THE PRICE

America faces the greatest threat she has ever faced. Now it is you who are the vessels of God who must die to self in order to get out of God’s way and confront this threat head on. Not with words alone but with undeniable signs and wonders so notable as to invoke both unbridled joy and the fear of the Lord. In view of the state of our nation, nothing less will do.

You want to see the lame walk—the blind see—and the deaf hear?  You want your days of powerless ministry to end?  You want to unlock the how and why of the way God grants power to do mighty signs and wonders?  Do you want to know why so many have asked but so few have received the gift of healing and working of miracles?

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

I am preparing for miracle rallies in the tent in Stockton, California. I already know God’s fiery passion to work miracles in that tent. I am equally aware of the fervent hope so many have who are bringing loved ones with life-threatening diseases to be healed. It is a lot to take in. The burden of all this drove me to review the truths that have been my best friend in so many past events when I relied on nothing other than the healing power and presence of Jesus.

Read on, and learn the price of God’s miracle working power.

The Holy Spirit’s work never changes.  His process of taking raw material, such as you and I, to make a living breathing conduit for His power has never changed.  In 2,000 years, the process has not been shortened or compromised one iota.

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

A young man, enthralled by the power he witnessed, ran up to Smith Wigglesworth and begged for the gift.  Smith said, “You don’t want it.  Before God is through with you, you will feel as if a thousand switch-trains have run over you.”

Before God uses you greatly, He will wound you deeply.

You still yearn to be used?  You still want power—real power, and not the fluff of so many hyper-emotional meetings?  Then proceed, with caution.

The reason for our lack of power and miracles is plain—we are just not willing to pay the price.  If you are willing, the Holy Spirit will take you through the process to power.  Here then is the price of God’s miracle working power:

It’s all about self-emptying. Listen to E. M. Bounds: “The preacher must throw himself−with all the abandon of a perfect, self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal−into His work for the salvation of men.  The men who take hold of and shape a generation for God must be hearty, heroic, compassionate, and fearless martyrs.”

A.W. Tozer said they would “…serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.  They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.”

Oral Roberts despaired of life itself in his hunger to understand miracles.  He was pastoring, without power, when he went to Kansas City to hear William Branham.  That encounter with the supernatural was his line in the sand.  He went into fasting and prayer.  Oral went into the prayer closet and there, he died to himself, completely.

In her desperation to understand the supernatural, Kathryn Kuhlman visited several healing meetings.  She often left disgusted and broken-hearted. Her tears and prayers reached critical mass and she made a holy vow to conduct meetings that were full of power and dignity. And she never looked back. Kathryn traced the moment of her power: she said, “I died.”  From that moment on, there was no Kathryn Kuhlman, only an utterly devoted shell.

Compassion: Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, Charles S. Price, and Aimee Semple McPherson all reported being overcome by compassion for the sick. Their level of caring rose to divine heights−they agonized for the lost, the sick, and the dying.

Matthew 14:14: “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.”  Such compassion cannot be faked.  It emanates from Christ Himself.

Hatred for sickness and evil: Few understand how the anointing is a product of hatred. Hebrews 1:9 says: “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

Alexander Dowie saw miracles happen after a plague struck his church and killed 40 of his members in Sydney, Australia.  An inner rage transformed him until he called out to God with a pure heart, and was rewarded with so much power that it left his entire congregation free of plague.

John G. Lake saw his wife die, and it unlocked a fury against evil that swept the world with healing.

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

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

Every vessel of God has one life message.  It is an outstanding theme of their life and a distillation of all that the Holy Spirit has ever had them say.  T. L. Osborn’s life reached millions, and his life said something astonishing−and what it said is something that he never compromised or changed.

God is giving you power to do one special work.  You cannot deviate from that divine intention. It will be a true work of God.

Wait. Acts 1:4 “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.”  This is the key! Abraham could not wait, and Ishmael was the result.  King Saul could not wait, and it cost him his kingdom.  Esau could not wait, and it cost him his birthright.

