WHY TRUE PREACHING MATTERS NOW MORE THAN EVER

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there: in her fertile land, and boundless prairies, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great” (Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835).

Comte De Tocqueville was one of the brightest minds of his time: a French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist, and historian. He cut through the veneer and identified preaching as the prime source of our genius. Think of that. He pinpointed the fire in our pulpits as the source of our greatness!

Our recent blog, about the feeble response of Christian leaders to the present madness in America, was widely accepted by believers, and just as widely rejected by leaders—celebrity leaders. Perhaps Tocqueville’s quote may help you understand why I hold them responsible for our national debacle. My severity toward them is not because I have a low opinion of pastors, it is because I have a high opinion of preaching. Like Alexis de Tocqueville, I believe anointed preaching to be the true source of our greatness, and bad preaching to be the true source of our weakness.

 

Preaching was never supposed to be like this, but it has been shallow for the last 25 years. It was supposed to convict, convince, equip, and launch disciples into secular society. Instead, modern preaching echoed what the world was already saying. Instead of bringing powerful Christians to a hurting world, these preachers brought the dysfunction of the world to believers. Modern preaching did not equip, but instead, it enabled. It did not utterly denounce sin—it negotiated with it, creating birth-defective converts.

The American church de Tocqueville encountered in 1835 had fire in the pulpit. It is because we do not have that fire in our pulpits today, that we have fires in our streets. Because preachers choose to tell soothing stories instead of proclaiming Truth, our young people believe lies and honor truly stupid ideas and follow truly evil leaders.

1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” Was there ever a hope, in our current church climate of creating sanctified hearts who could give answers?

I stand accused of being too hard on American preachers. I am rejected for placing too high a responsibility for our current disaster on their shoulders. Some of their whining baffles me. Celebrity preachers cannot have it both ways. They are the ones who accepted the lofty praise, superstar status, and wealth. Like athletes who got the big contract—these preachers were expected to perform. But when it came to saving a nation from wickedness, they were a bitter let down.  You don’t call yourself “the anointed vessel for this hour”—and then fizzle, in this, America’s darkest hour.

Charles Finney wrote, “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.” (The Decay of Conscience, 1873)

Perhaps the only cure for such preaching is to depopularize it and defund it. Perhaps the fault lies as much with the fans of these preachers. In my book, Vessels of Fire and Glory, I wrote about the Contaminated Crowd. They are described in glaring detail in 2 Timothy 4:2-4, “Proclaim the Word. Keep your sense of urgency in season and out of season. Reprove, admonish, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not tolerate sound instruction, but having ears itching (for something pleasing), they will gather to themselves teachers chosen to satisfy their own lusts, and will turn aside from hearing the Truth and wander off into man-made myths.”

There is a reason that so much preaching today is festooned with props, smoke, emotionalism and entertainment. Small wonder that the slightest manifestation of the Spirit is touted as a miracle. It is no surprise that repentance is seldom if ever called for. The devil has seen to it that the American Church was totally unprepared for the multiple onslaughts unleashed against it in 2020.

And yet, there is a glorious sign on the horizon! There is a hint that actual preaching may return. There are young men and women displaying dangerous tendencies, such as reading revival history. Young leaders are disenchanted with the attraction-church model. They are asking threatening questions, desiring old ways—the ways that dislodge devils and release true signs and wonders.

God is stirring hearts, disrupting plans and driving young leaders to the kind of fire we need—the fire that can make America good and great, once again.

 

 

 

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PREACHERS WHO LOVE THE SIN BUT HATE THE SINNER

There are preachers who drink to the point of drunkenness, but want nothing to do with evangelism. There are pastors addicted to porn who oppose soul winning. There are preachers cheating on their spouse, who at the same time, refuse to preach the Gospel.

Matthew Henry wrote this, concerning the Pharisees: “They were very strict in avoiding sinners, but not in avoiding sin; none greater zealots than they for the form of godliness, nor greater enemies to the power of it.”

“Hate the sin, but love the sinner,” is a popular quote. These ministers reverse it. They love the sin, but hate the sinner.

It is easy to be outraged by immoral pastors. But the sin of ‘loving sin and hating the sinner’ can be more subtle than booze, porn, or adultery—more subtle, but no less evil.

