ENTITLEMENT AND ESCAPISM

Something is coming and the church is not ready. In recent days God has been trying to warn the American church about what is coming, but, what have we done with these warnings?

I heard one preacher exclaim, “Teaching that anything bad is coming, is defeatism.” He refused to give his children a defeatist world view. What he thinks is love is the ultimate abuse. His children will not be ready.

It’s not as if God hasn’t warned the American church that perilous times are coming. One choice instrument was David Wilkerson. Many listened to his predictions, but many others wrote him off as an angry prophet.

I dare you to reread his words, go back and watch his videos, they are still on YouTube. David will come across completely different to you now. Now that libraries are bringing in drag queens to read to children. Now that abortion is no longer just a ‘right,’ but a cause for celebration. Now that our halls of power are sewers of falsehood, betrayal, ambition, greed, and lust, and now that the very fabric of civilized society is unraveling.

I dare you to call him legalistic, now that you can see that exactly what he predicted is happening.  Now that you see churches have abandoned the Bible.  Now that every day you hear of one more minister condoning materialism and promoting a ‘cheap grace’ that covers lust. Disdaining holiness and denying the existence of Hell. Just as he predicted, there is an epidemic of preachers who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and pornography.

Our young daughters have unwelcome transgender visitors in the girl’s restroom at school.  We are a nation of drug addicts. Tens of thousands die every year from opioids.

The bane of Modern Christianity can be summed up in just 2 words: Entitlement and Escapism.

Go back with me to a time before all this madness, and see when a sense of entitlement began to infect the church.

No one got saved in the early church because they were promised a lavish life. Each convert knew from the jump they would pay a price for following Jesus. They embraced Christ because something real happened to them. They knew—beyond knowing—that He was the Truth and the Life.  Knowing Him was infinitely worth the cost. All they wanted was Jesus.

It is ironic that we tend to feel sorry for them, when in fact they would pity us! Yes, they were persecuted, but God was real in them. Their clarity unlocked something most of us do not have: inexpressible peace and joy.

Entitlement rolled into church like a Trojan horse. Certain preachers, like all good marketers, considered true discipleship a hard sell, so they replaced it with perks, inducements and flattery. Church became one giant participation trophy. The unspoken boast was, “What have we to do with self-denial? What have we to prepare for?” We as American Christians became too good for suffering. That was for other people, in other nations.

What edge did believers in the first century have over us? A massive one. They could survive anything that they encountered, whereas many today will be taken out the moment something happens that their pastor said God would never let happen.

Since ancient Christians expected to suffer, suffering never threw them for a loop. It never dawned on them that they would escape trials and tribulations. Because of that, they had a singular power that we don’t: the power to glory and thrive in evil times.  Compare that with today’s Christian whose idea of spiritual warfare is claiming a parking space.

This is the person Jesus warned us about in Matthew 13:20, “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.”

The shocking thing will not just be how many entitled believers will stumble, but how little it will take to make them stumble.

Now let’s talk about escapism. The world that vessels like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Steve Hill, and yes, David Wilkerson warned us about is here. The world that your favorite pulpit babysitter promised would never come—came anyway.

We didn’t escape. We have already witnessed this mass tragedy. Life has taken a turn in these United States that many churchgoers never believed could or would happen. There has been a falling away: because so many were ignorant, so many were offended.

Even many of the Christians who remained faithful, express their escapist denial in many ways. Instead of searching the scriptures for truth, they delve even deeper into teachings that now look silly. They want more materialism; they want more entitlement; they plunge into more false teachings and false ways. They go heavier into emotionalism. Their escapism is expressed in a sanctimonious tone, and then they lie about their reasons for believing they will escape all suffering.  They say we must stay out of politics and not choose sides, even as it has become undeniable that we must take a stand. Instead, they bury their head in the sand and are oblivious as evil takes away our freedom and our children’s future.

Escapism is what gives them a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. Denial is why they imitate New Age teachings and make prophecy into a kind of game.But David Wilkerson also saw something else: A fresh and mighty move of the Spirit. He saw Jesus pulling people aside to enter into a close relationship with Him, and to instill in them the power needed to save this nation.  He said, “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.”

