THEIR STORY IS OUR STORY. SO WHO WERE THOSE SHEPHERDS THAT NIGHT?

Who were those shepherds? They are us. Their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common theme.  We share a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on the hopes of believers today.  They are so much like us!  Their future was sold to pay a debt to a foreign empire.  For them, it was Rome, for us it is China. 

Their leaders forged an unholy alliance with Augustus Caesar.  Some of our Democrat leaders take bribes, appease our enemies, attack Christian values, and apologize to the world for our greatness. The faith of the shepherds’ forefathers was diluted by false ministers and mocked by pagans. Our faith suffers the same fate! Their weak economy created a crime wave that forced them to stay out in the fields watching their sheep.

We have watched governors and mayors go crazy, destroying small businesses and jobs.  Can Americans relate to getting through a day by choking down emotions and doing their jobs on cruise control?

What do we want most for Christmas?  Let me propose an answer.  What we want most in all of this mess is good news.  We could sure use some good news!  It would be so wonderful to see the unrelenting torrent of scary headlines, dire predictions, and disappointing reports swallowed up by good news! But what would be good news to you right now?  What message do you need from God right now?

What we want most is a visitation of God.  It is easy to think that we want something else, but nothing would help us more, nothing would do the job better, nothing can compare to it.  In 1982 I watched as San Jose was enveloped by the Glory of God.  It was a time when the economy was as bad as it is now.  The prime rate soared to 22% and unemployment was even worse than today.  Yet thousands crowded into the meeting every night for 22 weeks!  The presence of God that filled the building evaporated fear and worries.

Yes, the people needed jobs desperately, but somehow, it was overruled by the Glory of the Lord.  Each night they sang their hearts out, each night tears of joy washed away the cares of their life.  Things other than material things became important.  Something priceless had come to them and they were not about to let human concerns rob them of that precious moment in their life.

I am a Pentecostal. It is that simple.  I know what it means to have the Holy Spirit drench me. I know that when the Spirit of God is upon me, fear, worry and anxiety all vanish.

What the Angels did was to turn those shepherds’ priorities upside down.  We know the Bible says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in the daily grind, it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments ago, these men were taut with tension and defensive of their herd, to the point that they would have gladly fought to the death to protect their flock.  But after the announcement made by the angels, they were ready to run to a manger, oblivious of the sheep they were leaving behind.

Yes, we need jobs, healing, and many other things, but what we need most is the Glory.  Glory will make our soul gaze at God, and as we gaze, distracted by His splendor, God will fix the issues of our life.  Modern pulpits have done us a great disservice by focusing on “how-to-Christianity.”  It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money, and handling emotions.  And that is the very problem! We have been taught that we need to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves.

This is the bait of Satan: to get us to strive and fret and battle by our own wits, and not by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  What leaders are failing to do is to seek and obtain a move of God among their people.

Why did God skip the theologians, the priests and the king, and send those angels to the shepherds?   This is the question of the ages! How embarrassing to all of those in power and to all of those who made a life out of studying the prophets, reading the times, and being “in the know,” who were overlooked in favor of these lowly shepherds!

We are constantly trying to qualify for a career, a credit card, a club, or some kind of status, but are we qualified for a visitation of God?

What if these are not the bad times?  Maybe the bad times were back when you had money and toys.  Maybe in these hard times you are holding your loved ones closer, praying a little more deeply, and trying a little harder to be humble and grateful.  Maybe instead of suffering, you are merely getting into a position to be visited by God.

So, thank God for your circumstances. You have been born for these very times. They have come from His nail-pierced hands, and the very trials you are going through are preparing you for your destiny!

CHRISTMAS: 3 THINGS GOD DID. ONE THING YOU MUST DO.

It is the darkest time in American History.  We yearn for peace, wisdom and safety.  We wonder about our children’s and grandchildren’s future. Our bodies succumb to weakness and pain from the raging stress of this age.

We cannot find the words for what we yearn for.  What is the miracle we all long for?  It is a work of unshakable emotional well-being.  We want an uninterrupted flow of God’s power, grace and love. But, how do we get this?

I want you to see three things God did, and one thing you must do.  We begin with the meaning of Christmas.

This year, defining Christmas is an emergency!  I do not fear for Christmas. Quite the contrary, only the Gospel has more power than Christmas.  Christmas will endure and impose its wonder on an angry world.  All of the rocks thrown at Christmas, all of the railing against it, and all of the intellectual assaults on it, will bounce off and only reinforce its supernatural nature.

Christmas must be defined, for our sake. As I surveyed the Word of God, three verses captured me, and told me the clear meaning of Christmas.

Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. 

John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 8:32, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?

These verses should weaken our knees beneath a weight of eternal gratitude.

Christmas means this: God the Father gave His Son.

The human race was beyond helpless; cursed with an unlimited tendency toward evil.  Human history horrifies.  Our story is one unending night of agony. Ages of nothing but darkness.

There was only One who pierced the blackness.  His words came, and they came to stay.  Jesus kicked Satan’s teeth in, and chained him to a twilight existence.  Left with only partial use of his powers, the Devil awaits the certain doom sealed by the Cross and the Resurrection.