The Pharisees were not drunks, nor were they sexually immoral, yet, they were guilty of reversing their calling.  They loved power and popularity while disdaining the poor and the lost. They even attacked Christ for being around sinners.

The modern preachers who love adoring crowds and obscene wealth; the trendy pastor who deliberately takes the Bible out of context to advance a seductive message; the celebrity minister who is silent when interviewed by the secular media about hell, the Cross, sexual sin, and the need to repent: are all as guilty as Pharisees, and immoral ministers. They also ‘love the sin, but hate the sinner.’

Hating a sinner means you know your message won’t help them, but you preach it anyway. Hating the lost means you love other things more than seeing men and women delivered from the power of Satan.

Lost souls are going to hell, yet that never occurs to these modern preachers. Their obsession with numbers, prestige, and remaining acceptable by the outside world, has deafened them.

Modern preaching stopped being focused on winning souls, and not winning souls has done more damage than anything else to our nation. If America finally does degrade into a socialist dictatorship—under the wholly corrupt Democrat Party—it will be the fault of the pulpit.

Charles Finney said, “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

How evil is it when the very ones who are called to save a nation, instead, advance her destruction because of their vanity? The rampant sin of corrupt preaching is the mastodon in the room. We don’t want to talk about it. It is breaking a taboo to expose it. But, it is a towering iniquity that must be rebuked and rebuked fervently!

Sermons that garner the highest adulation may have been born in the lowest hell. Voices that receive wild acceptance from the world can be Satan’s greatest tool.

The greatest attack on the Body of Christ will not come from without, but from within. Again, Matthew Henry wrote, “Seducers are more dangerous enemies to the church than persecutors.”

False ministers are a trophy of Satan. It only takes a few of them to do horrendous harm. On the other hand, a small number of truly consecrated men and women can do astounding good even at this hour.

The dividing and separating has begun. The coronavirus was the deadline. The Lord has waited patiently, but now He will judge false ministers. Watch, the correction will be swift and fierce.

The voice of God is calling the righteous core to His side. He means to equip them with nation-saving skills.

At the same time, carnal ministers are on social media, vainly trying to save their empire. Even now, they insist on preaching their hollow lies, as if nothing has happened to justify repentance.

But you, vessel of God: ignore them. You have fresh orders. God is seizing you and He is seizing the moment to build you into a mighty vessel of love, truth, and supernatural power. Here is your mandate from the Bible:  “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

Cleanse yourself from the corrupt ‘Christianity incorporated’ that has bitterly failed America. Embrace robes of righteousness. Submit to the refiner’s fire, and you will come forth as gold.

Instead of using the degrading tactics of human marketing, we must take up the weapons of God!

“The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

That is the picture of a new breed of preacher. Gifts of miracles will tear down demonic strongholds. Words from the Holy Spirit will destroy the most sophisticated arguments against the Gospel of Christ. Messages will be preached. Souls will be saved. Disciples will be created. And America will be delivered. Hallelujah!

 

 

 

 

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GROUND ZERO CHURCHES

Right before our eyes, the church is changing. The great focus of the soul-searching taking place in our lifetime is happening right now, and it is happening in mega-churches. Many of these super-congregations are realizing that they have reached the limits of their relevance to Americans.

Many leaders are coming to this shocking conclusion: Satan has done a number on us. Many now say the devil used a counterfeit church-growth model to deceive the gullible and discourage the faithful.   When righteous pastors looked at the staggering growth of Seeker Churches, they felt overwhelmed and even wounded.  They wondered, “What am I doing wrong?  Am I a fool to hold on to my integrity?”  

Growth seminars have proliferated all over America and they have preyed on weak Pastors. David Wilkerson said, “Ministers from small churches are being told, in so many words, ‘Attend this mega-church pastor’s seminar, and you will find the keys to success. You‘ll eventually have a church as big as his.’”

Yet these ‘keys to success’ are only causing pastors to become more discouraged. They end up being convinced that they are failures if they do not see spectacular growth.  They tell me, “I am not doing anything significant for God. He just isn’t using me.”

