EVEN WITH

A Trump loss the next election is too terrible to imagine. But even if he wins, we will desperately need a true revival in America. Tragically, the church doesn’t know the difference between true and false revival.

Many of the things the church does today simply do not matter. They don’t point in the trajectory of revival. In fact they point in the opposite direction.   Many things done by churches are impressive, even successful—I am saying they will not save America

We know the times are evil.  But what can we do about it?  That’s the number one question I am asked.  My answer is, “We need to stop toying, speculating, and paying lip service to revival.  We need to seize a true revival.”

The real culprit today is false revival.  There is untold damage done when we take a good meeting and market it as revival.  To characterize a good meeting as revival is like filling a bath tub with salt water, and calling it the Pacific Ocean.

I am not telling you that your ‘good meeting’ is not true revival—because history and our culture are both telling you it is not.  History says revival overflows church walls and makes deep impacts on society, which is not happening.   And when our culture swats away our church meetings and continues to careen into deeper wickedness—it is telling us we are not in revival.

There is one thing—above all others—that is stopping true revival: We don’t have a pure motive.  We want it for all the wrong reasons.  If revival is our ticket to getting church growth, emotional experiences, self-promotion, formulas, and wealth, our prayers are like nuclear waste to God.

The most well known verse on revival begins with a huge ‘IF’:  2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

IF you truly yearn for the miracle that would stop America’s slide into oblivion—IF you wish for an act of the Holy Spirit so real and widespread that it impacts crime, injustice, addiction, and despair—then listen to this lesson from history:

In 1904, American leaders were enthralled by the revival that was then taking place in Wales.  Hundreds of thousands were converted, and the morals of the nation were transformed.  American church leaders wanted a revival like that here.  But they tried to buy it.

These enterprising pastors and businessmen invested in massive campaigns.  They were dismal failures.  So much so, that the very concept of revival fell into disfavor.

Two years later, they realized their mistake.  When widespread brokenness gripped the leaders, aided by a pure motive, they cried out and heaven heard them.   One of the catalysts to this awakening was a man named James Burns.

James Burns wrote a powerful book entitled “Revivals, Their Laws and Leaders.” In 1909 he wrote, “To the church, a revival means humiliation, a bitter knowledge of unworthiness and an open and humiliating confession of sin on the part of her ministers and people. It is not the easy and glorious thing many think it to be, who imagine it fills pews and reinstates the church in power and authority.

“It comes to scorch before it heals; it comes to condemn ministers and people for their unfaithful witness, for their selfish living, for their neglect of the cross, and to call them to daily renunciation, to an evangelical poverty and to a deep and daily consecration. That is why a revival has ever been unpopular with large numbers within the church. Because it says nothing to them of power such as they have learned to love, or of ease, or of success; it accuses them of sin, it tells them they are dead, it calls them to awake, to renounce the world and to follow Christ.”

America, at last, had found a pure motive for revival. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles (at Azusa Street), and many other cities saw amazing things.  Denver, Colorado, and Portland, Oregon, which are currently bastions of marijuana, atheism, and rampant liberalism, shut down businesses at noon so everyone could go and pray.  Crime dropped to virtually nothing.  Bars sat empty, and millions went to prayer everyday across America.

Until our knees buckle beneath the horror of our nation’s sin and the blasphemy of our cheap grace fades away, our request for revival will be denied.

But I still feel faith for the church in America to turn around. More importantly, God holds out great hope to us.  Let me share two things that forever killed my doubts about revival.  One was a scripture, Matthew 12:20: “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory.”

Jesus will not snuff out the least flicker of revival. When anyone asks for revival from a pure heart, God says, “Yes,” and begins the process. He takes you at your word.

The other thing that occurred was a revelation I received as I was standing at the beach and the gentle foam of the ocean lapped over my toes. The voice of the Lord said, “This gentle wave is the cousin of the tsunami.”

The smallest flame in the smallest church will not be quenched by Jesus.  Given the proper opportunity, the Spirit of God will fan it into a raging fire of righteousness.  The gentlest wave can grow into a tidal wave when anyone hosts within them the presence of God. But they must obey His step-by-step orders, and they must refuse to exploit what God is doing among them.

These two truths are resonating powerfully within me now.  I want them to blow up in your spirit as well! Do you truly want revival?  Then what are you waiting for?

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.  (Jeremiah 29:13)

 


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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!