How do I make the miracle of Christmas my daily strength? The three verses quoted above tell us something of unimaginable wonder: Christmas is, first and last, God the Father giving His Son.  He is the ultimate Giver.  Eternity can calculate neither the depth, width, nor the height of His supreme sacrifice.

Let me repeat what I said before.  There are three things God did, and one thing you must do.

1. Jesus is a gift to you from the Father. “For unto us a Son is given.” Isaiah 9:6 begins not by telling us what was given, but to whom it was given.  Jesus is a gift to you from the Father.  You must personalize the miracle of this gift.

Religion says God only rewards those who always do right.  That leaves us out.  But Christmas says, “He is a gift to you in all of your failings and the gift is given without condition.  You need never be without Him.”

My friend, Lionel Rodriguera, once sold a house in Southern California to a working-class family.  He helped them find a loan, closed escrow, and gave them the keys.  A few days later he went to check on them and found them living in the garage.  They told him that they did not believe the house was theirs and huddled in the garage out of fear that the real owner would show up.  The hardness of the life they had experienced had given them a permanent sense of unworthiness.

How many of us are living in the garage, emotionally, because we do not accept that we are the owners of a great salvation? You are free to roam in all of the rooms of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus is a permanent gift to you.  In a world where things are constantly being taken away, how amazing it is to know Jesus will always be there!

2. You were worth the sacrifice. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Jesus said this about the value of a soul, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?” 

At an auction in New York City, a Giacometti sculpture sold for $101 million.  To me, it is ugly.  I wouldn’t have given a hundred bucks for it. The point is that no one knew its value until the auction. The value was disclosed by what someone was willing to pay for it…

Likewise, the angels did not know the price of a single human soul, until the Father gave His Son.  The darling of the universe, crucified?  Heaven bankrupted for humanity? The value that God placed on the human soul stunned and baffled the angels.

Psychiatrists tell us that we need to feel valuable to someone.  It is one of the deepest needs of mankind.  Christmas booms out to you in a loud voice, “Look at how valuable you are to the Father!”

3. How will He not? Once there was a millionaire widower who only had one son. With all of his wealth and power, he still could not prevent his son from going to war in Korea.

When his son was killed, that father could not be comforted.  He began a downward spiral, until he lived in the shadows.  A year later a package arrived at his mansion.  It contained a perfect portrait of his son in uniform.   With it was this note: “I am a young painter from Korea who befriended your son.  I painted this so that it might bring you some degree of comfort.  Thank you for your sacrifice for my country.”

That portrait hung over the mantle of the great hall of his estate until the day he died.

Soon the massive home was the site of a great auction.  Art treasures, antiques, and vintage cars drew collectors from everywhere.  Two items were auctioned off.  The third item was the painting of his son.  No one bid on the painting because the painter and subject were unknown.

The silence was broken by the long-time gardener of the estate, who happened to be there as a bystander.  “I only have a hundred dollars to my name, but that boy was like my own son.”

With that the auctioneer began to pound the podium with his gavel. “This auction is over!” The stunned audience demanded to know why.  The auctioneer announced, “The Will states that whoever buys this painting gets the entire estate.”

Likewise, whoever gets the Son of God gets the entire estate.  Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?”   How will God withhold anything you need?

So, what do you do for your miracle?  Psalm 116:12-14 says. “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people.”

Drink deeply from the well of salvation and call on God from a heart that is full of confidence―because of the mighty Christmas Gift.

Make this the Christmas where the miracle of what God the Father gave us, and gives us every day, sinks into our soul so deeply that it neutralizes the power of fear and dread completely.

Mechelle and I want to wish you and those you love the merriest of all Christmases, from our family to yours!

THE WISE MEN’S MESSAGE TO OUR ELECTION DISASTER.

Jerusalem was in an uproar. Heads of state arrived with their entourage, giving no advance warning. King Herod and the people wondered what it could mean. More to the point, what does it mean to us right now?

The actions of the Wise Men tell us what we should do in this cataclysmic moment in American history. Do we recognize Joe Biden as our leader, or not?

Many high-profile preachers are now telling us we should just accept Biden, and move on. One preacher, who once supported Trump, looked right in the camera and accused Trump of living in an alternate reality.

Would it be rude and unchristian of me to say that Joe is not my President? Are we damaging our witness by being rebellious toward his authority? Why can’t we just let this election fraud go―after all, we survived Obama, didn’t we?

I don’t want to foment rebellion. I do not want to walk in strife. But rejecting Biden as President is altogether the only thing my conscience will let me do. So, what do the Wise Men have to do with all of that?

Let’s read their story. Matthew 2:1-6, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

“So, they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

It was the appearing of the ‘Christmas star’ over America that brought me to this realization. The Wise Men left all and risked their lives to worship Jesus. The star invited them. The star ruined them. Their revelation of God’s work on the earth was so refined that they could see through the false kingdom of Herod.

Think of how audacious and outrageous their very first words to King Herod were: “‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” This is the same as saying, “Where is the real king of the Jews?”

They had come too far, and had paid too much, and had gone too deep into the purposes of God to worry about politics and human decorum. They did not recognize Herod as the true king. This is why Herod, along with the entire city of Jerusalem, was troubled.