Many mega church experts now admit that ‘making nice’ with secular America did not have any impact on the spread of violence, perversion, and atheism.  To their dismay, they now confess that these things have greatly accelerated on their watch.  After our complete makeover and compromise of the Gospel message, society ended up hating us even more.

We have been trashed, bashed, and left for dead.  Now it is time for the Body of Christ to push back on all of the lies, threats, and ominous predictions about our demise.  America is ripe for the church to make a massive comeback.  You heard me, a massive comeback!

I know that all the experts are saying that the Church has lost America and will never get it back.  These kinds of lies have made the rounds for centuries.  Usually, they pronounce that the church is dead—right before a major revival takes place.  The last time I saw it was when the “God is dead” movement swept America in the 1960’s—only to be swallowed up by the Jesus Movement.

To see this take place we will need a new Church model, one that looks nothing like what we see today.   We need ‘Ground Zero Churches.’

Christian leader: take heed. I am pleading with you to consider a dynamic option for your church.  I want you to consider becoming a Ground Zero Church. That consists of a strong and healthy church which grows without stress, compromise, endless striving, or vicious competition.

Let’s define a Ground Zero Church.  They are the epicenter for God’s dealing with a specific region. They are a body of believers that have made the supreme covenant with God.  Here are the features of a Ground Zero Church:

1. They believe that God can do it here.  I wonder what would happen if, let’s say, we got a jumbo jet packed full of fired up Bible College students on their way to the mission field. We take off out of New York’s Kennedy Airport, headed for a country somewhere overseas.  Instead, we order the pilot to make very wide circles over the Atlantic for hours, finally landing somewhere in New Jersey.  As soon as we get off, we are hustled into vans and dropped in New York City.

I am convinced that they will raise the dead, save thousands, and deliver many from demonic oppression, and signs and wonders will abound— just because they think they are overseas.

Many Christians have deluded themselves into thinking that the reason miracles are not happening in America today is because the poor in foreign nations have a more simple faith. They think Americans are just ‘too sophisticated’ to respond.  The Bible paints a much different picture.  In Acts, God knocked Saul of Tarsus, the zealot-intellectual-Pharisee, flat on the ground.  He became the Apostle Paul, the chief architect of the New Testament Church.  And when the Holy Spirit first fell upon the Gentiles, it was in the house of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, a powerful man of wealth and influence.

 2. Ground Zero Churches allow the Holy Spirit to transform their congregation into a core zone of irresistible glory:  Paul described the overpowering effect a church gathering could have on the outside world: 24 “But if all of you prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

Matthew Henry commented on these verses, “God can, when he pleases, strike awe upon the worst of men, by the tokens of his presence in the assemblies of the faithful, and force them to acknowledge that God is with them of a truth.”

There are many examples of places where the overwhelming presence of God dropped hardened sinners to their knees.

-A reporter from London came to Wales to investigate the Welsh revival.  The presence he felt when he entered Wales shocked him. He exclaimed, “This is a nation haunted by God!”

-During the Great Awakening, hardened sailors on clipper ships reported being seized with conviction of sin when they entered certain zones off the American coast.

-When Jonathan “Praying” Hyde walked past the door to the bar at a hotel, sinners dropped off of their bar stools onto their knees and began weeping under the powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit.

-There are many true stories about revivals that took place in churches where the presence of God was so powerful that people who were just driving past the church would find their cars turning into the parking lot on their own. When the drivers got out, they were so overpowered by the Holy Spirit that they practically had to crawl to the door of the church. They would come, weeping, down to the altar to get saved.

3. Ground Zero Churches pull the trigger that God has hidden in their culture.

Throughout history, obedient missionaries who listened to God and observed the way God had prepared a culture through history, detonated revivals.  This gave them a supernatural relevance:

-700 B.C. a plague kills one third of the population of Athens.  Epimenides, a teacher who believed in the one true God, orders the city leaders to sacrifice prize rams and the plague stops.  They build an altar to the unknown God.  Paul pulls the trigger 744 years later, in Acts 17:23, “I even noticed that you have an altar to the unknown God.  He Whom you ignorantly worship, I openly proclaim!”