Many will fall, but many will rise to levels of power and usefulness that are astounding. God not only knew the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship that would produce special powers in His Children.  You already know who you are.

God is taking you aside to give you nation-saving power and skills. All glory to His Name!

 

LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN

 

The winter of 1777–1778 was bitterly cold, and the success of American independence looked impossible.  Washington’s men were so poorly dressed that some of them froze to death. When he moved the troops, you could see trails of blood left in the snow from those who marched without shoes.

Contrary to the picture most people have of the Revolutionary War, Americans were split right down the middle about whether or not they should be fighting for their freedom from Britain. Many locals would not aid General Washington when he asked for their help, and he had to constantly beg the Continental Congress for money and supplies.

In one instance, some of Washington’s soldiers braved a blizzard and walked for miles to beg a farmer to sell them some of his crops, in order to prevent the army from starving. The farmer refused. He told them the British were willing to pay double what the American soldiers could offer.

I see no difference between those farmers and today’s lukewarm Christians.  I see no difference between today’s compromised preachers and those who would turn away freedom fighters in a snowstorm.

Lukewarm Christian singers and ‘influencers’ refuse to take stands against immorality and perversion because the world rewards them with accolades. “My, what a ‘woke’ Christian you are! You are so intelligent, tolerant, and inclusive.”

Lukewarm Christian, you have no idea the harm you are doing to America.

To be sure, the world rewards you for your silence and for your tacit acceptance of homosexuality. They will flatter you. BUT IT’S A TRAP.  How true were the words of Spurgeon when he said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout, “Well done” to the Christian man. He may begin to look to his character, and wonder whether he has not been doing wrong, when the unrighteous give him their approbation.” In plain words, Spurgeon is saying, “If the world likes you, there’s something wrong with you.”

Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember that I told you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…” (John 15:19-20a)

If they hated Jesus, how will they not also hate you? And what on earth are you doing, thinking it is good to be liked by everyone?

It took guts, vision and foresight to oppose English tyranny. Many of the early colonists were simply willing to be dominated in exchange for the comforts of their oppressors.  In the same way, because the world rewards preachers with temporary success, they will abandon their brothers who are risking everything to expose the growing tide of evil in America.

Thomas Paine addressed the folly of those Americans who opened their homes to British soldiers in hopes of rewards after a British victory. He reminded them that those who easily surrendered their homes would be the most dominated if England won.

And what do you suppose you’ll gain, oh lukewarm Christian, by being a friend to leftists? Your reward will be to have the most controlled home in the neighborhood.

This is no time to be silent! It is a time to rage against the dying of the Light! Each day that you remain silent is one day closer to a hellish world for your children and grandchildren.

The Left has not held back a single item in their agenda to remake America. They mean it when they say that our freedoms must be removed in order for their brave new world to be born.

The pathetic heresy sweeping America known as the ‘Daddy-God’ myth that drives your lukewarmness is nowhere to be found in the Word of God. The sad truth is that the Laodicean rebuke is more fitting for America’s modern materialistic church:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 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.”

It all comes down to this: Jesus is trying to get back inside His church in America.  The next verse confirms it:   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.”

America is not yet irretrievably lost, but it will not be won by the tepid crop of make-believers that shuttle in and out of our churches. The knock on the door is Jesus.  He wants to talk about your training, over dinner—your golden transformation from tepid faith to fire and glory. He means to make you into Satan’s worst nightmare.

Those shivering freedom fighters at Valley Forge had no idea that a miracle was coming in the Spring that would transform rag tag troops into immortals. Neither can you imagine the mighty army that the Holy Spirit is training, equipping, and empowering to transform America.  Will you join us?

 

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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!

 

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TWO DUMB EXCUSES

Celebrity preachers use two dumb excuses to remain silent when they should be rallying Christians to do their duty. These dumb ideas are costing us critical time and opportunities to save America.  