The Magi understood what was really going on. Sadly, much of the church today does not. Herod was an evil man with an evil plan. This was clear to these magnificent wise men. They were there to honor the real authority, and to cooperate with the divine purpose.

They took it to the point of breaking an appointment with Herod—which was a major snub of a royal. Matthew 2:12, “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.”

They did not cooperate. They did not pay homage to Herod. They did everything in the first century that the lukewarm church and compromised preachers are telling us not to do in the twenty first.

The ‘Christmas star’ is in our sky for the first time in 800 years. Maybe it is a sign to a wounded nation. Maybe it is telling us that history is repeating itself.

There is no way that Trump is a messiah. I am not even calling him a type of Christ. However, I do not hesitate for a moment to identify who the King Herods in America are. And they have committed the greatest scandal in the history of American elections.

Just as the Magi seemed to ask, ‘Where is the real king of the Jews?’ We are asking, ‘Where is the real President of the United States?’ They had their usurper, and we have ours.

Again, Trump is not to be compared with Christ. But I will compare these compromised modern preachers to the Wise Men. These modern unwise men would have caved to the intimidation of Herod and abandoned their mission altogether.

Here is the truth: Trump won. The election was stolen. And we, like the Wise Men, must finish our mission and reject imposters. American freedom will not survive if this wicked scheme is not uncovered and punished, because the will of the majority of American voters must be vindicated.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Will you be wise, or unwise? Yes, it will take a miracle…but this is the season of miracles.

 

 

 

P.S. We do not want to blunt the message you just read. This part is for anyone who wants to help  Mario Murillo’s ministry to America. We are in the process of invading Bakersfield California. The tent crusade starts on Monday night January 11th at 6:30 PM. 

We have a win-win offer. You can help support miracle soul winning in Bakersfield and get the following offer:

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That is why we must make this stunning book offer to you. Now in its fourth printing, Vessels of Fire and Glory keeps reaching the top of its category on Amazon.  Critical Mass has now sold over 150,000 copies and remains an international classic on awakening. Both books are still in high demand. So why are we making this amazing offer to you? California is the reason why.

We need to act fast in California for two big reasons. First, Fresno was a shocking breakthrough. Fresno is a sign that tens of thousands of Californians hunger for the Gospel. Second, the battle for America will be won or lost in California.

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This is a double win for you. You get these choice books at an excellent price and the proceeds go to win lost souls in California.

And there is still more. If you order 10 or more sets of the Dynamic Duo, your cost is $18 a set.  Plus you will get free 2-3 day priority shipping. Click on link below to order now!  

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Did You know Christmas was a weapon?

The leading newspaper in the nation has not mentioned Christmas in 10 years. Christmas is attacked by both God haters and religionists. It has fallen into great disfavor—accused of everything from paganism to materialism. It is socially unacceptable to celebrate Christmas.  It is 1843 England. Also known as the hungry 40’s.
A young and gifted writer is deeply restless and can’t sleep. He asks an assistant to meet him in the middle of the night, “take me to see the worst of London. Do not spare me anything.”
What he saw horrified him and left a mark in his soul that would haunt his novels for the rest of his life. Children, living like stray dogs scavenged through garbage in sub-zero temperatures.
Charles Dickens had to do something. So, he mustered his considerable weapon: he marshalled the English language and sent it into war against child abuse. Vast corruption must be exposed! This nation-destroying curse must be lifted!
He set ink to paper with the force of a volcanic eruption and the skillful cuts of a surgeon. The result was a pamphlet entitled An Appeal on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child. Then something happened:
He never released the pamphlet. Historians are divided about why. Usually, it does not fall upon facts but on anti-Christian bias. Here is my heart tells me happened: He heard the voice of God. “If you release this pamphlet it will bring good for a season, but if you write the story, I am about to give you, it will bring good for all time.”
It would be a story where the main character is the most uncompelling, and unsympathetic character to any audience: an old man—a wealthy miser! Even his name is off-putting: Ebeneezer Scrooge.
With only weeks left before Christmas how could he finish it and get it published? Astonishingly it was published on December 19, 1843. Not only that, it was made into a script and opened in 2 theaters that Christmas day.
This story is not only credited with saving Christmas, it has been synonymous with Christmas ever since.  Outside the Bible, no written word about Christmas has been more influential and widespread in its power to evoke love for children and the poor.
Christmas has inspired the best music. Musical artist regardless of their fame are compelled to release a Christmas album. It has a power that no one can explain or predict. Opposing armies have stopped combat, met on neutral ground in the middle of a war to celebrate Christmas.
Here is Nephew Fred from A Christmas Carol: “I have always thought of Christmastime… as a good time: a kind forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
The supernatural power of Christmas is also seen in the creation of Silent Night. It was written because the organ broke and a song for a guitar was necessary.  Christmas again showed its power with Handel’s Messiah. Handel wrote it in 24 days. When he finished the Hallelujah Chorus, he said it was as if the roof came off his room and he saw the great God Himself.
Christmas is a weapon! It brings proof of the Deity of Christ by its inexplicable effect on the world. Even when it offends it is doing God’s work. Even Scrooge screamed, “then let me leave it alone!” But Christmas won’t let us leave it alone.
But the message about Scrooge transcends even Christmas. It is about God’s power to create a weapon to combat evil through anointed artforms.
It is because of Scrooge, that I find much of some today’s  Christian music formulaic, unimaginative, predictable, and even snowflake like. Bono from U-2 called some of those songs “dishonest.” How dare I make such a criticism? Because we didn’t use to scare so easily. We wrote songs of sacrifice and commitment; towering themes filled majestic hymns.
Somewhere in the mid to late 20th Century the church developed an insecurity complex and began to “do things almost as good as the world does.” Not just in music, but in all art forms. We even have green rooms which is a nod to Hollywood.
A great exception is Black Gospel Music. It was so original the world had to copy it for Motown and R and B. Black Gospel was so powerful the world kept trying to steal talent out of the church. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and many others began in church.
The spark of divine creativity does not rest on those who surmise what might sell or what won’t offend. It comes on those who would sacrifice all to obey God.
However, there is another reason creativity is in short supply: We don’t recognize the multiple opportunities of service outside the pulpit. Not everyone is a preacher—nor should they be! The gifts of God fit in business, art, media, healthcare, education and yes, politics.
Because God came upon a famous novelist like Charles Dickens, the devil was blindsided. What if you are supposed to create something no one has seen before?
Finally, the idea that we need to tone anything down to win souls is hogwash. Johnny Cash comes to mind. It is truly amazing the influence he carried. Bob Dylan, Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones revered him. Yet, he never muted his faith or his witness. God gave him a sound the world couldn’t resist.
A heart filled with love for God and hatred for evil, who is willing to be completely open to do something new is our greatest need today. God is searching to drop original miracles on someone like you.
Now check out the video of the entire village.  It’s one way Mechelle and I want to Merry Christmas and God bless you and yours.

