THEY CAME TO PRAY

They came to pray—that’s the real story.  And it’s a way bigger story than you know.

They came even though no headline worship team or celebrity speaker was advertised. They came to pray. Prayer alone was the attraction. They did not gather to be dazzled by a ‘now word.’ They did not come for exotic manifestations. They did not come to get or give a ritual apology for wrongs done in past history. They came to pray. They came to ask for a miracle in California.

In short, they went against the grain of almost everything commonly used to bring in crowds of Christians in California.

After a short worship time and admonition on prayer, I welcomed leaders to come and pray. They were our next miracle.

They also only came to pray. They did not do this because we promised they could announce their churches or events. They didn’t want to preach or showcase their gifts. They did not do this for attention. They left their egos completely out of this.

They were transformed just walking to the microphone. A spirit of prayer came over them as one after another poured out their heart to God. Each one added more fuel to the fire.

Several confessed later that they felt they were being consumed by a holy fire and a passion for an outpouring from God. Many later said that they would never be the same.

Because I know my wife so well, I can tell with certainty what happened to her. When she grabbed the mike, I saw the anointing jolt her. The prayer and prophecy that exploded out of her was amazing and it rocked the stadium.

Meanwhile, another important miracle was unfolding in the crowd. They didn’t need to be entertained, they were lost in intercession. Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. they prayed. They were no longer from different denominations or streams. Not one person was behaving in such a way as to draw attention to themselves. It was a holy chorus of prayer.

Everyone felt the urgency for a miracle in California. They fully grasped the fact that we are running out of time.  At the same time they felt an unshakable confidence that our cries were heard, and they knew that something undeniable is going to break forth in California—the state that some said was lost and hopeless.  Just as when Elijah was discouraged and convinced that he was the only one who was left to worship Jehovah, God spoke these words to him, “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed their knees to Baal.”

As I said before—the big story here is that they came to pray. Sadly, many will not see the importance of this breakthrough. Too much of ‘California Christian Culture’ is incapable of grasping the significance of people just wanting to pray. Too many organizations are enslaved by the programs that keep them afloat.

There is a contamination among too many here that, unless perks are offered, will not show up for an event. We need to find our way back to our first love. We need long and fervent sessions of prayer. There is a remnant that will read this and truly be excited, and who will be aware that this is a big story.

It would be wonderful if this night in Fresno could ignite a desire for thousands of prayer meetings to spring up across America—meetings where they have come to pray—and only to pray.

JOIN US FOR THE FINAL LIVING PROOF TENT CRUSADE OF 2019!

TAKE BACK THE YEARS THE DEVIL HAS STOLEN FROM YOU

I was once with a great man of God who was looking back on his life and surveying the wreckage he has seen in America.  This general in the army of God sighed deeply and said, “If only I were a younger man…”  I interrupted him and said, “YOU ARE A YOUNGER MAN!”  At that moment I had nothing to back up my statement, but I felt that I had just blurted out something very important.

Not long after that, I was with an older woman who had received a great miracle of healing.  While she was grateful for her restored health, she was also regretting the years that Satan had stolen from her.

Soon after, I was listening to another saint explain how unfair it seemed that huge chunks of her life had been taken from her.  She added with regret, “I just want them back!”

Right now, a lot of people are looking back on their lives and feeling that many years have been stolen from them.  They recount scenes of besetting sin, betrayal, calamity, sickness, and just plain mistakes that have had a huge impact on their lives.

There are lots of people who are feeling a special turmoil right now.  They are torn by conflicting emotions—they are feeling like they are too tired or that it is too late to start over—while at the same time they are burning with passion to take on a new mission.

Hollywood senses this and makes films like RED: Retired and Extremely Dangerous that touches this need for revenge on the past.  There is a right way to do this. This is not for personal gain bur by the vengeance of our God.

However this turmoil is far from just a crisis that is felt by those who are older in years.  Many young believers struggle with the sense that something has swept in like a swarm of locusts and robbed not just their past, but their future.  Dreams are held in limbo, and they live feeling like they are trapped in a holding pattern and that they are losing valuable time.

Joel 2:25 says, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust.”

So what does that mean?  Can we be renewed like the eagle? Can we get back the years that the enemy has stolen?

The answer is: WE NOT ONLY CAN, BUT WE MUST!

In that moment when I exclaimed to that man of God, “YOU ARE A YOUNGER MAN!” it was not clear to me what I was actually saying.  Now I realize that the Holy Spirit does want to give us back the years that Satan has stolen!

Here is how:

1. Wait on God for specific fire to burn out spiritual fatigue and regret. Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  

It is time for you to get up and get going! But to do so, you will need to make some bold moves and big decisions.  Realize that it is not so much that your body is tired, as your spirit.  Go to war in prayer! And specifically, claim, seize hold of, and seek God’s promise that He will fuel and direct those who wait on Him.