-Koreans had a name for God that did not come from any pagan religion.  White missionaries refused to call God by that Korean name, thinking it would be a compromise.  Finally, while in prayer, one of the missionaries realized that this name was the result of the dealing of God long ago in Korean history. The moment that He called God by that Korean name, revival exploded.

-The Lihue Indians wore knots of rope around their wrists.  A missionary from England, realizing that this was a symbol for their slavery to sin, preached that Christ cut these rope bands when He died on the cross.  Pandemonium struck, as tens of thousands of the Lihue started sobbing and begging to have their bands cut off.

We cannot fear what our culture looks like right now.  The Holy Spirit already has a message and a plan that is uniquely designed for this present darkness.  Seek the Lord and believe that He not only wants to, but that He will change your church into a Ground Zero Church, and save this lost nation of ours.

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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.

 

GROUND ZERO CHURCHES

Right before our eyes, the church is changing. The great focus of the soul-searching taking place in our lifetime is happening right now, and it is happening in mega-churches. Many of these super-congregations are realizing that they have reached the limits of their relevance to Americans.

Many leaders are coming to this shocking conclusion: Satan has done a number on us. Many now say the devil used a counterfeit church-growth model to deceive the gullible and discourage the faithful.   When righteous pastors looked at the staggering growth of Seeker Churches, they felt overwhelmed and even wounded.  They wondered, “What am I doing wrong?  Am I a fool to hold on to my integrity?”  

Growth seminars have proliferated all over America and they have preyed on weak Pastors. David Wilkerson said, “Ministers from small churches are being told, in so many words, ‘Attend this mega-church pastor’s seminar, and you will find the keys to success. You‘ll eventually have a church as big as his.’”

Yet these ‘keys to success’ are only causing pastors to become more discouraged. They end up being convinced that they are failures if they do not see spectacular growth.  They tell me, “I am not doing anything significant for God. He just isn’t using me.”

Many mega church experts now admit that ‘making nice’ with secular America did not have any impact on the spread of violence, perversion, and atheism.  To their dismay, they now confess that these things have greatly accelerated on their watch.  After our complete makeover and compromise of the Gospel message, society ended up hating us even more.

We have been trashed, bashed, and left for dead.  Now it is time for the Body of Christ to push back on all of the lies, threats, and ominous predictions about our demise.  America is ripe for the church to make a massive comeback.  You heard me, a massive comeback!

I know that all the experts are saying that the Church has lost America and will never get it back.  These kinds of lies have made the rounds for centuries.  Usually, they pronounce that the church is dead—right before a major revival takes place.  The last time I saw it was when the “God is dead” movement swept America in the 1960’s—only to be swallowed up by the Jesus Movement.

To see this take place we will need a new Church model, one that looks nothing like what we see today.   We need ‘Ground Zero Churches.’

Christian leader: take heed. I am pleading with you to consider a dynamic option for your church.  I want you to consider becoming a Ground Zero Church. That consists of a strong and healthy church which grows without stress, compromise, endless striving, or vicious competition.

Let’s define a Ground Zero Church.  They are the epicenter for God’s dealing with a specific region. They are a body of believers that have made the supreme covenant with God.  Here are the features of a Ground Zero Church:

1. They believe that God can do it here.  I wonder what would happen if, let’s say, we got a jumbo jet packed full of fired up Bible College students on their way to the mission field. We take off out of New York’s Kennedy Airport, headed for a country somewhere overseas.  Instead, we order the pilot to make very wide circles over the Atlantic for hours, finally landing somewhere in New Jersey.  As soon as we get off, we are hustled into vans and dropped in New York City.

I am convinced that they will raise the dead, save thousands, and deliver many from demonic oppression, and signs and wonders will abound— just because they think they are overseas.

Many Christians have deluded themselves into thinking that the reason miracles are not happening in America today is because the poor in foreign nations have a more simple faith. They think Americans are just ‘too sophisticated’ to respond.  The Bible paints a much different picture.  In Acts, God knocked Saul of Tarsus, the zealot-intellectual-Pharisee, flat on the ground.  He became the Apostle Paul, the chief architect of the New Testament Church.  And when the Holy Spirit first fell upon the Gentiles, it was in the house of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, a powerful man of wealth and influence.