How long will you have to wait?  AS LONG AS IT TAKES.  All the powers of hell will challenge your decision to wait.  Satan has too much to lose if true healing power begins to flow.

It will not come easily. Your flesh will scream for release from your vigil. But, wait for true miracle power.  Do not settle for the life you had before this quest.  Your patience will be rewarded beyond measure.  The Holy Spirit will come in power!

 

 

 

God is in the most aggressive search

 

Many Christians and Pastors are in deep turmoil because God is chasing them down. The Lord God has begun a deep work in them that has made them strangers without a country. They don’t know where they fit. God won’t let them get good at something they are not supposed to be doing. They are done with business as usual.

Is there a deep work of God in you that is ruining you for this world? Are you done with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church?  Do you leave a service, thinking, “This is not it, there is something terribly wrong here.”  You can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore. Again, I am talking about both pastors and parishioners. Believe me: BOTH preachers AND parishioners.

They are angry at egocentric preachers with grandiose, expensive, and carnal visions that have zero to do with winning souls.  They are sick of being distracted—even derailed from their first love.  Disciples are abandoning ‘attraction-church’ models in droves. Something revolutionary is happening deep inside them, because God has begun a secret work.

Honest pastors are also in divine turmoil.  The enemy condemned them for having a smaller church.  After years of blood, sweat, and tears, their churches were battered, broken, and diminished—because they can’t compete with ‘mega-church mania’.

And why can’t they compete? It’s because they have maintained their integrity!   When they see large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into churches that either hide or pervert the Gospel, it is easy to feel like a fool for staying true.  The Bible says, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13,14.

However, our friend in Psalm 73 came to a great conclusion. After being bulldozed by the success of the wicked, he took action “16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”  There are many pastors whose hearts are crying out for more—for a miracle they can’t even describe.

When the writer of Psalm 73 entered the sanctuary, exhausted and discouraged, the greatness of God overwhelmed him.  He saw that there is no version of this battle where Satan wins.  This is a part of the secret work God is doing in you!

A growing number of hungry hearts agree—with all its money and crowds—the compromised church did nothing to rebuke America’s sin.  The ‘seeker-friendly’ model was a house of cards that stood no chance against the onslaught being waged on the unborn, and on marriage.  While these men slept, there have been over 54 million abortions, divorce is rampant, and the institution of marriage has been perverted.  In the last 10 years we have lost battle after battle: in government, education, and the media.  We are a hopelessly divided nation, enduring a cold civil war between the Left and the Right.

 

The situation is dire. We are beyond words. The specter of President Trump who is being attacked at every turn; the economy tanking; witch hunters digging up dirt on anyone and everyone, even back to their childhood demonstrates that no human solution remains for America.

So God has taken matters into His own hands. At the approach of evil, God recruits people. He yearns to express His supremacy over evil, through purified vessels. He ruins them for everything—everything, except His Glory. At this present hour, God is conducting the most aggressive search for available servants in American history.

What He means to create—when He finds true surrender—is stunning. He will imbue them with power to perform notable miracles, and power to speak with irresistible force.

Deep, deep in my soul, where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new.  Every atom of my being tells me that God is doing a secret work in His people.  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. There will be nothing remaining except one purpose—to love and please the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is God doing a secret work in you?  Has God closed you in and stripped you of all enjoyment of lesser things?  Are you experiencing a divine frustration because you are supposed to be a part of something only God can do?

What if millions of Americans get so miserable that they cry out to God in total desperation?  What if their cry is too deep, and their hunger is too great, to ever be happy in a lukewarm church?  This is why the Holy Spirit is recruiting a new breed—a breed that can be trusted in the awakening that is coming.

God is doing a secret work!  He is drawing a remnant to Himself.  He is taking the prophetic core and communing with them, training them, empowering them and preparing them for one last mighty blast of power.  The Holy Spirit sees that our nation is hanging by a thread.  The death-rattle is in America’s throat.   Before God allows destruction, He is going to do one last massive miracle, and give America one last chance.