 

 

 

PROGRAMMING BELIEVERS TO BACKSLIDE

A man of God and his wife who are dear friends of mine were placed in an awkward but all too familiar situation. They were with other spiritual leaders when hard liquor was offered to them. They politely refused and slowly excused themselves from the reception trying hard to mask their shock.

That is not the end of it. A “prophet” later confronted them and told them that they were legalistic for not drinking. He went so far as to say that unless they got in line with the new “revelation” of freedom their church would not grow.

This is no longer a case of just saying drinking is okay. Now they are saying you should be drinking if you want to be in the flow. That “flow” is part of a machinery for growth that compromises in many other areas of Christian life—and programs believers to backslide. The Bible predicted this deception…

Isaiah 59:15 says, “So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice.” Some pastors today are preying on church members who seek to be holy…accusing them of a religious spirit.

Have we really come to the point where believers are making themselves a target by pursuing holiness?  The answer is a loud YES! A machine is churning out converts who are being programmed to backslide. And don’t fool yourself, this machine is in spirit-filled churches…even in so-called revival churches.

Holiness is now rejected and called a religious spirit. Satan rejoices at this because it has created the greatest display of false success in the history of the church. Many churches are now conveyor belts that attract people in but then they rapidly fall off at the end of the belt.

In fact, the ones who fall off may be the fortunate ones. There’s at least a chance that they will crash and burn and come to their senses in true repentance. But woe, to those who are backslidden in church but don’t know it because they are taught, they can never backslide.

The growth we celebrate today is a grand illusion that hides the greatest turnover ratio ever.

Doesn’t this explain why so many believers have been bulldozed and reclaimed by the enemy? Doesn’t this point out the reason the church has no authority to push back against the flood of evil in our nation? How can we field an army of warriors when our system sets them up to fail?  Forgive me but I am about to get passionate about this!

How can it be that the very vessels chosen of God to equip the saints instead conspired to create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness?

Listen to most sermons today. They give the impression the church has exhausted herself trying to serve God, or that she has overdone sacrifice—that now she needs vast portions of comfort food.  That’s the way it sounds when ministers keep telling them to relax, and quit trying so hard, because Daddy is so pleased with them.

Even after there’s proof that a congregation has become a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate, club of moody consumers—preachers will still heap on them one more message of pampered entitlement.  Forgive me for being crude…but it’s kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.

Sundays are too often a celebration of how much God lets you get away with and soothing guarantees that confuse God’s love versus His approval.

1 John 5:4 says “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”  There are two things to take away from this promise: the first is that a major goal of the child of God is to overcome the world. That goal is largely missing in modern preaching—preaching that sees the world as a quasi-friend not as a mortal enemy.  Secondly, it shows us the desperately urgent place of faith—faith that overcomes! That is also missing.

We program failure when it is not clear at the moment of conversion that Christ must become lord of their existence. That is an ultimatum that cannot be postponed. Without it, you are lying to the new convert about the power they will have over evil or any hope of growing in faith. You are also robbing them of the joy of the Lord.

Repentance, spiritual warfare, the authority of the believer are all subjects that would protect the child of God and help them to stand against the enemy. But these preachers never get around to these truths because it will stop the influx of people. Think of that!

Gently suggest the church could go deeper—call for more prayer meetings—voice concern about inappropriately dressed women—tell them you don’t want to party with them, and they will scream, “YOU HAVE A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT!”

What was once normal discipleship, is now legalistic.  Anything that dampens their festivities is judgmental. What have we done?  We have unleashed a counterfeit liberty.  These are not the features of a Spirit-led people.  These are the clear symptoms of people with sick souls deceived and careening toward disaster.

But the final nail in the coffin of this deception is this: It is utterly unnecessary to compromise to get a crowd. Jesus never had trouble getting a crowd. That is why He focused on changing the crowd. Go ahead and boast about growth but you must do it at the expense of truth—the truth that while churches grow, the nation is dying—and the very people tasked by God to save America are having zero impact.

The greatest gift God can send a church is a holy child of God.  Their heart is for revival.  They want the fire, glory and power of God to electrify the church.  Make them your enemy and you have also made an enemy out of God. Woe is you if you have ever called holiness a religious spirit.   God bless you if you love holiness and understand what a treasure it is.  “1 Timothy 6: 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Thank God that at this critical hour the Holy Spirit is separating a core to Himself. These are pastors, and regular Christians who are praying to go deeper. They are busy saying to each other, “this side show is not God, there’s more! No way can Satan win if we take our stand on the authority of the cross!”