 2. Ground Zero Churches allow the Holy Spirit to transform their congregation into a core zone of irresistible glory:  Paul described the overpowering effect a church gathering could have on the outside world: 24 “But if all of you prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

Matthew Henry commented on these verses, “God can, when he pleases, strike awe upon the worst of men, by the tokens of his presence in the assemblies of the faithful, and force them to acknowledge that God is with them of a truth.”

There are many examples of places where the overwhelming presence of God dropped hardened sinners to their knees.

-A reporter from London came to Wales to investigate the Welsh revival.  The presence he felt when he entered Wales shocked him. He exclaimed, “This is a nation haunted by God!”

-During the Great Awakening, hardened sailors on clipper ships reported being seized with conviction of sin when they entered certain zones off the American coast.

-When Jonathan “Praying” Hyde walked past the door to the bar at a hotel, sinners dropped off of their bar stools onto their knees and began weeping under the powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit.

-There are many true stories about revivals that took place in churches where the presence of God was so powerful that people who were just driving past the church would find their cars turning into the parking lot on their own. When the drivers got out, they were so overpowered by the Holy Spirit that they practically had to crawl to the door of the church. They would come, weeping, down to the altar to get saved.

3. Ground Zero Churches pull the trigger that God has hidden in their culture.

Throughout history, obedient missionaries who listened to God and observed the way God had prepared a culture through history, detonated revivals.  This gave them a supernatural relevance:

-700 B.C. a plague kills one third of the population of Athens.  Epimenides, a teacher who believed in the one true God, orders the city leaders to sacrifice prize rams and the plague stops.  They build an altar to the unknown God.  Paul pulls the trigger 744 years later, in Acts 17:23, “I even noticed that you have an altar to the unknown God.  He Whom you ignorantly worship, I openly proclaim!”

-Koreans had a name for God that did not come from any pagan religion.  White missionaries refused to call God by that Korean name, thinking it would be a compromise.  Finally, while in prayer, one of the missionaries realized that this name was the result of the dealing of God long ago in Korean history. The moment that He called God by that Korean name, revival exploded.

-The Lihue Indians wore knots of rope around their wrists.  A missionary from England, realizing that this was a symbol for their slavery to sin, preached that Christ cut these rope bands when He died on the cross.  Pandemonium struck, as tens of thousands of the Lihue started sobbing and begging to have their bands cut off.

We cannot fear what our culture looks like right now.  The Holy Spirit already has a message and a plan that is uniquely designed for this present darkness.  Seek the Lord and believe that He not only wants to, but that He will change your church into a Ground Zero Church, and save this lost nation of ours.

Mario’s powerful new book, Vessels of Fire and Glory is now available for $15, or $12 for 10 or more copies…and here’s a special offer: Use the link to get your copy right now, and we will send you an autographed copy, and not only that, the shipping is free!

Sometimes you find a book, and other times, a book finds you. Vessels of Fire and Glory is calling to the deep in you, and bidding you to come—to be forged, trained, and perfectly fitted for the next and greatest act of God which is coming in these last days.

Click here to get your copy now! https://mariomurillo.org/product/vessels-of-fire-glory/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMERICA LOVED PREACHERS

By Mario Murillo. A funny thing happened when celebrity preachers tried to get America to like them: America ended up hating them.

I am writing this with deep love for, and loyalty to, the local church. There is no desire to take a cheap shot at anyone, or to cause division within the church.  I have to write this, because love does not lie or withhold needed correction.

America has abandoned God, Christian values, as well as Israel, and our nation is racing toward disaster.  Evil festers when good men do nothing.  Denying it will not change it or make it go away.  Its effect on you and those you love will not be stopped by delusional teachings of spiritual entitlement.

So how do we turn the American Church around?  That is the question I posed in a previous post.  Now I continue to answer that burning question by saying this:  in order to turn the church around we must face the fact that America liked us better, back when we told the truth.

Here is an illustration from the Bible.  Jonah ran from his calling. Then God sent a great storm.  The captain of the ship that Jonah boarded in his flight from God had a gut feeling that Someone was angry about something. When they found Jonah asleep, they asked him, “Who are you?”   When he admitted he was a runaway prophet, Jonah 1:10 tells us, “Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, ‘Why have you done this?’ For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.”