I REBUKE JOE BIDEN’S DARK WINTER AND YOU SHOULD TOO.

It was the last thing the weary nation needed to hear. But Joe Biden promising a dark winter is a perfect example of his horrendous leadership style. Picking the worst possible words at the worst possible time is his stock-in-trade. The only thing that out-blunders his words are his actions. The world is already grimacing at the possibility of him, and then he confirms their worst fears. Small wonder that every sane and wise person on the planet is crying out to God against his presidency.

And yes, you are right to oppose him with every atom of your being. You are right to speak out against him—even if every major information outlet is a propaganda machine—a machine vigorously working to sanitize his epic shortcomings. I have a tight grip on the promises of God—even at this hour. I expect intervention. But as I wait, there is a far more immediate victory I must claim.  I vehemently rebuke Joe Biden’s dark winter―and you should too! Joe Biden, you and Kamala will not dictate my winter. I have decided not to participate in your misery. I have decided that the Word of God and not your so-called “science” will dictate my winter. I will not let you or anyone else rob me of my joy. I will have a militantly warm and loving Thanksgiving. My family traditions trump your ugly advice. I will feel the warm glow of this time of year. I will share my love and time with friends and family. Take that, devil!  

And Christmas will be even more wonderful this year. My theme verse for Christmas 2020 is this: “They were trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So, I continued the work with even greater determination” (Nehemiah 6:9). Speaking of standing for miracles, let me tell you a story that happened years ago at this very time of year. I remember calling her out of the crowd, as if it was yesterday.

The Holy Spirit told me her story. She was severely crippled in her hands by arthritis. I described her condition and how she was especially heartbroken because she enjoyed making so many wonderful things for others, but her arthritis had stolen that joy. It was at that moment that the healing warmth straightened her fingers and relieved the excruciating pain for good.

Then my courage was further tested. I went on to tell her that she was known for her love of Christmas. I said, “I see boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations and lights. They have been sitting in your attic for years. You are to go home and put all of them out. You are to outdo any previous Christmas.” She was overcome with joy and my guess is, that year, you could see her house from space. Her miracle is our miracle. She got back the holidays that the devil had stolen. I command you to have joy. I command you to have a defiant spirit to keep every tradition and even bring back some that were lost…just for good measure. Don’t you dare give in to Biden’s bargain basement holidays!

Again, let me quote a verse from Nehemiah: “Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength”” (Nehemiah 8:10) This year I urge you to tell Satan he is a liar. Rebuke the frightened emotions, the dreadful imaginations, and the fear. In the Name above every name, I rebuke the dark winter and release the winter wonderland of the Holy Spirit!  

 

 

 

 

This is a message to those who support Mario Murillo’s message to America.

BREAKING NEWS! MARIO MURILLO’S TWO MOST POWERFUL BOOKS TOGETHER. PERFECT READING FOR STRENGTH, POWER, AND DIRECTION IN THESE EXPLOSIVE TIMES. NOT ONLY THAT BUT YOU WILL HELP WIN SOULS IN CALIFORNIA.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-dynamic-duo.jpg

That is why we must make this stunning book offer to you. Now in its fourth printing, Vessels of Fire and Glory keeps reaching the top of its category on Amazon.  Critical Mass has now sold over 150,000 copies and remains an international classic on awakening. Both books are still in high demand. So why are we making this amazing offer to you? California is the reason why.

We need to act fast in California for two big reasons. First, Fresno was a shocking breakthrough. Fresno is a sign that tens of thousands of Californians hunger for the Gospel. Second, the battle for America will be won or lost in California.