These ideas set the church back into Obama era apathy at the worst possible time.  Think of what is at stake.  The Supreme Court, the economy, national security, and everything we hold dear will be lost.  Everything Trump tried to do will vanish in an instant. The floodgates of immorality will open.

Here are the two bone-headed ideas.  1. All government is from God and we must submit and not mention politics.   2. A candidate must be sinless or we are choosing the lesser of two evils. 

And here are the verses abused to justify those two bone-headed ideas:

Romans 13: 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.  “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”

1. It’s dumb to say stay out of politics and submit to government not matter what:  No sane Christian believes Hitler was God’s will for Germany.  God raised up divine retribution on him through the nations of the world.  God works through people to restrain evil.  The church must do her duty to restrain evil.

“The authorities that exist”: This phrase means authority from God, not rogue authority.  Satan is rogue authority.   God has always balanced the threat of tyranny with authorities He raises up: “God’s minister to execute wrath.”

Moreover, it says “No ruling authority from God is a terror to good works.”  They do not persecute God’s people or enact laws to ban the Gospel.  So what do you call authority that is a terror to good works?

German believers abused these same verses to justify their apathy.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer could not open the eyes of the German church about the horrors of Hitler.  His radio addresses warned Germany.  Ironically, he blamed the fad of cheap grace and their blind submission.  They rejected his warnings and the consequence was the bloodiest world war and 6 million Jews annihilated.

Again, the point is that God works through people to stop evil.  The church’s silence in the face of evil is not noble or virtuous, it is itself evil.

dietrich-bonhoffer Nations can and do pick evil leaders.  Even Israel picked an evil leader: 1 Samuel 8:6 “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”   Obama was never God’s choice for America.   We have a mountainous stockpile of wreckage to prove it.  

charade

When evil reigns, God begins a complicated process to reestablish justice. Human history is messy.  God works in that mess.  We want story book endings but humanity is complicated.  Jehovah works like a surgeon skillfully cutting around vital organs to get at the cancer.  Jesus spoke of the wheat and tares having to grow together until the end—otherwise the wheat would also be lost.   We have a Biblical mandate to discern and get involved in the work God is doing to save our nation.

Jehovah

2. It’s dumb to waste your vote because you “refuse to pick the lesser of two evils.”  You must discern where God is working and support it.  God uses flawed people: Daniel was probably shocked to discover that God choose to use Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel

Instead of asking who is without sin, we should be asking where is God working?  

Look at what Paul did:  Acts 23:6 “But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. 9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”

Jesus said that the Sadducees and Pharisees were both evil.  So was Paul choosing the lesser of two evils by siding with the Pharisees?  Or, was he discerning where God could work?   Right now it is Trump He can work with.  But Trump needs a Congress he can work with.  We had better work with God in this next election. 

 

Still don’t know what you must do?  From Nancy Pelosi to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats have vowed to open borders, seize guns, redistribute wealth, skyrocket taxes, and force the church to “evolve.”  The American church still does not see the danger, and that itself is the danger.

Celebrity Pastor: Evil is not hard to spot.  It hates, Israel, Christianity, and Biblical morality, the family, and the unborn. The Democratic Party wears this badge of hate proudly. What else do you need to know?

These dumb ideas are not scriptural. They will play into the hands of those who would take away our rights and forever change America’s system of government.  It will be impossible to withstand the wave of falsehood and hatred in the next election if we do not repudiate these crippling dumb ideas.

But if we see them for what they are, rebuke them and submit to the Holy Spirit…even a small number can create a mighty transformation.

 

Your Power

Mass murder, debauchery, and the stress of nations—these things press on us daily.  We can feel the crushing weight of inadequacy. We ask:  Can we stay sane?  Is the moral situation so far gone that we must withdraw into our ‘faith cocoons’ and just endure, hoping we outlast the madness?

Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’  But, how do we apply all that power and might to this flood of evil and stress that is bombarding us every day?

Not only can we apply it, we are expressly called—and uniquely equipped—to express the power of God.  The legacy of our faith demands it. The nature of the Holy Spirit—and the Word of God demand it.  There is no holding-pattern for us.  God only leads forward.