Americans feel a psychical resentment toward the church.  I say psychical, because it is intuitive and subconscious.  They really cannot explain why they are angry with us. They may claim it is our politics, or falsely accuse us of racism, or even rightly point out our flaws, yet this present dislike of the church stems from something much deeper.  They are asking us, as those men long ago asked Jonah, “Why have you done this?”

When the outside world observes our ‘illustrated-electronic-happy-talks’ they get a gut feeling that we are hiding something.   They also suspect that our nation’s storm, similar to that of Jonah’s time, is partly because preachers are not confronting sin anymore.  As one non-Christian pundit put it, “If there was more hell in the pulpit, there would be less hell in the ghetto.”

At this point in our national disaster, a mega-church is like having a great party going on on the deck of the Titanic—you may be having a great time, but you will not save America from the frigid angry ocean.

Here is the real rub…if numbers matter so much to our mega-churches, then why are we ignoring the most important statistic: overall church attendance in America has fallen dramatically?

They liked us better, when we were not trying to be liked.  There was a day when men of God stood in pulpits as free men.  They were free of any need to be liked or successful.  A. W. Tozer said, “These free men will 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.”

We are impressed by churches that can draw 15,000 people.  But that is nothing compared to back in the day when America liked us better…a whole lot better.

Look at the picture of Billy Graham in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1963.  120,000 are inside, and another 30,000, could not get in.  On the scoreboard it says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No man comes unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6).   Not one person was offered a visitors gift bag filled with CDs.  No one was in the dark about the purpose of the meeting.  Billy stood there and simply told them that they had to come to Christ or be lost for all eternity.

Look at this picture below of Billy preaching in Times Square in New York City.  We cannot even imagine any of this happening today.

When Billy prayed for sermons he focused on hearing what the Holy Spirit wanted him to say.  He wanted a message that God could use, and not words that would dazzle the audience.  When Billy was in the pulpit, he completely died to his private opinions.  He got out of the way, so that the Holy Spirit could work on the audience.

We bought into the lie that if we ‘made nice,’ and took out the scary parts of our message, we would be liked, but we ended up more despised than ever.

“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23)

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas said, “Jesus did confront his culture with truth—and He ended up being crucified because of it.  I believe it’s time for pastors to say, you know, I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for Truth regardless of what happens.”

They may not like us for telling them the truth, but they will at least hear the Truth!

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT

I am writing this to you pastors, because you have the power to unify and bring our nation back to righteousness, but you are not doing it. I am writing to you famous pastors. You have a chance to help our friend, in the White House, Donald Trump, but you are not. Here is my open letter to famous American Pastors who were silent at the time about Obama, but who now openly oppose Trump.

With all due respect, I believe you need to answer two big questions.

 The first question is why you were silent when Obama was doing evil to America?

-Obama loaded our children with unpayable debt. You said nothing.

-Obama was the most hostile President toward the Bible in history. You said nothing.

-Obama not only fought to defend late term abortion, he championed the right to kill babies that survive an abortion. You said nothing.

-Obama opened the Pandora’s Box of political correctness that has those who are the real racists calling everyone else racist, and the true fascists calling everyone else fascists. You said nothing.

-Obama made our universities a sick joke of intellectual dishonesty, and centers of censorship. You said nothing.

-Obama is the one who changed and perverted the definition of marriage in America. You said nothing.

-Obama labored to endanger Israel, strengthen terrorists, and gave billions of dollars to Iran. You said nothing.

-Obama tried to drive the church underground. You still said nothing.

You never opposed Obama and you never said anything against him. Why?

 Now for the second question. You never spoke out against Obama, but you are now outspoken against Trump? How does that work?

Ironically, President Trump is the one who stopped a stupid law that censored your free speech in the pulpit, and you are using the very free speech that he won for you to bash him.

Trump is working to stop abortion. You are not helping him−or even voicing your support.

In fact, some of you told your people from the pulpit not to vote for Trump.  Had you been successful—Hillary Clinton would be President today.