You get both books for just $20. Not only that—Mario will autograph your copy of Vessels of Fire and Glory. On top of that…you get free shipping.

This is a double win for you. You get these choice books at an excellent price and the proceeds go to win lost souls in California.

And there is still more. If you order 10 or more sets of the Dynamic Duo, your cost is $18 a set. Click on link below to order now!

https://mariomurillo.org/product/dynamic-duo/    

 

Above All Remember These Things

Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

Dear Friend,

Today is Christmas day, so remember this:  Yes, we live in a world of explosive insecurity.  Yes, we live in a time where disaster comes without warning and destroys lives instantly.

America has finally become the generation with nothing to look forward to.  This is a time where people are melting down because of a crushing sense of helplessness and despair.  Some react with mindless panic and rage. They shoot and kill their loved ones and then turn the gun on themselves rather than face their losses.  Others are too frozen by fear and uncertainty to do anything.  Still others frantically try to numb their despair by plunging into addictions and perversions that prior generations never imagined.

How deep and widespread is this panic?  It is so pervasive that it has seeped into the hearts of God’s people.  Many in the church, including leaders, admit that they have developed destructive addictions trying to cope with anxiety.

This Christmas threatens to be a time of very little comfort and joy.  Many who love the Lord passionately will not even celebrate it this year!  If you are under attack, if you feel the devastating sense of helplessness, then it is time for you to remember one thing about this Christmas.

Christmas is not just the story of the most important birth in history; it is the proof that an invisible force guards the children of God with unstoppable, irresistible, compassionate protection. Christmas unfolds the masterstroke of God our Father against evil.  Let me explain!

He was the most anticipated person in history and yet His arrival fooled everyone. It requires skill from beyond our planet to sneak the Desire of all nations into our world unobserved with only a handful taking notice. God can fool anyone and He cannot be fooled by anyone.

 

How deep and widespread is this panic?  It is so pervasive that it has seeped into the hearts of God’s people.  Many in the church, including leaders, admit that they have developed destructive addictions trying to cope with anxiety.

This Christmas threatens to be a time of very little comfort and joy.  Many who love the Lord passionately will not even celebrate it this year!  If you are under attack, if you feel this devastating sense of helplessness, then it is time for you to remember one thing about this Christmas.

Christmas is not just the story of the most important birth in history; it is the proof that an invisible force guards the children of God with unstoppable, irresistible, compassionate protection. Christmas unfolds the masterstroke of God our Father against evil.  Let me explain!

He was the most anticipated person in history and yet His arrival fooled everyone. It requires skill from beyond our planet to sneak the Desire of all nations into our world unobserved with only a handful taking notice. God can fool anyone and He cannot be fooled by anyone.

The Jews believed that the arrival of the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God, would be with all the pomp and ceremony possible.  They expected to immediately lay crowns and scepters at his feet, and that the high and mighty princes of the world should have been his humble servants.  He came into the world, and the world knew Him not.  Hcame to his own, and His own received him not.

It was not as if his arrival was without fireworks. The first burst of wonder came to the shepherds in Luke chapter 2.  They saw and heard glorious things concerning Him, and made them known abroad, to the amazement of everyone (v. 17-18).  After this, in Luke 2:38, Simeon and Anna by the Holy Spirit spoke of Him to all who were willing to listen.

You would think that this would have shaken the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, so that they would have finally risen up as one and embrace the long-looked-for Messiah; but no.  He continued to live for nearly two more years at Bethlehem, and no further notice was taken of him until the arrival of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East.

Trouble!  Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”  These were no singing angels. They were mere men; notable men to be sure, but still mere men. The Magi were the Persian’s philosophers and their priests.  No one could become a Persian king who had not first been enrolled among the Magi. It was their royalty that caused the ruckus.  When kings arrive and ask the local king, “Where is the real KING?” Something has to give!

 

What are we to have in this time of great darkness?  Look again at the command from Hebrews: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

“Where is He who is born King of the Jews?”  Their question made it clear that a new power was now freely working in the earth.  Moreover, this power operated as no other power had previously operated.  This power came and went as it pleased.  It raised the humble to be a force against the proud.  Love had taken on muscle and showed that a gentle but irresistible change was coming.  A new kingdom had come and it would expand through means that nullified human force.

Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar 600 years before this day that this kingdom would come.  Daniel 2: 44, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”  

Break and consume: Here is the big picture!  The Kingdom of God is expanding. It grows by tactics and weapons that have no peer. It is breaking and consuming everything that opposes Christ.  The mustard seed that sprouted in the Bethlehem stable would grow until it absorbed every foe and fulfilled these words: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” -Revelation 11:15

Satan took the bait from Daniel’s prophecy!  Every other kingdom that Daniel referred to in his prophecy was set up by physical force. When he heard the words break and consume, the devil assumed that the Messiah would be a Jewish liberator like King David.  The devil never thought that a baby’s cry in a lowly manger was the real threat to his throne.

The regions of hell convulsed when it finally hit them that Messiah was now on earth. Evil now had an expiration date.  Intuitively, Herod felt this same dread.  As a puppet for Satan and Rome, what else could he feel?  Reason left him.  He knew he had no power over this, he knew that the Anointed One could not be stopped, yet he decided to commit a great atrocity by destroying the children of Bethlehem.

