ON THE VERGE

Smith Wigglesworth came to America from Britain in 1914.  What people saw in his meetings defied all human explanation:

“Smith Wigglesworth, often referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith,’ was one of the pioneers of the Pentecostal revival that occurred a century ago. Without human refinement and education he was able to tap into the infinite resources of God to bring divine grace to multitudes. Thousands came to Christian faith in his meetings, hundreds were healed of serious illnesses and diseases, as supernatural signs followed his ministry.  A deep intimacy with his heavenly Father and an unquestioning faith in God’s Word brought spectacular results and provided an example for all true believers of the Gospel.” (Smith Wigglesworth.com).

Smith was far ahead of his time, and his faithful witness led to the next phase that was needed.

Divine healing had fallen into disrepute.  Meetings were often fraught with emotionalism.  Charlatans whipped audiences into frenzies.  Most healing testimonies were sketchy at best.

Things were also bad outside the church.  America was in the grip of the fear of impending war.  Psychiatry was replacing faith.  A whole generation was racing away from God.   Preachers were at a loss as to what to do about it.

Then in the 1920s, Aimee Semple McPherson came to Los Angeles. Her crusades across America filled the biggest venues. At one point, around 15% of the City of Los Angeles attended the church she built, Angelus Temple.

The smoke of God’s glory appeared in Angelus Temple. Miracles flowed freely. Aimee was not just a faith healer−she was also a worthy opponent to any atheist foolish enough to debate her.

1946: Enter William Branham.  The atmosphere in his meetings is low key.  There is no attempt to manipulate the people.  Branham tells the audience when the angel of the Lord is present—a statement that should sound preposterous, except that astounding things start happening.

Oral Roberts once told me, “There were no hard cases for Branham while he was enveloped by the anointing.”  Growths vanished, lifeless limbs awakened, blind eyes opened.

American historian, David Edwin Harrell Jr. described Branham as:

“An unlikely leader….his preaching was halting and simple beyond belief. But William Branham became a prophet to a generation. A small, meek, middle-aged man with piercing eyes, he held audiences spellbound with tales of constant communication with God and angels. Night after night, before thousands of awed believers, he discerned the diseases of the sick and pronounced them healed.”

Few men have ever been endowed with the raw supernatural power of William Branham.  There, for the entire world to see−and for medical science to test−were signs and wonders that were incontrovertible.

Then in 1947 a young Oral Roberts went to Kansas City to hear Branham.  The experience led him to resign his church in Enid, Oklahoma and obey God’s mandate to “take My healing power to your generation.” More than any healing ministry since Jesus, Oral indeed took God’s healing power to his generation.

He dared to put the miracles of Jesus on prime time television. God used him to found Oral Roberts University which has sent amazing leaders around the world.

Kathryn Kuhlman: When she began to minister she faced an onslaught of criticism for being a divorced woman preacher…God had to do startling miracles to open doors for her ministry.  America got over her past and flocked to her services.  She set attendance records in the largest venues.

The miracles of healing were documented and became the most convincing body of evidence for miracles that the medical community has ever seen.   Renowned surgeons, heart specialists, and medical experts sat in the front rows of her meetings.

However her greatest contribution was her revelation of the Holy Spirit.  She was in Pittsburgh teaching something that was very new and real to her on the person of the Holy Spirit when a woman who was neither called out nor prayed over was instantly healed of terminal stomach cancer.

The disarming simplicity of her message on the Holy Spirit can be misleading.  Sometimes there is nothing more powerful than simplicity.   The church in general at that time, had fallen into a powerless funk in reaction to the “God is dead” movement and the surge of drugs in the youth culture.

 

The same Holy Spirit that took, as she said, “a nobody” and raised her up to alter the course of history should inspire us to follow her example.

Now we, in 2019, have come to another terrible moment for the Pentecostal and the Charismatic movements in America.  Compromise has hit us from the most unlikely sources.   A pandemic moral and political cowardice paralyzes our pulpits.  The wholesale attack on the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion has met only token resistance from “Spirit-filled” pastors.

Today we have widespread reports of “revivals” that are hugely disappointing.  In our heart of hearts we know they are total hype.  Healings are claimed but not confirmed.

We have witnessed the rise of an entire “revival” industry that hawks imaginary authority. People are reveling in spiritual fantasy worlds, blending astral projection and UFOs with Christianity.

Travelling ministries today sell high-pitch ecstasies that promise towering results over the enemy, but deliver zero impact on the culture.

I have my suspicions.  I wonder if the voices that scream revival the loudest are simply trying to drown out their own unbelief, or if the abuse of GRACE−that has pastors drinking hard liquor after church−is merely defeatism that says, “What’s the use in trying?”

The times are dark, so dark in fact, that they carry a strange hope.  Maybe we are finally, finally willing to shed the stubborn sins that have imprisoned us in religious irrelevancy and deception.

A real hunger for truth is replacing ‘political correctness’.   Donald Trump is a symptom of widespread anger with ‘tolerance’ and ‘political correctness’.   We have become a ‘fed up’ culture.  People agree with President Trump about America, and that is why all of the criticism the media is throwing at him does not stick.