Trump rebuilt our economy. He strengthened Israel. He is trying to secure our borders to keep our nation safe.  Oh yeah!  That’s a good reason to speak against him…

You don’t want a wall; you believe Jesus taught open borders.  That means you have swallowed the Kool-Aid of the Left.

You are siding with sanctuary cities.  You are allowing a system that protects killers to continue.  This one especially hits home to me, because just recently in Reno, Nevada, where I live, a 19 year old who is here illegally from San Salvador, named Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, murdered four people.

 

You are siding against your own congregation.  You are condoning a policy that floods the labor market with unskilled labor, even as robots are replacing workers. This impacts the life of the people you are supposed to protect.  You are blatantly contradicting yourselves by claiming to be their pastor, even as you help make their lives harder and more dangerous.

I love you as my brothers, sisters, and coworkers in Christ, but on these questions you need to be publicly challenged. There is too much at stake. You represent millions of Christians who are looking for righteous leadership. Unless we stand together now, our nation is doomed.

Our immigration policies are in chaos because the Leftists oppose building a wall to keep out a flood of hundreds of thousands of cartel criminals, MS-13 gang members, and drug dealers from inundating our nation. If you are hinging it all on these failed immigration policies, then examine your stance, and see if it is Christian.

Illegals are committing atrocities, rapes, and murders every day, and they will continue to rape and kill.  Democrats who do not care about America, are desperate to regain control of the government, and they know that 70 percent of these illegals will vote them back into power. Ask God if you are not pawns in their game.

 

Lastly: is a wall and a secure border ‘unchristian’?  Let’s ask Jesus.  “But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” –Matthew 24:43

Rise up against what is happening to our nation. It is literally now, or never.

 

 

THE TWO BIGGEST REASONS AMERICA IS SO MISERABLE

The two biggest reasons America is miserable

 

The Left told America to turn her back on God. Everyone who obeyed that disastrous advice inherited acute loneliness, emptiness, and despair.  Or do you really think it is a coincidence that these miseries have increased to the same degree that faith in God has decreased?

Intellectuals told America there are many pathways to the truth.  But, instead of enlightenment, it brought deeper darkness, deeper questions, and a growing inability to know truth. 2 Timothy 3: 7 says, “7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Few Americans can make it through a day without alcohol, a toke of marijuana, a pill, powder, or a needle. Our children are taking their own lives over shoes, pictures on Instagram, and bullies at school. Is this what happens when you tell God to leave?

Just released by Gallup Poll: Americans are among the most stressed people in the world.  “Even as their economy roared, more Americans were stressed, angry and worried last year than they have been at most points during the past decade. Asked about their feelings the previous day, the majority of Americans (55%) in 2018 said they had experienced stress during a lot of the day, nearly half (45%) said they felt worried a lot and more than one in five (22%) said they felt anger a lot.”

Billy Graham’s daughter, was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding the attacks on Sept, 11, hurricanes and earthquakes). Anne Graham Lotz gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And, being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

The Left doesn’t want to own up to their responsibility for the misery of the inner cities that they have controlled for 50 years. The Left chants, “keep taking government money, and it will give you a future. Keep believing you are a victim, and you’ll stop being a victim.”

The Left says America is evil for not opening their borders. Wait. What?! America is the most welcoming nation on earth. The overwhelming majority of the people on earth believe in strong borders. Most nations have much stricter border policies. But the lie must live on because Democrats need new voters.

We are a nation at each other’s throats, and the Left loves it that way.  ‘Mobs, not jobs’ is a totally justified accusation against the left.

Above all, there are two things making America miserable: The Left has a firm grip on a lie and the church has a loose grip on the truth.

Celebrity Christian speakers add to America’s misery by delaying revival.  They distract by saying there are many ways to win a generation to God. We no longer need repentance, Bible preaching, or reliance on the Holy Spirit.

No matter what they boast, the fact remains, they didn’t win lost souls so much as they moved gullible Christians away from Godly pastors into the shallows. Instead of making disciples they provide quarter for those who want a faith without works.

They dread the power gifts of the Holy Spirit. They omit the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  And so, our nation pays the price for their lukewarm faith.