There it is! Great evil at work while at the same time the kingdom of God expands!  The Magi are led away from danger.  Joseph and Mary are warned to leave and use the treasure brought by the Magi to pay for their escape to Egypt.

You are receiving a Kingdom.  Never forget it!  Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

This is the one thing for you to remember.  God surgically injected the kingdom of God on earth; a kingdom which cannot be shaken by global warming or moral cooling!  You are inextricably connected to the story of Christmas.  It lives in you, it breathes in you, and it energizes, protects, and guides you.  It is the power of Christmas that exempts you from all of the tragic outcomes that you see around you.

Psalm 37:18-19, “The LORD knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”

 

Christmas 2019 in America

The shepherds to whom the angels appeared that night near Bethlehem were carrying the same weight of misery that we as modern Americans are carrying.  Did you ever wonder who they were and why they were gifted with the greatest angelic light show the world had ever seen?

That question is more important than you may realize, because their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common threat and a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on Americans today.

The leaders of Israel had taken the Word of God and had replaced it with the traditions of men—what we now call ‘political correctness.’

Every line between right and wrong had been blurred in order to keep them in power. They used guilt to extract money and to help them maintain their control over the people. Our 21st Century Pharisees use boycotts, cancel culture, and shame anyone who doesn’t use the right pronoun, or who doesn’t share their political faith.

In the first century, Israel’s national debt mortgaged their future to a foreign power, Rome. For them it was Rome, for us it is China.

Caesar Augustus was their globalist threat—a threat that was absorbing their sacred values, freedom, and the faith of their fathers. All of which is happening right now in America.

Why were these “certain poor shepherds” abiding in the fields? Because the convulsions in their culture had resulted in widespread robbery and murder. Even shepherds had to respond to the raised threat level and protect their sheep.

Why do we in this nation live in a perpetual state of high alert? Because lawlessness has increased, just as Jesus said it would. Our cultural obsession with deviance and drugs has resulted in chaos.

Why did God choose shepherds, those who were considered the lowest of the low in Jewish society? I believe it was because they were utterly believable. Our impression of shepherds is skewed. They were not ‘90 pound weaklings,’ they were battle hardened by life. Remember that David, the boy shepherd, had killed a lion and a bear.

When the shepherds told the story of seeing angelic messengers, the people of Bethlehem believed them because their first reaction was to say to themselves, “Why would men like these tell such a lie?”

Let’s reread the word of God:

Luke 2:8 Now, there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

What is the Christmas story trying to tell us in 2019? Let me answer a question with a question. What do you think those men were like after the angels visited them? The angels brought them into a reality that nullified their daily grind. The stage lights went up and suddenly they were aware of the ‘real world’—the spiritual realm, inhabited by angels.

God skipped the theologians, the priests, and even the king.  He sent angels to lowly shepherds. How embarrassing! None of those in power, not one professional student of the Law and the Prophets received this visitation.

Every year, Christmas returns with a vengeance. How puny are man’s efforts to destroy this annual celebration. This year, Christmas comes to pull the plug and drain our fears.

The angels turned their priorities upside down. 

We know the Bible says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments before the angels appeared, these men were on high alert and were so protective of their herd that they would have gladly fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now, they are completely oblivious to the fate of the sheep they left behind, and are hurrying to see a Baby that had been laid in a feeding trough.

Christmas beckons us to see through the lies and the boasts of evil, and remember: this will all be over soon because, in Christ, we have already won.

In the words of the timeless carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, “Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Modern pulpits have ruined us by preaching a “how to” Christianity. It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money, and handling emotions. And that is the very problem—we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves. This is not wrong if it subsequently leads to a glorious encounter with God, but what we need most at this moment is the Glory of Christmas. Glory will make our soul gaze at God, and while we gaze and are distracted by His splendor, God Himself will fix the issues of our life.

The shepherds took off in a glory-fueled sprint to the manger. It was an act of total defiance against all their fears. And that, my friend, is how we celebrate the birth of Christ—in defiance of all of our fears, and in spite of all our circumstances.  We must leave behind our “sensible selves” and become like little children.

 

 

THE THREE UNWISEMEN

The three unwisemen are following a light, but it is not a heavenly light.  It is the headlight of a speeding locomotive and they are trapped in a tunnel, on the tracks.

Whenever someone says “with all due respect” they usually only say that because they are about to act with disrespect, but want to come across as respectful. And so it is—with all due respect—I explain to you the three kinds of stupid that have possessed these three unwise men: Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and Chuck Schumer, who have come bearing gifts of fool’s gold, Frankenstein, and myth.

There are three kinds of stupid, and in this case they are guilty of practicing all three.

Kind #1: You are following Nancy Pelosi. Following Nancy Pelosi, like socialism, has never worked.  Ask anyone who has followed her. Ask Kamala Harris. Nancy is a political train wreck who manages to survive by postponing disaster, but she cannot prevent the inevitable.

She is known for one amazing tactic: She comes up with a crazy idea, but she wants others to think it’s their idea. She feigned not wanting Trump impeached and then got others to take the lead on impeachment.