The religions of the world teach escape.  They deem the world to be too dangerous for their devotees.  Whether it is a Buddhist Monastery or a Muslim Caliphate, the message is clear: They can’t coexist with secular culture.  They require physical separation, cleansing rituals, strict diets, or the total subjugation of infidels.

With just a few simple words, Jesus revealed the vast superiority of our victory compared to all the religions of the world.   He prayed to the Father, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)

Supernatural peace can quell the deep frustration from hearing the insane ideas and words of politicians. 

When Jesus prayed that prayer, He was praying for us, His flock, to remain in the culture. We are to be warriors. We are to be salt and light. These are not just fighting words—they are an in-your-face smack down of evil.

While cultural contact withers the faith of false religions, it enhances the Christian—it sharpens their faith, brightens their light, and deepens their authority.

You must understand why you are here.  You must see the astounding picture of the army you belong to.  Our very presence on earth is God’s way of saying, victory is available.  He keeps us here because we can win!

Think of soldiers in an army who are only aware of the battle they are fighting in their own little sector. They are being hard-pressed, and things are going against them. If, for one moment, they think it is just their fight, they will soon be defeated. But when they remember they are only a part of a great and mighty army, and that the Captain, their Leader, the God of the Armies of Heaven is directing it, immediately the situation is transformed. In other words, we have got to realize God is involved in this battle with us. We are only here because of God.

The 3 steps I am about to declare will bring victory over the present evil and stress.  They hit me, when I saw two groups of people. They were hundreds of years apart and in totally different circumstances, but they took these identical 3 steps to victory.

One was a prophecy by Daniel around 600 B.C. The other, occurred in 31 AD.

In his prophecy, Daniel described how the Maccabean revolt would triumph in 167 BC.  The second instance happened when the people in the land of Gennesaret welcomed Jesus.  The former liberated Israel—the latter wiped out sickness and disease.  Again, they both took the same 3 steps.  Here are the scriptures:

Daniel 11:32 “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.”

Mark 6:53-56: “When they had crossed over (the Sea of Galilee), they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.”

Here are the 3 key words in both these victories: KNOW, STRONG, CARRY.  The first group knew God. They were strong. And they carried out exploits.  The second group did those same 3 things.  They recognized (knew Jesus).  They ran (showed strength).  They carried others who received miracles (exploits).

Take these 3 steps to defeat today’s stress and evil:

1. Obey God’s pull. He is pulling you to know Him in deep intimacy: Psalm 27:8 says “When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”  What is your reaction to God’s call? He wants to do a secret work in you.  Are you saying, “Yes”?

I believe Jesus is using this message from me to draw you into special closeness with Him.  If you say, “Yes,” special things will begin to happen.  You will instantly conquer fear and worry.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. “

Your faith for mighty things will multiply.  Jesus said,” If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)

God not only knew that the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship that would produce special powers for His children.  We can blame no one but ourselves if we neglect this astonishing invitation.

2. Become strong. What did Isaiah say would happen to those who heeded the call to wait on God? “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Your new-found and deep connection to God the Father will create strength.  Note once again, the amazing parallel between the phrases, “they shall run and not be weary,” and “they recognized Him and ran.”

‘Touchy-feely’ faith is out.  This is the era of strong Christians.  Tomorrow belongs to Christians who are stronger than any headline—stronger than threats—stronger than anything unfolding on the earth.

3. Accept your mission: You have a mission, you have an ordained exploit. It is ironic that the true cure for today’s fear and stress is: to think big and take on massive vision.  Fresh vision always chases away depression.

An exploit that summons up all your talent and every drop of your courage and combines it with His limitless resources, is comfort food for the Spirit-empowered believer.

The bottom line:  We are subjective creatures. We live in this unhealthy psychological generation that starts with man and ends with man. Most of our troubles are due to that. We are full of self-pity. We are always looking inward and feeling sorry for ourselves. We are always looking for something to help us. Get rid of those things! Forget about yourself for a moment, and realize that the battle belongs to the Lord!