Perhaps we are witnessing the creation of a positive vacuum in Spirit-filled believers and in society.  This is our best opportunity to save America.  This vacuum is causing both Pentecostals and Charismatics to replace empty religion with a real relationship with Jesus, and that is where the key to power lies.

Many believers are angry with politically correct preaching.  The cry now is, “Quit feeding us junk food!”  We want to experience the power of God and are no longer satisfied with just a ‘feel good’ message.  Look around you… the hunger for truth is rising.

A true desperation is replacing our attitude of entitlement.  Americans know that they are in danger of losing their future to our government.  They no longer harbor the fantasy that tells us we’re going to pull out of this just because we are America.

Many Christians realize that they have never known true desperation until now.  They don’t want church to make them feel good anymore, they want church to put them right and make them strong.  They want something real so badly that they will take it straight—not sugar-coated or diluted.

A true spirit of prayer is replacing artificial prayer.   Believers are waking up to the fact that their prayers have been wrong.  Their prayers were filled with agendas.  Pastors prayed as if prayer was a booster rocket for their pet program.   Prayer is returning to the raw, unconditional surrender that it was supposed to be all along.

The real message here is not the arrival of a man, but of an era of explosive miracles.  That is what I am sensing and expecting.   What we have been waiting for will come in an unexpected package—as these 5 vessels did.

Today, the Spirit-filled movement finds itself in the same predicament.  Once again, we are mired by division and emotionalism.   Only this time it is much, much worse. Unless the church prays down the supernatural healing of God, America is on the verge of total collapse, bankruptcy, and moral anarchy. But I feel something stirring that man cannot stop. I believe we are on the verge of the explosion of divine healing miracles. Why?

Because I believe we have finally reached the place of total desperation.   Maybe now we will trade the unreliable for the undeniable.   Let it be, Oh, God.

PLEASE JOIN ME IN STOCKTON AT THE WEBER POINT EVENT CENTER. WE EXPECT GREAT MIRACLES!

CHRISTIANS WHO DON’T CARE

Millions now attending churches in America need a stern warning that their freedom to worship God will soon be gone. They need to know that the massive effort underway to make the Bible incompatible with “American values” will be followed by making our beliefs illegal.

Mayor Pete says he is gay and Christian – and anyone who disagrees has a quarrel with God. Chelsea Clinton says that abortion is Christian.  This is a new attack. You must understand, they don’t want to do away with church, they want to divorce Christians from the Bible.

The mayor, Chelsea, those who ban Chick-fil-A, just to name a few, do not admit the Bible is their target.  Not yet. They know that would backfire. But, the current trend will soon make it acceptable.

Before the next election, the Left will be forced to be openly anti-Bible.  Since Trump has made America stronger and more prosperous, they can’t defeat him unless they can create a false narrative about his “ties to Bible believing Christians.”

The Left is in a frenzy and they don’t really know why. They don’t know it, but Satan is using them like puppets. Satan needs to destroy America.   It’s his grand prize.  The need consumes him.  He fantasizes about it.  He pursues the destruction of the U.S. with extreme prejudice and unrelenting patience.

America is a firewall that prevents the one event Satan craves most: Global anarchy.    Internationally, he has fooled Marxists and Radical Islamists into craving chaos. Both of these groups believe civil order must be destroyed and then a new world will magically appear.  But Satan knows anarchy is the only thing that will make the world embrace worldwide dictatorship. The perfect entrée for the Anti-Christ.

However, none of this moves millions of American believers. Let’s call it for what it is…they don’t care if America is destroyed.

However, there is great hope.  God continues to rally a remnant that is ready to let God use them in a way that can literally turn America around. But I can’t tell you more until after I rattle your cage.   Before there can be a great awakening there must be a rude awakening.

The rude awakening is this: you must realize there are Christians who simply do not care if America goes down. They are physically present in church but absent from the Lord. They are unavailable to do His work. They are oblivious to disaster at our door. Here is what they look like.

The preaching they enjoy teaches them to think of themselves first.  To them self-denial is a denial of God’s goodness. They measure their relationship to Christ not by how much they give up but by how much they get to keep.  They are attracted to flattery and convenience.

They believe soul-winning is offensive: Nothing explains the condition of America more than the almost complete abandonment of evangelism. We lost to gay marriage, abortion, and every other moral failure due to the simple fact that we did not win souls.

Since the Word of God is absent from the sermons they hear they actually believe it is a bad thing to share one’s faith with the un-churched. A testament to this is the shock that pastors relate to us in our tent when outsiders come and get born again. They are not just blessed…they are shocked.

Training to win souls is extinct. Organized outreach hardly ever happens.  This is why ministries such as ours find it nearly impossible to motivate churches to win the lost.

What draws crowds in church today is a great indictment. For years now the Christian concert has dominated attendance. Many believe that is a good thing. However, when mass soul winning crusades drew the largest crowds the impact was felt in the nation. Our government feared legislating immorality when holy evangelists filled stadiums.

