not to offend. They are studying what to leave out of their preaching.  Their professors serve a smaller God than the One we used to hear about in church—the God of the Bible. They graduate with self doubt instead of world changing faith.

Billy Graham and Oral Roberts.  Astonishingly, some will not know the two men in the picture.  They changed the world.  Billy Graham preached to more people, face to face and on television, than any other man in history.  Oral Roberts brought divine healing to his generation.

How bad is our defeatism?  When Billy Graham died, some notable leaders called it “the end of God’s protection.”  Others said, “We will never see another one like him.”

I rebuke both of those statements.  And it is not just me. All of human history rebukes such pallid words—and nothing in the Bible supports them, either. Frankly, the doubting church doesn’t need another soothing sermon. It needs a swift kick!

The promises of God and the power of God to change the world are still in force. Billy Graham and Oral Roberts would be horrified to hear us either make monuments of them or call them relics of a past era.  Their testimony should be a catalyst for God to do it again!

This promise is not just for men either!  Joel: 2:28 says, “I will pour out of my Spirit on your sons and daughters and they will prophesy…”  And no one is too old…”your old men shall dream dreams.”

Are these times so evil that we can’t break the gravitational force of wickedness?  No one has the right to tell God what He can or cannot do.  There is no devil, demagogue, or disaster too big for God.   

You could listen to doomsayers—those who morbidly hope for all hell to break loose—or you can seize the Word of God the way that Billy and Oral did.

Here are three timeless truths about world-changers:

1. World-changers appear when things look impossible. The same voices of doubt and despair were present at the dawn of Billy and Oral’s ministries.  There was no money available to them to do what they wanted to do.  There was no supporting faith surrounding their visions.  They were constantly being second guessed by those who were full of unbelief.

It was not until they cast themselves utterly on God that their breakthroughs came.

When Esther appeared, the Jews seemed hopelessly doomed.  Mordecai spoke these immortal words to her: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

2. World-changers know when to go it alone. God kept telling Gideon to shrink his army—not enlarge it.   It was only after he won an astonishing victory that the other tribes found out and got offended. “Now the men of Ephraim said to him, ‘Why have you done this to us by not calling us when you went to fight with the Midianites?’ And they reprimanded him sharply.” (Judges 8:1)

The vision of the Lord is always too big for the church. True visions from God will always be too big for any one church or denomination.  Both Billy Graham and Oral Roberts had to follow God, and let the church come along later.  If you wait for approval, you will never begin to fulfill your vision.

Also, world-changers don’t mope when people won’t support them.  They know that if God is with them, who can be against them?

3. World-changers believe God can do it again.  While nostalgia makes some yearn for the good old days, and despair makes others invent impossibilities—world-changers say, “Why not now, why not here, and why not me?”

1 Samuel 14:6: “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.’”

These two were in the grip of two explosive thoughts:  The testimony of what God has done in the past, and an inconsolable grief over the present evil condition of the world.  This dilemma placed a motivating burden on them, and caused them to cry out for a new move of God in history.

This was the incurable obsession that made Habakkuk cry out “O Lord, I have heard Your speech and I was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!  In the midst of the years make Yourself known; In wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)

Someone will read this and change the world.  Was I being arrogant by giving my blog that title?  No. I believe the Holy Spirit told me to write this and I believe He will get it into the hands of a world-changer.  Why not you? Why not let God inflame you with world changing faith!

THEY ARE SAYING

Satan has seduced many believers into separating the Holy Spirit and the Bible—by 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 play the ‘God card’ in order to fulfill their lusts, and then blame the Holy Spirit.

Many parents have had the following experience: They tell one of their children, “Go tell your sister, ‘Daddy says it’s time for bed.’”  Before very long, your children will begin using those magic words, “Daddy says”—even when Daddy didn’t say. That is one of the dangers of not judging prophecy. It is easy to use the words, “God told me that!” when anyone wants to shut down any word of correction, or to justify questionable behavior.

The current practices among Christians of drinking, carousing, and 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 (the early church) didn’t have, more than the Spirit that they did have?”  Another preacher said, “We’re not supposed to worship a Book.”

They will tell you they trust 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 that they are receiving direct revelation from God that is 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, and still 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.”

The following conversation actually took place:

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

Me: “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.’”

Him: “Oh, well, that wasn’t written to Christians.”

Me: “No Bible scholar believes that.  In any case, that means the Apostle John wasn’t a Christian, because he said ‘if we.’ Where did you get this idea?”

Him: “It was revealed to me by the Spirit.”

Addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography, and a host of other vices, will overtake believers when the natural protection of the Bible is removed.  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: “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.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)

This heresy of tuning out the Bible, in order 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 for Jesus sending the Holy Spirit was 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 neglect reading the Words of Life creates a dangerous habit.  Without a biblical foundation, you will have no way to judge prophetic words.

The superiority of the Bible over the prophetic is clearly shown by the fact that, although we are told to judge prophecy, we are never told to judge Scripture. Remember: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”

(2 Timothy 3:16)

Daily Bible study is a hallmark of those who seek the Truth.  In Acts 17: 11 we find the story of a group of believers who were praised for their diligent Bible study: “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 always quote Scripture liberally. 

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

However, there is great hope.  The combination of the Word of God confirmed and revealed by the Holy Spirit, will more than match today’s wickedness.

God knew that the insanity of today was coming. He took steps to prepare the hearts of a group of believers who would enter into a special relationship with Himself. He did so, in order to produce special powers for His children.

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

Be a Berean! Study the Word of God, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Become one of those ‘many or few’ who will bring this nation back to God!

 

 

 

They are atheists

The young man of God who stood before me was in deep turmoil. He had heard a horror story of a minister who lived in obscene wealth, had several mistresses, and who told anyone who criticized him that God would kill them if they exposed him or left his church.

The young man wanted comfort, but I had none to give. I had to break it to him that this is sickeningly common. The vileness that is currently going on behind closed doors is worse than ever in the past. I get reports every day of people in pulpits living in depraved indifference.

The conditions today exceed what we saw in the evangelist scandals of the 1980s, and even the kind of cultic activity we saw with Jim Jones because it is starting to happen on a wide scale. We are watching the rise of many voices who blatantly believe they can do anything they want, and no one has the right to criticize them.

The young man turned to me and shouted “that man is demonic.”  I replied, “Son, he is worse than demonic—he is an atheist.”

It is true: that crooked preacher—that immoral church leader—is an atheist. Nothing else explains it.

The fact is, they do what they do because they believe there is no God. If there is no God, then they can go on with their evil lifestyles. Remember: an atheist cannot find God, for the same reason a burglar cannot find a policeman. This is the key to understanding this wickedness in the pulpit. Look at these verses:

Romans 3:13 “Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; 14 their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 and the way of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

The list of crimes is stated from the bad to the worst. It begins with deceit; then they are called snakes; then, in their mouths are nothing but curses and bitterness; then it escalates to violence and murder; then they are capable of nothing but destruction and despair; and finally, all they know is war, and none of their ways are ways of peace. But their ultimate crime is: they do not fear God. They are atheists. 

Many Christian leaders are under the influence of a virus–the love of money. I call it affluenza. Affluenza is addiction to money and lifestyle. This materialism is not to be confused with true prosperity or the balanced teaching of the word of faith where you teach that you are blessed to be a blessing.  The Bible teaches that God will prosper His own.

I am talking about greed. This greed pushes a preacher to put out a message that makes them money. There are even preachers who preach stern messages, even gloom and doom just to make money. They are not yet atheists but they are moving in that direction.

I believe that most atheists are actually agnostics. They can boast all they want to that they don’t believe in God, but most of them realize—and, if pressed, they will reluctantly admit—they have no proof that God does not exist. It is impossible to prove that negative. 

Press them even further and you will find their rants are tied to a hurt they have experienced, either in church, or a tragedy that wounded them. Many atheists are simply agnostics who are mad at God. But if you are mad at someone, you are acknowledging that the object of your anger exists.

The true atheist is experiencing a mental lapse. Franklin Graham said, “The Bible tells us in several places that only the fool says that God does not exist. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). That Scripture is repeated verbatim in Psalm 53:1, and the same sentiment is expressed in numerous other biblical passages.”

Atheism removes the fear of the Lord. If there is even an iota of the suspicion that God does exist, it gives you pause before you do evil. But when that pause button is removed—and there is no longer any fear of God—you no longer fear what God will do about your evil.

That atheism is at the root of aggressive evil and arrogance is clearly seen in Psalm 73:8, “They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks arrogantly through the earth…11 and they say, “How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?””

Here is the contradiction: an atheist looks at the sky and curses the God they say does not even exist, with total contempt. It is their final statement that is the heart of true atheism.  “Is there knowledge in the most High?” In other words, they are mocking God, saying, “This so called God of yours, doesn’t have a mind, and is devoid of knowledge.” This is simply saying, “No one is watching me.”

When that preacher seduces women, when they steal money from the sheep, when they live with no remorse over the glaring contradiction and hypocrisy of their lifestyles, it is because they believe there is no God. There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Entertainers like Bill Maher, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, British professor Richard Dawkins, and others, have publicly promoted a brand of atheism that is openly hostile to Christians, but they are not they highest form of atheism.