2. Do not merely settle for restored energy—what you are after is a total revolution in your mind and body.  Some of what you have suffered in your past has been because you have not been bold, but timid.   You went along with things and you did not make the demands on life that were just, right, and Biblical.  Now you must boldly press into the promises found in God’s Word. And you must also apply God’s grace.  You will now say, ‘No’ to things that you once said, ‘Yes’ to.

Repeat after me: “No, I am not too old.  No, I am not going to sit still.  No, it is not too late!”

Conversely, you will now say, ‘Yes’ to things that you once said, ‘No’ to!

“Yes, I can do it!  Yes, I can finish my race! Yes, I can do all the things that Christ gives me strength for!”

Here is what your new attitude must look like:

Joshua 14:10, “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out (to war) and for coming (back) in.”

3. You get back the years that you have lost by now receiving an abundance of years!  Locusts destroyed Israel’s crops because of judgment.  The damage ate up years of crops.  What God promised in Joel was: “I will restore the years.”  God promised that you shall be comforted according to the time that you have been afflicted, and shall have years of plenty that will more than make up for the years of famine.

There is a similar passage in one of the few Psalms written by Moses, Psalm 90.  In it, Moses is asking for equal time. 15 “Make us glad in proportion to the days in which You have afflicted us, and to the years in which we have suffered evil.”

This is not just added time, but it is added results that will put your life back in the plus column:  Haggai 2:9, “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former,” says the Lord of Hosts; “And in this place will I grant you peace…”

Not just added time, but long life that satisfies: Psalm 91:15, “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

4. Live to leave something for the next generation. Psalm 71:18, “Now also, when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”

I believe that great men and women have been kept alive by their passion to impart a legacy to the next generation.  So long as they stubbornly mentored, imparted, and wrote great works of wisdom, it kept them alive.  

The bottom line is, you are not done—not by a long shot.  Pray, plan, and pursue God, expecting to receive unique gifts that will help us all to overcome the evil of our time!

 

JEFF FENHOLT

Jeffrey Craig “Jeff” Fenholt (September 15, 1950 – September 10, 2019)
Some people have wondered why I have remained silent about Jeff’s passing. The reason is mostly shock and grief.
I can’t talk about Jeff unless I first tell you about the supernatural way I met him. I’m walking out of a supermarket and a complete stranger confronts me. He says, “Mario, the man who was the first to play Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway has been born again. He is singing for Jesus now. Here’s his card. You should call him and work with him.” I had no idea how that man knew me or how he got Jeff Fenholt’s card.
About a week later a pastor said the exact same thing to me, but that was still not enough to make me call Jeff. A few weeks later, however, something happened that made it impossible for me not to call him.
I was having lunch in Manhattan with David Wilkerson.  He was having soup and didn’t even look up when he barked at me, “JEFF FENHOLT. WORK WITH HIM.” With that, decades of doing outreaches with Jeff began. Mechelle and I knew him for over 30 years.
Nobody—and I mean nobody—ever sang, nor will ever sing, I Exalt Thee, like Jeff. It was common for me, when he sang that song, to skip my sermon and go straight to calling the lost to Jesus. It was as if the crowd’s resistance to God melted as Jeff sang. Only a soul that knows they have passed from death unto life can sing with that kind of anointing.
Others have felt compelled to say, “He was no angel.”  But, only angels can say something like that. Why is it even necessary to say something like that? Maybe you just didn’t get Jeff. He was no hypocrite.  He could be brutally honest, and often hilarious in the process.
Jeff was giving his testimony to a big crowd in the Anaheim Convention Center. Suddenly a heckler yelled at Jeff about his long hair: “YOU LOOK LIKE A GIRL!”  Without a moment’s hesitation, Jeff marched to the edge of the stage glared at the heckler and said, “If I look like a girl to you, you’ve been hanging with some really ugly girls!” If you didn’t crack up, you weren’t human.
Maybe the issue wasn’t Jeff at all. Maybe the problem is the Body of Christ’s inability to handle superstars who start to follow Jesus. The messy aftermath that happened with Bob Dylan, after he turned to Christ, comes to mind.
For my wife and me, Jeff was an endless experience of laughing, crying, and seeing multitudes come to Jesus.  Jeff carried an effortless kindness—a kindness that was easy to take advantage of.
Toward the end, he demonstrated a rare courage when he publicly announced he was a conservative who loved America. His posts on social media were given the ultimate compliment—many were censored.
This is a painful time for Mechelle and me, and our hearts and prayers go out to Jeff’s family. Jeff is a good man. He is a true friend. He had the greatest singing voice I ever heard, and now the angels get to see why he was such a gift to us.  God bless you, Jeff. I love you, my friend.

 

P.S. There have been many kind remarks made to Mechelle and me. We must remember that the real loss was to Jeff’s family, his children especially. Please pray for them and if God makes a way, share your love with them. -Mario

 

 

THE STORY

Before I get to the story of this photo with former New York Mayor Guiliani, I must tell you why Mechelle and I are in Washington D.C. We are doing a conference with Lance Wallnau. We know this is God because we are phasing out participating in conferences.