She is what is known as a ‘Jonah’. There’s something you must always remember about ‘Jonahs’: they are jinxed and bad things happen when they are present, but when the plane crashes, they survive. It’s everyone around them who dies.

Come close Adam, Jerry and Chuck, while I explain: there is no version of this fiasco that will have a good outcome for you. Here’s why: you have done nothing for the people who put you in office. You have wasted most of President Trump’s first term and millions of taxpayer dollars on fruitless investigations, libelous insults, and vicious attacks. You have done nothing for Americans.  Zip. Nada.

We get why you what you did. You have no vision, no solution, and no plan for America.  All we know about you is what you are against. You are literally accomplishing nothing for Americans. (That’s how mad you’ve made me. I hate the word ‘literally’ and you made me use it. Shame on you!)

Kind #2. You have stupidly declared war on 70 million voters. You three kings of disorient are declaring war on 70 million voters so far. While you are obsessed with getting Trump out of office, you are blind to how your ludicrous tactics are playing in millions of living rooms across America. To them you are not heroes. You are out-of-control demagogues who want to overthrow a legal election—their election—and who want to nullify their vote.

Not only are you trying to overrule their vote, you add insult to injury by calling anyone who voted for Trump racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, and worst of all (and, here is the irony)—stupid.

You don’t get it. But then how could you. You live in a bubble. You believe your own hype. You believe that by slinging mud and throwing rancid red meat to your base you will increase your chances of winning elections.  Here’s what you have actually done:

  • You have galvanized Trump’s base. He has the highest approval rating among Republicans since Ronald Reagan. You have inspired his base to increase contributions to his election campaign by tens of millions of dollars. You have driven people to our side—especially minorities, those on the fence, and independent voters.
  • You have used up your currency with Americans who don’t even like Trump, but who can’t stomach how unfair and nasty you are to him and his family.

Kind #3. You are ruining Christmas. This is by far your worst mistake. You are extending hearings into the Christmas season. Americans were sick of this already, now you want to sling mud during Hallmark Movies.  Instead of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men, we must endure your ceaseless screeching during the Christmas season. Your impeachment hearings will sound like fingernails across a blackboard. Even your own party will hate it.

And finally, it is unwise to stake your future and the future of your party on yet another expensive investigation.  This one, like the last one, has produced zero justification and will die with a whimper. Some of your fellow Socialist/Democrats have done far worse than anything you are accusing Trump of having done, and you gave them a pass.  None of your witnesses are credible. None of your accusations have been substantiated. None of any of this rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and still you have made it abundantly clear that you will try to impeach Trump, no matter what.

You are doing it because Nancy says you have to. She said, “Trump has left us no choice but to impeach.” Your downfall, unwisemen, is that you believe her and are following a star that is headed over a cliff.

Who were they?

Who were those shepherds who saw the angels that Christmas night? The answer to that question is more important than you know.

They are us. Their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common theme.  We share a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on the hopes of believers today.  They are so much like us!  Their future was sold to pay a debt to a foreign empire.  For them it was Rome for us it is China.  Their leaders forged an unholy alliance with Augustus Caesar.  Our leaders, preachers who should be leading the way back to Bible values, appease our enemies, apologize to the world for our greatness.

The faith of their Fathers was diluted by false ministers and mocked by pagans. Our Faith suffers the same fate! Their weak economy created a crime wave that forced them to stay out in the fields watching their sheep. We spend hours at our job, actually hoping for overtime and then the final insult of a cruel commute home.  Can you relate to getting through a day by choking down emotions and watching robots taking jobs?

What do we want most for Christmas?  Let me brave an answer.  What we want most in all of this mess is good news.  We could sure use some good news!  It would be so wonderful to see the unrelenting torrent of scary headlines, dire predictions and disappointing reports swallowed up by good news! But what would be good news to you right now?  What message do you need from God right now?

What we want most is a visitation of God.  It is easy to think that we want something else but nothing would help us more, nothing would do the job better, nothing can compare to it.

San Jose California 1982:

I watched San Jose enveloped by the Glory of God.  It was a time when the economy was as bad as it is now.  The prime rate soared to 22% and unemployment was high.  Yet thousands crowded into the meeting every night for 22 weeks!  The atmosphere in the building evaporated fear and worries.

Yes, the people needed jobs desperately but somehow it was overruled by the Glory.  Each night they sang their hearts out, each night tears of joy washed away the cares of their life.  Other things became important.  Something priceless had come to them and they were not about to let human concerns rob them of this precious moment of their life.

I am a Pentecostal it is that simple.  I know what it means to have the Holy Spirit drench me. I know that when the Spirit of God is upon me fear, worry and anxiety vanish.

What the Angels did is turn their priorities upside down.  We know the Bible says “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments ago these men were taut with tension and defensive of their herd to point where they would have gladly have fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now they are ready to run to a manger oblivious of the sheep they leave behind.

Yes we need jobs, healing and many other things but what we need most is the Glory.  Glory will make our soul gaze at God and while we gaze distracted by His splendor God will fix the issues of our life.  Modern pulpits have done us a great disservice by focusing on “how to” Christianity.  It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money and handling emotions.  And that is the very problem we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves.

This is the bait of Satan: to get us to strive and fret and battle by our wits and not by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  What leaders are failing to do is to seek and obtain a move of God among their people.