True atheism has murdered millions in communist countries. True atheism is not a noble intellectual pragmatism. It is the ultimate foolishness. And, the ultimate version of this atheism is the false preacher.

The true atheist is evil enough to stand in a pulpit and claim they represent God—even as they live in total depravity. They steal money, saying, “No one is watching.”  They defile innocent people and say, “I have no Judge or Day of Reckoning.”

What is the end of the atheist pastor who has so shamed themselves as to be at risk of permanently losing the ability to feel conviction or to repent? Their end is an unutterable horror!

Psalm 73:18, Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. 19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. 20 As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord, when You arise, You shall despise their outward appearance.”

Your destruction is like getting thrown out of a thirty story window. Special night terrors are reserved for you who pervert the ways of God. And to your utter horror, you will see the face of God. You will know the wrath of the Lamb.

“and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” (Revelation 6:16)

MY CRY

When I warned about a new law in California that will force preachers to agree with the LGBTQ agenda, one lady commented, “The Church is awake and powerful in California.”  A brother responded, “Then why is California going to hell in a hand-basket?”  Ouch.

What I am about to say is a cry, a loving cry to the spiritual leaders of California: Wake up! Please consider what I am about to say, no matter how painful the facts may be.  I am speaking out of a deep love for California. I feel a heavy burden for my home State.

I survey the moral devastation, but then I hear someone boast that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church in California.  I have to ask, “If the gates of hell have not prevailed, then what on earth is going on?  If this isn’t prevailing, I’d hate to see what is!”  The answer, as is so often the case, is to read that verse again:

Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

I am pleading with God for this message to get through to my fellow leaders.  The first clue to what God wants, lies in the phrase, “I will build MY church.”  The problem is that there are two construction projects going on simultaneously in the church: Men are in charge of one, and Christ is in charge of the other.

That these two branches coexist in the Body of Christ is clear in Jesus’ own words:  John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Both branches are connected to Him, but only one abides in Him.  Both will grow side by side until the appointed time.  It is easy to tell the difference: The churches that men are building don’t stand a chance against Satan, and Satan doesn’t stand a chance against the Church Christ is building. 

Man-made churches avoid the front line, while the one true Church that Jesus is building draws its life from engaging and defeating the powers of darkness.

The church man builds refuses to offend.  The Church that Christ is building refuses to be ashamed.

It totally breaks my heart to say this, but, California is littered with Christian projects that were built by man, and for man.  This explains how immorality has spread like a cancer, even as churches got bigger. It explains why the government in California is working so hard to ban Christianity.

It makes me weep to have to say this, but I must. Paul leveled a stern warning to all who build “for God,” but do so by their own design.  1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Beloved, there is a terrifying outcome for those who have built mega-churches that God had no part in establishing.  They will all stand before God and be judged for their works.  1 Corinthians 3:12 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

Beloved, the autopsy on California leaves no room for another verdict!

Let everyone who reads this heed the warning!  There are disastrous things about building Christian projects by human power that aren’t readily apparent.

For starters, these man-made churches persecute the true Church in a way that is worse than the world does.  How? By you as the pastor of a church built on a foundation of wood, hay, and straw making Bible preaching offensive. By you who have given believers an appetite for fast food. By discouraging true pastors who feel foolish for holding fast to their convictions. You have left them feeling betrayed when you steal their people, and herd them into a faceless mega-crowd, where they no longer have any accountability.

I am praying right now that my cry will be understood by leaders. I am travailing for leaders to wake up while there is still time.

But, there is an even more hideous fact you need to face: Satan may actually be helping you build your artificial church!  He may even supply the money to build it.  A hundred million dollars is chump change to the enemy of God, if it gets him the prize he seeks: building a powerless center, where thousands can be disarmed and neutralized.

My precious brothers and sisters let me ask you: What could be a better trophy for hell than producing an artificial church?  It has all the right features, but no power.  It is the perfect distraction.  The devil can freely defile a culture in plain view of the church and she will be too powerless, self-satisfied, and oblivious to stop it.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: If this describes your church, get out!  If you are the pastor of such a church, get back to preaching the pure word of God and making true disciples, before it is too late. Get right with God, and begin to turn California back from the abyss!

 

 

 

THEY WILL

THEY WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING

David Wilkerson predicted this emerging force: “God is revealing to all praying people that a glorious new work of the Spirit is about to break forth. God is going to shake everything that can be shaken. He will tear down the old political, backslidden, ecclesiastical system. He will disown the formal, super-church structure. He will chase out of His presence all those who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.”