That is why God has uprooted and filled you with deep travailing. It may look like a crisis, and feel like chaos, but the dealing of God within you is right on time!  Look for these signs:

  • People no one has ever heard of will come to the forefront.  They will arrive with awesome power and piercing messages. Some will not be regular ministers.  In fact, the majority will not leave their secular careers while God is using them.  Some will be pastors who have failed and fallen, due to discouragement. They will be rebuilt, refueled, and re-ignited!

 

  • Strange locations will house massive outpourings.  Churches that have been small for years will become ground zero for the presence of God.   People will flock in from everywhere to these centers of fire and glory.  Stunning signs and wonders will rock entire communities.  Some churches will be forced to stay open 24 hours a day, just to handle the harvest.

God is doing a secret work in you.  He is making you miserable, to make you into a miracle.

A.C. Valdez was a child during the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Azusa Street. He later became an evangelist.  God showed him the future and here is what he said:

“All the electrifying adjectives in the dictionary shaken together, pressed down, and running over will not begin to describe the soon-to-come, greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit of all times. It is what the Bible calls, “the latter rain”.  You are going to see lay members carry out an amazing ministry through gifts of the Holy Spirit.  There will be wholesale cures of “incurable” conditions, healings of the blind, deaf, dumb, and handicapped, and creative miracles that will strain the imagination.  For those born without eyes, ears, fingers, arms or legs—or those who have lost them through disease or accidents—God will make new ones.  Many astonishing miracles will happen to bring on an international Christian breakthrough.”

I believe A.C. Valdez is not talking about a time far off in the future.  He is talking about now, because, my friend, it is now or never.

 

 

Do or Die

American preaching has reached a ‘do or die’ moment.

Every Sunday thousands of sermons are preached to millions of people. Some of them will do more harm than good—way more harm than you know.

I am not taking a swipe at all preachers. Most preachers are sincere men and women of God. However, these worthy voices are often drowned out by the modern preaching that leaves out the Cross of Christ, the Blood of Christ, the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders, and Bible verses on sexual sin, and hell.

The modern preachers who leave all of this biblical content out of their sermons do it because they say they want to offer hope. Hope is their big word. Here and now, I am accusing them of offering, at best, an inferior hope, and at worst a false hope.

Paul the Apostle had a totally opposite view of what ‘preaching hope’ is all about. He said, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech.” -2 Corinthians 3:12. In their attempts to give hope, these preachers leave out truth. Paul believed that to give hope you must leave it all in.

He said in Ephesians 6:19 “and (pray) for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Twice, he refers to boldness.

Again, in 2 Corinthians 4, he detailed why it is such a disaster to leave anything out:

1“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 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. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

When a preacher handles the Word of God deceitfully and puts a veil over it, that makes the preacher a villain to lost souls.  Worse still, that preacher is in cahoots with the devil. They put a veil over truth, while Satan blinds people to it.

Every day we are losing ground because of this artificial preaching. Since He–the Holy Spirit– is also called the Spirit of Truth. You cannot be anointed unless you are telling the Truth.

Here is what this preaching has cost us so far: Because the church did not take a unified Biblical stand on sexual immorality, the Left has systemically canonized the lie that Christian doctrine is hate speech.

Chick-Fil-A was banned from yet another airport. What did they do wrong? They stood by their Christian values and they gave money to Christian groups. City boards voted to shut them down because they gave to “hate” organizations. Had we as the Body of Christ taken a stand, we would not be in this bind.

More damage was done when these preachers made their congregations biblically illiterate. That is why a huge number of Christians, including famous “gospel” singers, don’t know the values of the Christian faith—don’t know how to answer their culture—don’t see anything wrong with abortion or same sex marriage—and don’t know how to vote.

Back to the issue of hope. I am asking these preachers a simple question: How can you say you are bringing hope if you leave out the truths that carry the hope?