America became miserable in part, because some preachers told us not to judge. We ended up not being able to discern! Millions of so-called Christians voted for abortion and same sex marriage. We were powerless in America’s hour of need—too disoriented and morally ambivalent to push back on immoral laws. The Great Commission was plowed under the priority of church growth.

Both the Left and the Lukewarm have this in common: They promised happiness, but instead brought misery.

Stuck in the middle between the radical Left and the lukewarm church are tens of millions of Americans who just want truth. They are paying taxes, raising kids, obeying laws, and they still love America. They are vulnerable to the raw power of the Gospel.

Also, stuck between the radical Left and the lukewarm church is the remnant of God. These are pastors, and regular Christians who are praying to go deeper. They are busy saying to each other, “the sideshow is not God, there’s more! No way can Satan win if we take our stand on the authority of the Cross!”

 

They are ready to deliver that raw power of the Gospel.

Woe unto you God haters and lukewarmers. Two radically wonderful groups are about to meet each other in the midst of this misery. God will see to it that the Americans who want deliverance and a life worth living will collide with the holy core of God, whose only wish is to obey the Holy Spirit.

A company of God’s people with a firm grip on the truth will loose many from the power of Satan. 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.”

Let us rise up, shake off the lukewarmness, and decide to become the people God intended us to be!

 

 

If this was

Dear Brothers and Sisters who lead big churches in America,
Leaving the truth out to avoid offending is a disaster.  When it is wildly successful, it is an even greater disaster.  Spurgeon said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout ‘Well done’ to a Christian man.”  Even in Spurgeon’s time, the world rewarded preachers for compromise.
The original Twelve were bold.  They preached letting the chips fall where they may.  No wonder they did. God was confirming their message with signs and wonders. Not only that, their preaching produced new creations of great joy, peace, and power. Our message was once contagious, catching on like wildfire, but now we resort to slick marketing to get society to listen to us.
Truth dispensed in love under the anointing has never needed such inducements. It never will.
The Bible teaches preachers not to offend unnecessarily. But true vessels of God have always understood that their message would awaken fury in some men. They disregarded popularity and even personal safety. They understood the difference between fulfilling a calling and trying to build a career in ministry.

Today we see a great evil in America. Congregations will enrich, yea they will elevate to superstar status any speaker who can eloquently keep the rightful demands of God off their backs.
Someone like me can be easily dismissed. When you take aim at vastly successful, far-flung Christian enterprises, you are easily rejected.   People will ask “how can you deny its effectiveness?” Or you hear them accuse saying, “You’re just being petty and jealous.”
But there are disturbing questions.  Is it petty to point out that this “success” coincides with America’s fastest moral decline? Is it jealousy to say that atheism and paganism have accelerated even as celebrity Pastors boast of their impact? Is it possible that in cheapening the Gospel we have paid a steep price?
There is another question. What might have been if we would have only trusted the Holy Spirit?  What if we had truly consulted and obeyed the One Who was sent to organize and direct the Church?  What would we look like now?
Preaching the entire Gospel releases power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Romans 1: 16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes…”
Why is the phrase “power of God” used in two verses that deal with the offense of the Gospel?  Because it is the power of God that drives home truth, even when it offends.
Paul understood the plan behind the offense.  As a top-flight intellectual, he was keenly aware of the God-designed offense of the Cross.  He refused to rely on his formidable skill in debate, saying instead: “4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2: 4-5

The American Church will face a day of reckoning with American culture.  It is inevitable because the church and American culture will soon not be able to coexist.  Our society has become an open sewer, a bastion of banality where madness has the microphone.  We have the one message that should not be hidden or redacted.

 

With all my heart I believe it is not too late. But it is almost too late. I implore my brothers and sisters to repent. Let us present ourselves without reservation or hesitation to Almighty God.
The Pope showed Saint Francis the wealth of the Vatican. He said, “Well Francis, the church can no longer say ‘silver and gold have I none.’”  Francis replied, “And neither can it say, “In the Name of Jesus rise up and walk.””
Likewise, fellow preachers, we can no longer say that churches aren’t growing or prospering. But neither can we say that we have delivered the witness to America that God intended—and that is the only thing that can turn the tide.

 

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