There is something terribly wrong with a mindset that can feel good about itself over an event that does nothing to reverse the destructive course of America.  Far from success–that is denial.

They don’t want to get involved in politics.  With high-sounding words they excuse themselves from something that no child of God can excuse themselves from any longer. The Left is directly targeting church, the Bible, and freedom of religion.  Late term abortion is pagan ritual human sacrifice.  These wispy believers still believe being nice will make The Left stop trying to destroy us.

They have joined the deluded crowd in rejecting everything Trump does. They refuse to see the disaster they are aiding and abetting.

Do you care what happens to America? Do you believe there is still hope? To you, the true heroes of this hour, I humbly present this plan.

Separate yourself from the crowd that claims Christ but has no desire to save our nation. Being around them can drain your fervor, dull your vision and finally deceive you.  Paul was emphatic about this.  “Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:5

Find that church that has a true presence of God, Bible based preaching, and that wants to win the lost.  Forget about size, prestige or the coffee bar. What you must do is huddle with the emerging army of supernatural power. Trust me they are forming.  Quit being a part of symbolic prayer that asks all the right things but never gets around to deliberate soul-winning.  It offends God to ask for something to happen and then oppose the actual happening.

Prepare for supernatural signs and wonders and intimacy with God on a level we have not imagined.  You are supposed to see signs and wonders. You are not supposed to get proud. You are being watched. The eyes of God seek a core that will give Christ all the glory when wheelchairs are emptied and cancers vanish.

Prepare for a full-on declaration of truth in America. You can have a tongue of fire.  You can seek God and know Him in a way you never thought possible.

When we are in heaven and this hour of darkness is recalled—those who sought escape and comfort—who had no passion to save their nation will bear the greatest shame.  But those who ignored the impossibility, the shame, the ridicule and the lukewarm believers, will shine like the sun.

 

 

 

BEAUTY FOR ASHES

November 2018: The fire is consuming the equivalent of 10 Costco warehouses per minute.  14,000 homes are destroyed along with over 6,000 other structures. 88 people die.
Paradise, California is reduced to ashes.
Months later, thousands of the people of Paradise are still waiting in temporary housing in surrounding cities.  Experts say this town cannot be rebuilt.
Then God began to speak to us. He told us to get ready to go to Paradise. Honestly, I did not want to go. To begin with, I had no idea if anyone was still in Paradise. What about water and electricity? And how could we ever get a fire permit for a tent in Paradise?
Then I felt a strange relief. We could never go to Paradise unless we were invited. I was off the hook.  That is until a few days later when Miriam—a prominent resident of Paradise—called us to ask us to bring the tent. Now we had to proceed, not knowing how it could work out.
I must skip ahead to the point of this blog.  Beauty for Ashes was the theme that overshadowed us as we labored to make this miracle happen in Paradise. Through Miriam’s prayers and efforts, we got the tent site and the permit.
Then I had lunch with 40 Christian leaders from the Paradise area. They erased any doubt I had about Paradise being rebuilt. There was a holy resolve in the room. The date was set for Living Proof Paradise.  Then the next miracle happened.

God has gathered an army of love to bring hope and comfort.
Right now, many people feel a great expectation for these upcoming nights in Paradise.
What is the gift that we bring to this city of ashes?  I was at a loss to answer that question. Then it struck me: EZRA WENT IN FIRST.  Before the city of Jerusalem could be physically rebuilt by Nehemiah, God sent in a team to rebuild the people. That’s it! We are partnering with God and with many believers to lay a spiritual foundation before the physical one is laid.
Then I realized what the Word of God meant by Beauty for Ashes. Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the  captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable     year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes…
After Jesus quoted these verses, He said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” –Luke 4:21 Beauty for Ashes is an integral part of the Gospel. I believe that it speaks of a literal trade. “Give me your ashes in exchange for my beauty.”
This means the world to me because of the single greatest fear I had about this tent meeting. I didn’t want to be trite, offensive or rude. I could never say to these people, “I know how you feel.” You and I may never know how they feel.  To lose everything. To have nights of unimaginable horror. To lose loved ones.
But God is not sending us in there to give intellectual or philosophical remedies. Jesus just wants them to feel His presence in the tent. It is not for us to carry the burden of what these people need. They need peace that passes understanding. They need healing from the Great Physician.
There were people in the audience facing untold misery when Jesus said those famous words. He knew that His Gospel could set them free.
We go to Paradise to set up a tent. We are praying and working hard. But the gift we bring is not just water, food, and clothing. It is something money can never buy. It is something that comes to stay—for eternity. We provide the tent. God will provide His presence…and that my friend is a healing agent far beyond our intellect.

 

P.S. I need your prayers now more than ever. Help me by inviting those you know from anywhere in the Paradise area including Chico, Oroville or any other location nearby.  Call us at 775 238 3473. Do not be surprised if the Lord speaks to you to come all the way to Paradise to see this amazing miracle of love and receive the miracle you need. MM