These praying people he mentions will be the catalyst to these forceful changes.  They are frustrated, hungry, and their numbers are growing fast.  They are coalescing around certain truths: fasting, repentance, and holy surrender to Christ.

This force is the most underrated undercurrent in the church.  Even though it is largely overlooked, it has the firepower to change the church just as much as a youth awakening.  And look out when these two forces collide!

Many of these people were chased out of churches that were once fiery and Spirit-filled, but then went to a new format to attract outsiders.  A growing number of Christians feel their church is promoting programs that don’t impact them. Even programs that bring in large numbers don’t matter to them.  They believe only a move of God can save America now.

They believe we have no time to play games.  They are frustrated that their church is catering to the lukewarm members.  Most of all, they feel that they are being punished for wanting a move of God.

I want to direct my words to those leaders who are guilty of correcting members who yearn for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  You’ve got it totally backwards.  Those who are hungry for a move of God are the best thing that ever happened to your church.

If you have wounded the heart of even a single saint, it was a spectacular mistake.  They, and not the lukewarm, should be setting the tone for your church.

Somewhere, we got the idea—I believe it came from the pit of hell—that exuberant worship, preaching with the anointing and with conviction, fiery prayer meetings, and deliberate soul winning are the “old ways.”

For millions of disenfranchised Christians, these things are not ‘old ways’, but timeless ways. And, their hunger for them is intensifying even as the church grows colder.  Something will have to give!

Change has to come!

Again, David Wilkerson said, “I see it all over the nation today—disillusioned Christians searching for reality. The people in the pew are beginning to fast and pray. They are the ones who now weep between the porch and the altar. And, they are crying out for more depth and more of eternal values from the pulpit. If the minister of their church goes on in some egocentric way, pursuing expensive dreams, they will go out looking for a place where their deepest spiritual needs will be met.”

However, many mega-church pastors didn’t leave it there, they went even further.  They began to punish members who pursued holiness.  They call it a ‘religious spirit.’  These dear saints wonder, “Why would anyone punish a heart for wanting purity?  How can vessels chosen to uplift the righteous and equip the saints, instead, create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness?”

Let’s be honest.   It’s not as if the modern church is exhausting itself on devotion and sacrifice.  But you’d sure think so by the way some ministers keep telling us to relax, and quit trying so hard, because, ‘Daddy is so pleased with us.’

Even when a congregation is a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate club of moody consumers, preachers will heap on them yet one more message of pampered entitlement.  It’s kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.

It has gotten so bad that Sundays have become a celebration of how much God lets you get away with.

These believers, who know there is more, are equally disappointed in the other extreme. Perhaps in reaction to the deadness, formality, and carnality, some have created churches that are highly emotional and have run completely off the map of scripture.

Satan seduced some 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 “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 then blame the Holy Spirit!

It began in small doses.  One preacher said, “Why do we trust a book? Did they have more of the Spirit than we 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 The 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 is equal to the Bible.

If you have all Spirit, you blow up. If you have all Truth, you dry up. You need both!

Studying the Bible has become passé.  Many seek constant prophetic words, and trust these words without comparing them against scripture.

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

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.”  Scantily clad women in church claim, “You may not like the way I dress, but the Holy Spirit does.”  One preacher even compared the Spirit to smoking marijuana, and said, “I am toking the Ghost.”

The book of Daniel seems to divide those who live in the last days into two categories: Those who are corrupted by flattery and those who know their God.  The entire verse reads: “those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” -Daniel 11:32

The people who know their God are repulsed by both extremes of compromise and emotionalism. They want exuberant worship, even intense worship directed at Christ. They don’t want an emotional binge that feels New Age, and that seems to be trying to reach an altered state.  They want to reach lost souls, but they want no part of an open-ended attraction program that never seems to lead souls into discipleship.  John Wimber called them ‘The Radical Middle.’

As I said before, their numbers are growing every day.  They are not rebellious, they are hungry. They are reaching out to God with great passion.  They are preachers who suddenly realize they have built a monstrosity for God, but they have neither worked with God, nor do they have a relationship with Him.

They are young people who came to church, only to find they didn’t fit any model. After years of increasing emptiness, one day they just collapsed before the Lord and begged for Biblical reality.

Others are finished with egocentric pastors with grandiose, expensive dreams, and carnal visions.  These members of the Radical Middle recognize that their pastors have been distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Those who are interested in becoming true disciples are abandoning ‘attraction- churches’—something revolutionary is happening inside them.