You can know Him. You can become strong.  And you will accomplish amazing things in Him!  

 

 

 

 

Breaking the heaviness

The constant barrage of terrifying headlines and mainstreaming of perversion vexes the child of God.  These verses from Second Peter have never been more relevant than now: “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” 2 Peter 2:7-9

Angry debates, rioting, filth paraded in the streets, and constant bad news can drain the sanity from our souls.

Not only this, but we are forced to keep all our enormous frustrations inside of us. While stupidity and wickedness get a megaphone—wisdom and righteousness get duct tape over their mouths.

These are the times that rob inner peace—that bring intense restlessness—that drain all the color and enjoyment from our life.

These are the times Jesus warned us of—and that He gave us direction for.

First He said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.” – Luke 21:17-19

Talk about mindless hate! Both the liberals and the feminists have incredible bias for Islam and sheer hatred for Christ and Christianity. It is mind-bending.  It makes zero sense.  Yet that is exactly the kind of irrational hatred our Lord predicted. It is weariness to believers who share their faith openly.

Then Jesus said, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:34)

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me was, “When you come to Jesus, your problems are over.”  I never had problems until I met Jesus!  I kept wondering, “Why am I being attacked?  Why am I being shot at from all directions?  Why do I meet stiff resistance every time I try to do something meaningful for Jesus?”

Does this sound familiar? You walk through life, minding your own business and wham!  A co-worker rages at you for no reason. Money evaporates.  Your health fails.  Loved ones abandon God.  Someone makes an irrational defense for wickedness. A confluence of demonic attacks falls on you.  Life has never felt so cruel and unfair.

At the apex of one of these attacks, something happened to me.  A terrifying thought became a glorious thought, “SOMEBODY IS MAD AT JESUS, AND THEY ARE TAKING IT OUT ON ME!”  Suddenly, I felt qualified to fight back. And I felt profoundly honored.

Think about it!  A soldier does not go to war because he has a personal grudge against the enemy.  He didn’t declare war—his nation did.  He is not responsible for the battle plan—the military is.  He is not paying his own way to the war—his government is.

Let’s take a look at the things that are not the soldier’s responsibility:  The training he needs; the weapons he uses; the food and shelter he requires; the assignments he receives—these, and a host of other things, are not his responsibility.

“What soldier ever serves at his own expense?” (1 Cor. 9:7) “…No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Tim. 2:4)

The soldier does not create the organized army.  He does not carry the weight of how the war will be won. If he sits in the foxhole feeling alone and unfairly attacked, it is because he has forgotten who he is and why he is being attacked.  He has taken the battle into his own hands!

But when he remembers that he was recruited—when he recalls that he is not alone, but part of a victorious army, and all he is called to do is obey orders, it changes everything!

When we take the attack personally, we lose hope.  But, when we say, “The battle is not mine, it’s God’s,” we cannot be defeated.  Let’s stay out of things that do not concern us.  Let’s keep our conflict in the hands of God.  We must discern when we are operating in our own strength and by our own wits.

Remembering your attacks are not personal is plainly seen in these verses where Jesus speaks about conditions in the last days:  Luke 21:12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of special persecution, and you will be dragged into synagogues and prisons and before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 But as a result, the Messiah will be widely known and honored.  14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

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When they were arrested, it felt personal. When they were dragged to court, it felt personal.  But when they were asked to speak, it became God’s battle and Christ was glorified!  He gave them the words and the courage to speak.  He even told them not to prepare words beforehand.  That means that we are not to devise ways of fighting back.  It means we will get what we need, when we need it.

Paul experienced the same thing: Philippians 1:12 “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel…”

Right now we have a presidential election that embodies everything that is wrong with our nation.  It is a hair-pulling, maddening, terrifying, and draining moment for believers. We must put the battle back in God’s hands and let Him replenish our peace and our joy.

Never forget! We have the best message humanity has ever heard, and the best Book ever written.   We have the best Captain in the universe!  We have the all-powerful Holy Spirit, Who has been sent to aid us.   We have access to power, strategy, and wisdom.  All of this, and more, will direct our fighting.