He is imbuing them with boldness, wisdom, signs and wonders and most of all…a blazing passion for holiness. “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14 

WALKING ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO

I am walking the Streets of San Francisco.   I snap this picture and the voice of God blasted in my spirit: “all that can be shaken.” God has made His choice.  God has chosen His targets.  God will strike suddenly.   Everything that can be shaken will be shaken.

-You companies who have used your wealth and power to persecute the righteous will now be shaken.

-You politicians—who have ruined America for decades will suddenly disappear.

-You preachers who have handled the Word of God deceitfully and cheapened Grace to finance your private life of drunkenness, whoredom, and materialism will have your gift removed in public humiliation.

God shook Himself.  He waited.  He was patient.  He gave you time to play church.  He let you have your blessing toys.  He looked away in hopes we would come to ourselves.  His blessing and his goodness did not bring you to repentance.  No, it became a license to go deeper into counterfeit Christianity.

The America church is guilty of great crimes against the Holy Spirit.  We told Him to leave and lets us grow Christianity incorporated—the worst thing we could have done.

It was a mistake—a terrible, incalculable, ongoing mistake—derailing more truth in less time than any moral plague in history.

It’s why we couldn’t stop Barack Obama—why we made no cogent case to save marriage, the unborn, or free speech—why we stood by and watched America change overnight—why we were helpless to intervene when our nation began hating everything that made her great.

Trump was only the beginning of this shaking.  He is rude, he is offensive—by design.  His words uproot and tear down.  He is a wrecking ball to international corruption.  His crudeness is a tool of a God with a plan.  He makes you queasy?  He scares you?  That’s nothing…

Just wait till they try to get him out of power.  Oh how his enemies rejoice thinking they have nailed him as a racist.  They will fail for 2 simple reasons:  He is not a racist and he is in power for a divine reason.

Watch the most powerful people attack and crumble.  Watch liberal heads explode as Trump remains—not because he is holy or even a good leader—but because he is chosen to wreak havoc on the world system.

Why now you ask?  Why has God rolled up His sleeve to root up false ministries?  Why is He accelerating His earthquakes?  I wondered.  I asked.  The answer was stunning but not surprising.  Here are the reasons:

-We are at the moment when Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter along with leftist leaders will unfurl a cyber-iron curtain.  Christians will be marginalized.  Values that violate our Constitution and freedom of religion will be enforced.  Bible preaching will be a hate crime.  (How sickening!  Carnal ministers were toadies in this plan to drive the church underground and terrorize Israel.)

-Nancy Pelosi will again be the Speaker of the House.  Are we days away from a leftist backlash that will transcend anything in our history?   Conventional wisdom may say yes, but God is shaking the agenda of those that hate America.

God came to the inescapable decision that revival must come now or the nation is lost.  He will pour out wrath…but He will also pour out His Spirit.  Hallelujah!

 

Look for despised little churches—faithfully preaching the Word of God—to become centers of Glory, miracles and mass conversions.

Look for nobodies to come on the scene like a righteous tornado and roar repentance with such power that their voice will echo in the penthouses of power.

Look for campus ministries to rise because millennials will see the blatant persecution and turn Christianity into a celebrated cause.

Look for preaching to be matched with miracles—confirmation of the WORD by medically inexplicable healings.

Look for God to pull out all the stops to save America.  Look for every ministry fueled by man to fall by the wayside to make room for the voices that cannot be shaken. But for the righteous there is great news!

Jesus saw the future and uttered an explosive prayer: PRAY THE LORD OF THE HARVEST TO SEND WORKERS INTO THE HARVEST.  Notice He did not say ministers, or celebrities.  He said workers.  Many want the titles, attention, and rewards…but they don’t want to do the work.  A special core burns white hot with passion win lost souls and heal the sick.  They are hidden now but soon they will shine like the sun.

But there is another miracle awaiting this unique breed.  They will be allowed to see the world around them from the vantage point of the throne of God.  Ephesians 2: 6 says “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”

What do you see from this vantage point?  You see that all the vile railings of our culture are not—in any way—a threat to the purposes of the almighty.  He knows the hollow arguments of the haters.  He is not moved by the mental monopoly of fake news and leftist social media.  He saw it all coming and prepared the response.  Glory to God