Deep, deep in my soul where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new.  God is finished with hirelings.  He is drawing a remnant out of corruption and into a special, supernatural nearness to Him.  They will empty themselves of everything. Every ambition will be burned out—except for one—to love and please the Lord Jesus Christ. They will change everything they are doing now, and begin to walk in the power of and for the glory of God Almighty!

And they will change everything!

 

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Fake News in the Pulpit

By Mario Murillo

Recently, a man of God came to me in the same way Nicodemus came to Jesus one night.  I am not Jesus, and the subject matter in this case was not about being born again.  The similarity had to do with the fact that this man of God wanted to discuss something with me in private.

He said, “Mario, there are many of us who know that you are right about what the left, the media, and democrats are doing to the nation and the church.  But we know that speaking out will cost us tithing members and our non-profit status.”

“How do you feel about your silence?” I asked.  “I feel sick,” he said.  “How sick?” I replied.  He did not answer, but the pain in his eyes showed the depth of his turmoil. This is a good man who sincerely wants to do what is right.

These are the kind of people I am appealing to in this blog, sincere preachers, who honestly do not know how to preach a true and urgent message. By no means am I going to waste time attacking any pastor who has sold out to this culture.  That would be an entirely different blog.

So, I said, “You have no choice, you must speak out.” Then I proceeded to make my points.  I began by getting his attention.  “If what you say to your people every Sunday denies the crisis—provides no positive or practical instruction on how to combat it—then you are preaching fake news.”  

A man or woman of honor will never withhold truth because of personal consequences. Honor has become cheap. Honor is not accommodating the misconceptions of others, nor is it engaging in flattery.  It means courage and loyalty to the truth, no matter what the personal cost.

Preaching must proceed from the things that are important to God, and must not be based on what may or may not offend your audience. There are issues that are urgent to the Lord. He must see that you are willing to discern what is important enough to present to your people. How can you expect God to speak to you if He already knows you are going to run His Word through the unscriptural filter of ‘political correctness?’

By your silence you are taking other people down with you. Does it ever dawn on a preacher that he is actually damaging his audience when he only says what they want to hear? He is not leading them forward. He is not improving their condition or alerting them to danger.

The decision to do this often comes about when the preacher has given in to fear and no longer believes God can change society.  So, the best he can do is mouth soothing words.

David faced the temptation to blurt out his defeatism. Then he realized that the next generation is listening.  In Psalm 73:15 David wrote, “If I were to say, this is how I will speak, behold, I would deceive a generation of Your sons, (O Lord).

This is the biggest reason to speak outbecause there is still time to save the country. The ongoing destruction of freedom of speech, and of religion, has happened because God-haters have marketed a great lie to the masses. Their lie is wearing thin, and, as we have recently seen, their attempts to destroy our freedoms are slowing down very little. So, now is the time to hold their feet to the fire.  We have not yet been driven underground.  We are not yet being forced to secretly signal to one another that we are Christians by drawing fish symbols in the dirt or huddling in the catacombs, as the early church had to do.

Sorry if you don’t think so, but Trump is a merciful reprieve. He is flawed, as all human beings are, but he is one of the only things that stand between us and the Socialist Left who are trying to destroy our freedoms and many issues that matter to you and me…especially the Supreme Court!

 

How can we dare to ignore this opportunity to speak out?

The pulpit is responsible for more of what is wrong with our culture than we want to admit. Charles Finney said that the pulpit was first and foremost to blame for the failure of the church to impact the culture! There should have been a verbal firewall and there wasn’t.  We should have made the case for marriage and the unborn with greater force.  We didn’t.

Finally:  What makes our silence even more embarrassing is that many preachers refuse to preach the truth that their people long to hear. Many are misreading their congregation. Audiences are ready to listen to common sense preaching.  We must seize the moment. 

Jesus said in John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

You should never speak out on certain controversial issues unless the Spirit of God compels you to. But you are asking too much when you say that God has not moved your heart to speak out about our government’s overreach and its persecution of Christians.

6 “If a watchman sees a sword coming (against a nation) and does not (sound the warning), and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes a soul from them, he is taken in his iniquity. But I will require the blood (of that man) from the hand of the watchman. 7And you, son of man, I have set you as a watchman to the house of Israel. And you shall hear the word from My mouth and warn them from Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, O wicked one, surely you shall die. And you do not speak to warn the wicked one from his ways, that wicked one shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood from your hand. 9 But you, if you warn the wicked from his way, to turn from it, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his own iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.”   −Ezek. 33:6-9

Oh, by the way, the IRS is not going to take away your tax exempt status. Trump overruled the hideous Johnson amendment. So do not hold back. SPEAK OUT!

 

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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!