Is someone mad at Jesus, and are they taking it out on you?  What an honor!  What an opportunity!  Whenever Satan comes at you, let Jesus come at him!

The first time an angel stares at you in heaven with wonder and admiration for your service to Christ, you will know why your trials were worth it all.  The first time you hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you won’t remember the suffering, the trials, or the battles.

No wonder Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  -Romans 8:18

Hallelujah!  –

Separate

A massive number of Christians are experiencing a strange miracle.  And we are discovering that this was predicted—in detail.

The Holy Spirit is separating them. He has selected them for special grace and power to accomplish mighty acts at the edge of history. They will be uniquely equipped to face the sophisticated evil of our time. But it all begins by making peace with the Holy Spirit and restoring His rightful place in our hearts and in the church.

Take a close look at the book of Acts and you will see the disarming down-to-earth way they related to the Holy Spirit. While they revered Him deeply, they had a sense of His nearness and His involvement in their day to day operation. They behaved as if He was close by and they could almost see Him. Most of all, they anticipated His instructions.

 Acts 13:2 “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.”

Millions are now hearing the same call: “SEPARATE TO ME!” The Holy Spirit told David Wilkerson about this coming separation, and how pockets of prophetic people would huddle together across our nation.

He said, “God-hungry people are saying among themselves, “This is not it. There is something more. The bigness and the sensationalism of it all has left us empty and dry. We want more. More than entertainment. More than big, showy buildings. More than a shallow celebrity gospel. We want deeper values. We want to see Jesus. We want spotless robes of righteousness. We want to go back to doing things in total dependence on God.”

Many of these people were chased out of churches that were once fiery, Spirit-filled churches that had taken on a new ‘seeker-friendly’ format. They saw their church now focused on church growth, down-playing the presence of the Holy Spirit, and only designed to attract outsiders. They felt punished for wanting a move of God.

They are fed up with the world system—especially when they see it operating in the church.  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore. They believe we have no time to play games.  They are frustrated that church is catering to the lukewarm members.

They are done with egocentric preachers with grandiose, expensive and carnal visions that having nothing to do with soul winning or revival.  They accuse these preachers of being distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Disciples are abandoning “attraction” churches, and something revolutionary is happening inside them.  God is starting a fresh movement.

David Wilkerson explained more of what he saw coming: “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 who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.”

The praying people he mentions will force changes.  They are a new breed for a new need. They are frustrated, hungry, and their numbers are growing fast.  They are coalescing around certain truths: fasting, repentance, and holy surrender to Christ.

Smith Wigglesworth saw this separation coming way back in 1927.  He predicted the same group of people that  David Wilkerson described: “All the people which are pressing into and getting ready for this glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless, where they shall be immovable, where they shall be purified by the power of the Word of God, have within them a consciousness of the very presence of God within, changing their very nature and preparing them for a greater thing, and causing them to be ready for translation.”

Both men believed that this gathering unto the Holy Spirit would begin after a great falling away.

Wigglesworth said, “We have to see that these days have to come, before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away. There are in the world two classes of believers. There are believers which are disobedient, or I ought to say there are children which are saved by the power of God which are disobedient children. And there are children which are just the same saved by the power of God, who all the time are longing to be more obedient.”

I know that the moment predicted by these two men is upon us. Every day, I receive another account of frustrated saints who have been suddenly driven to hours of prayer. Many are fasting. A vast number are about to find each other in a true outbreak of holy fire. Millions of believers across America feel they are being separated to the Holy Spirit for some amazing, yet unknown, reason. David Wilkerson talked about a “work” within us. Smith Wigglesworth talked about “pressing in.” The image is clear…the Holy Spirit is stirring souls across the nation. They are done with the overuse of big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal! But mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds!

These frustrated saints are being pulled away from fleshly things, even as a spirit of prayer is overtaking them. They are surrendering to a special work of the Holy Spirit. A fresh work of the Holy Spirit has begun, and the impact will soon be widespread in all the earth!