Here is what I mean: real hope comes from true conversion. Only the soul that has repented and utterly opened themselves to new life can feel the surpassing hope of Christ. Let me show some examples of hope:

The Cross: until the soul knows it is lost—until it is broken by the sacrifice of Christ, the true hope of Christ cannot take hold of them. But, brother, when it does, it is awesome to behold. You will have a convert that is in church for all the right reasons. You have a walking miracle that is contagious.

The Blood of Christ: Only those souls that know the Blood has been applied to their sin can feel clean—a moral clean that nothing else can give them. Moreover, the most dangerous young convert is the one that knows they have power over the devil. Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives unto the death.”

Sexual sin: Millions of people who genuinely want deliverance can’t find it because society has normalized their behavior. But that does not change the damage. The suicide rate for transgender people is 33 times higher than the general population.

People look at verses like the following verses below, and call them hateful− but look again:

1 Corinthians 6: 9 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Two takeaways here:

  1. Sin is sin. There is no sin elevated above another. Thieves, murderers, idolaters, drunkards, and all sexual sins are listed together, and are equal.
  2. True conversion ends with true deliverance from sin. It offers hope of cleansing, sanctification, and justification. That hope is not available if we skirt the issue of what a holy God must judge.

The type of hope found in many of these misguided modern sermons offers little or no real hope. They tout the ‘good life’. But if that kind of ‘good life’ brings real  hope, why are billionaires killing themselves? Besides, what are we doing? Advancing the same lies as the world?

When lukewarm believers leave church, they are swooning in the superficial glow of a happy sense that God is not mad at them. What they don’t have is the blazing reality of being set free and filled with peace that passes understanding, and power to answer a sick world’s cry for help.

These ‘happy time’ sermons must stop now. They are as big a threat to America as the Leftist radicals.

Every night, under our tent we kill the lie of these modern sermons. Lost souls hear Truth under the power of the Holy Spirit. God confirms the Word with miracles and people who have never seen the inside of a church come running for real hope and new life! Glory to God!

Remember this…Paul said it was because of how great the hope is that we are bold to tell all the Truth! Amen.

The falling away is almost over

The greatest harvest in the history of Christianity will be placed in the hands of special ones—faithful ones. Already they are being chosen.  Already they have an appointment with destiny that will bring them into an unimaginable nearness to Jesus.

Those who are called to this will ask and receive things that prior generations could not imagine.  We are talking about awesome things!

They may not know who they are.  They don’t have an inkling of what is about to overtake them.

The Lord is testing them in obscurity.  It’s the only way that yields a vessel that can be trusted with great power.  They have been rejected for refusing to conform to the counterfeits.  God made them misfits.  Because He knew what was coming.

God not only knew the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship that would produce special powers for His Children.

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 to 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 (He) 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.

And that response has already begun in our crusades.  Altar calls that render the audience helpless before the power of God.  I have not seen this since the Jesus Movement!

The Lord of the universe is not poor.  He has pooled untold wealth to transfer it into the hands of trusted, proven, purified vessels whose only passion is to obey.

Finally, learn the truth of the slingshot. It may explain everything you are going through right now.

They are being hurt, wounded, and brought to the brink of despair before their breakthrough.  In their pain and agony they will cry out why—why am I being pulled away from my promise?  Why does each day take me further and further away from what You promised me, Lord?

Like a slingshot, God is deliberately building up the tension—the frustration—the fire to act…and at just the right moment, He will release you.   There is a great falling away coming and it will result in new voices and new anointing, leading to the greatest harvest of souls in history.

HAS GOD MADE THEM LOONY?

Miracles sometimes come in strange packages. Here are a few examples: Abolish air travel. Spend 20 trillion dollars. Ban meat. Give the Boston Bomber the right to vote from prison. Jesus was not Jewish. Shut down the energy producing companies. Get rid of all private insurance companies. Give free health care and college to all illegal aliens.  Kill babies after they are born. I kid you not. These are the exact words coming from politicians in the Democrat Party.

They seem like they are under the influence of something that forces them to act in their own worst interest. Are we watching a miracle like the night Trump won the election? Is the Democrat Party a tower of Babel where God has come down to confound their language?