Why did God skip the theologians, the Priests and the King and send these angels to the shepherds?   This is the question of the ages! How embarrassing to all of those in power and to all of those who made a life out studying the prophets, reading the times and being “in the know” who were overlooked in favor of these shepherds!

We are constantly trying to qualify for a career, a credit card, a club or some kind of status but are we qualified for a visitation of God?

Now they are warning that the stock market will crash again, and all the gains will be lost. The experts are saying hard times are coming. I believe that the attack will not come from that direction. I believe it is immorality that is making the times so miserable.

But something good can come out of these “bad times”?  Maybe in these hard times you are holding your loved ones closer, praying a little deeper and trying a little harder to be humble and grateful.  Maybe instead of suffering, you are merely getting into position to be visited by God.

“…but the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits.” Daniel 11:32

Did You know Christmas was a weapon?

The leading newspaper in the nation has not mentioned Christmas in 10 years. Christmas is attacked by both God haters and religionists. It has fallen into great disfavor—accused of everything from paganism to materialism. It is socially unacceptable to celebrate Christmas.  It is 1843 England. Also known as the hungry 40’s.
A young and gifted writer is deeply restless and can’t sleep. He asks an assistant to meet him in the middle of the night, “take me to see the worst of London. Do not spare me anything.”
What he saw horrified him and left a mark in his soul that would haunt his novels for the rest of his life. Children, living like stray dogs scavenged through garbage in sub-zero temperatures.
Charles Dickens had to do something. So, he mustered his considerable weapon: he marshalled the English language and sent it into war against child abuse. Vast corruption must be exposed! This nation-destroying curse must be lifted!
He set ink to paper with the force of a volcanic eruption and the skillful cuts of a surgeon. The result was a pamphlet entitled An Appeal on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child. Then something happened:
He never released the pamphlet. Historians are divided about why. Usually, it does not fall upon facts but on anti-Christian bias. Here is my heart tells me happened: He heard the voice of God. “If you release this pamphlet it will bring good for a season, but if you write the story, I am about to give you, it will bring good for all time.”
It would be a story where the main character is the most uncompelling, and unsympathetic character to any audience: an old man—a wealthy miser! Even his name is off-putting: Ebeneezer Scrooge.
With only weeks left before Christmas how could he finish it and get it published? Astonishingly it was published on December 19, 1843. Not only that, it was made into a script and opened in 2 theaters that Christmas day.
This story is not only credited with saving Christmas, it has been synonymous with Christmas ever since.  Outside the Bible, no written word about Christmas has been more influential and widespread in its power to evoke love for children and the poor.
Christmas has inspired the best music. Musical artist regardless of their fame are compelled to release a Christmas album. It has a power that no one can explain or predict. Opposing armies have stopped combat, met on neutral ground in the middle of a war to celebrate Christmas.
Here is Nephew Fred from A Christmas Carol: “I have always thought of Christmastime… as a good time: a kind forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
The supernatural power of Christmas is also seen in the creation of Silent Night. It was written because the organ broke and a song for a guitar was necessary.  Christmas again showed its power with Handel’s Messiah. Handel wrote it in 24 days. When he finished the Hallelujah Chorus, he said it was as if the roof came off his room and he saw the great God Himself.
Christmas is a weapon! It brings proof of the Deity of Christ by its inexplicable effect on the world. Even when it offends it is doing God’s work. Even Scrooge screamed, “then let me leave it alone!” But Christmas won’t let us leave it alone.
But the message about Scrooge transcends even Christmas. It is about God’s power to create a weapon to combat evil through anointed artforms.
It is because of Scrooge, that I find much of some today’s  Christian music formulaic, unimaginative, predictable, and even snowflake like. Bono from U-2 called some of those songs “dishonest.” How dare I make such a criticism? Because we didn’t use to scare so easily. We wrote songs of sacrifice and commitment; towering themes filled majestic hymns.
Somewhere in the mid to late 20th Century the church developed an insecurity complex and began to “do things almost as good as the world does.” Not just in music, but in all art forms. We even have green rooms which is a nod to Hollywood.
A great exception is Black Gospel Music. It was so original the world had to copy it for Motown and R and B. Black Gospel was so powerful the world kept trying to steal talent out of the church. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and many others began in church.
The spark of divine creativity does not rest on those who surmise what might sell or what won’t offend. It comes on those who would sacrifice all to obey God.
However, there is another reason creativity is in short supply: We don’t recognize the multiple opportunities of service outside the pulpit. Not everyone is a preacher—nor should they be! The gifts of God fit in business, art, media, healthcare, education and yes, politics.
Because God came upon a famous novelist like Charles Dickens, the devil was blindsided. What if you are supposed to create something no one has seen before?
Finally, the idea that we need to tone anything down to win souls is hogwash. Johnny Cash comes to mind. It is truly amazing the influence he carried. Bob Dylan, Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones revered him. Yet, he never muted his faith or his witness. God gave him a sound the world couldn’t resist.
A heart filled with love for God and hatred for evil, who is willing to be completely open to do something new is our greatest need today. God is searching to drop original miracles on someone like you.
Now check out the video of the entire village.  It’s one way Mechelle and I want to Merry Christmas and God bless you and yours.