They spout utter madness with a straight face. All the loony ideas the Democrat Party used to filter out or hide among themselves in smoky back rooms are now front and center. It seems they can’t help themselves. Even when they know it damages them, they keep talking crazy. Even when they are presented with incontrovertible facts, they hold to what are patent lies.

The Democrat Party alienates mainstream America. Why don’t they care? I believe it is because of God. I believe we are seeing an answer to prayer. The Bible says, “2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the Truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie…”

But another kind of judgment has fallen on them: division.    We are watching a good old fashioned Old Testament event, just like when God confused the enemies of Israel and caused them to be divided among themselves.

Here’s the post where I predicted that this would happenhttps://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/a-lying-spirit/

Remember the first miracle we saw the night Trump was elected? Every media outlet except Fox News guaranteed a Clinton victory.  As the evening wore on, a shift began to take place. None of the Leftists could believe it. Soon their dismissive expressions turned to dismay as the seemingly impossible was happening right before their eyes.

Are we watching another miracle? As the Mueller investigation stumbles into oblivion with nothing to show for the millions of taxpayer’s dollars they wasted—as the tide turns in what only a couple of weeks ago seemed a devastating time for both Trump and Republicans— are we seeing prayer being answered right before our eyes?

There is a law of war that says “never stop your enemy when they are making a mistake.” That is happening right now. And it means it’s time for the church to take action. It means we must reach out with greater fervency. Now is the time for mass soul winning−because God has set back the Leftist threat to our freedom. This is no time for overconfidence or apathy. New threats are coming. This is a moment we have been waiting for–when the minds of Americans can change. You have a part in this miracle. You must speak up. You must pray. The fields are white unto harvest. There is no time like now to spread the Gospel!

 

 

THERE IS PROOF

Jesus rose from the dead. The Bible says there is proof.  Acts 17:31 “For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
Because of this proof we should not cower before the culture or present our case in apologetic terms. We should not sheepishly offer Christ in couched terms or clever words. Most of all, we should not accept a faith that believes only part of the story.
Recently, a poll said that a growing number of Christian youth do not believe it is right to share their faith with those who do not believe. This trend violates the Bible. It disobeys the direct command of Christ to go into all the world and make disciples. (Mark 16:15)
This reticence to share is rooted in doubt about the supernatural origin of Christianity. The same Jesus who rose from the Dead is the One Who said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:12).  Since, He is the only Way, then the only thing we can do is share with all men, all faiths, and all nations the one true Way to God.
There is a growing embarrassment about being Christian.  There are false accusations of racism and tyranny that today’s professors attribute to the teachings of Jesus. This makes young believers shy and confused about how to answer the lies.  A good start is to realize how absurd those charges are. To claim that tyranny and racism rose out of “love your neighbor and forgive your enemies” is not only fallacious, it is ridiculous.

Many young believers do not think the story of Easter is real. That is not just sad it is cruel.  Cruel, because it tortures the young believer into a divided soul. They want to adhere to the morals of Jesus but struggle with the supernatural. That is painful because it is impossible. The veracity of Jesus is inextricably tied to the resurrection.
Generation Z honors Jesus as a great moral teacher. But Jesus claimed He would rise from the dead. If He did not, He lied, and if He lied, He is not a great moral teacher.  Paul took it further by saying, in that case, all of us who preach are liars. Paul went to great lengths to make this point:
1 Corinthians 15: 12 “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead. But He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
The resurrection of Jesus is not just your great hope, it is your great responsibility.  If you don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead you will not go to heaven, and you have no reason to say you are a Christian. The resurrection is even central to the model salvation prayer in Romans 10: 8 “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“But now is Christ risen.” Those words from Paul should electrify our spirit. You should declare it loud and clear. You should understand that whenever you declare it Satan convulses—angels can’t help but join you in jubilation—and your body, mind, and spirit will instantly shake off the despair of modern life.

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