I had a revelation and personal revolution in the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. The entire library was deeply moving and convicting to me, but one thing was emblazoned in my Spirit. It was the short video of Billy Graham at 92 years of age talking with Greta Van Susteren.  She asked him what he would have done differently.

He answered that he wouldn’t have traveled as much. Greta said, “Why? Look at all the people you have helped by travelling.” He responded by saying that he would have done just as many crusades, but fewer conferences. He felt that the travel was unnecessary and often distracting from family and soul winning. He added that he would have prayed and studied more, and spent time getting to know Jesus better.

There are no words to describe the revolution in my soul. I knew immediately that I had to make changes. Events had to either be about winning souls or directly relate to soul winning. The ones that I had to take a pass on are worthy events that deserve support, but I simply must follow my heart. That was why the Extreme Dream Conference in Washington D. C. stayed on my schedule. This event is explosive in its potential to see not only souls saved on a mass scale, but it can also lead to moral reformation.

The instruction that Lance dispensed to us was urgent. What little contribution I made to them was not nearly as powerful as what we received.

I am returning to Reno, transformed, and I know our efforts will be impacted by our time with Sid Roth on It’s Supernatural, with Lance Wallnau, as well as Larry Sparks of Destiny Image.

As to the picture with Rudi Guiliani—the former Mayor is a big hero of mine. Mechelle and I were sitting having lunch in the Trump Hotel when we noticed Mayor Guiliani seated a few tables away. I couldn’t help it, I wanted to meet him. So we got up and went over to his table, but were gently rebuffed by his bodyguard. I was so disappointed.

As we returned to our seats, this thought hit me, “You can’t force things. Let God bring them to you.” This had little to do with Rudi. It had to do with some very big things coming to this ministry. I never gave this another thought all day.

We had a powerful day and late that night we decided to get a bite in the lobby. Out of nowhere Rudi Guiliani charges up to me and gives me a big hug! I know, right!

No one who saw this could explain it. My wife frantically took these pictures.

There is a message in here for all of us. God is going to bring favor and many breakthroughs. We must walk in faith and obedience, even when we see no results. God will make it happen for all who refuse to give up or back down.

Again, this encounter with Rudi was not about him—and not about me. It was a wink from God. It was a confirmation that His favor, and a way of letting us know that there are going to be many miracles in the upcoming meetings in California!

How we will win souls in 2019

We have regrouped and reloaded, and we are ready to win the lost, heal the sick, and set the captive free. The tent, chairs, lights generators, stage and sound are all packed up and ready to go. It will only be days now before we announce the places and dates where we will be invading the darkness in 2019.
Satan demonstrated how much he fears our soul winning. He attacked us every way he could in 2018. He tried to stop us dead in our tracks. But all he did was set himself up for a holy backlash! This only deepened our resolve to win souls in record numbers!
Many people who hate God are cheering on the anger dividing our nation. They also want to manipulate every word of the Gospel of Christ to make it sound bigoted, so then they can ban it. Jesus said this would happen.
Luke 21:12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”
When we pray together as a couple, we have found that our agreement has great power. (See Matthew 18:19-20) Through prayer, we made the choice not to be frightened by the end times and the screaming threats of radicals.  We see that the very same verses that warn of persecution also contain powerful promises.

The first promise is, “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” Everything Satan is trying to do to America will be forced into an opportunity to testify—it will open doors for people to hear the life-giving message of Jesus.
Did you know this promise happened to Paul? When he was imprisoned, he found a big surprise. His arrest actually advanced the Gospel. He said, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” -Philippians 1:12
The Message translation says it this way: “I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered.
That is what we believe about 2019! The devil’s attacks on America will have the opposite effect that God haters expect.
But the second promise excites us even more. You see, the youth culture is complicated and toxic. They’ve been told so many lies that they are triggered by the church’s efforts to reach them. But God is greater!
He has promised us powerful rhema words that will pierce hearts; and He has promised many miracles in the tent. This explosive combination will do what Jesus promised: it will leave a skeptical audience unable to resist and vulnerable to surrendering to Christ.
The ultimate source of our excitement is that God has promised us it is not too late for America. That promise drives us like no other. It is why we are working tirelessly to get ready for a supernatural harvest.
It is true that much evil is spreading but God fiercely loves America and He will fight for her!  More than ever we ask for your prayers! We need to be bold, wise and full of the love of Jesus. Stay tuned for more detailed and exciting news in the coming days! We love you!

Silent Night

Christmas 2018 the winter of our discontent. A winter made colder by cynical thin-skinned extremists.  Socio-activists who need to hate everything, attach evil to everything, protest everything and dig up everything.
These cultural leeches suck the enjoyment and color out of every innocent and wonderful thing. They are eternally spoiling for a fight.
Can the song “Baby it’s cold outside” offend you unless you are truly cold inside? Why must you, on the night that a star athlete is winning the Heisman trophy, dredge up things he said as a 15-year-old? And why does USA Today publish that non-story as if it were a noble investigation?
The left seduces impressionable people. They dull their common sense. They disconnect their cord to reason.  They radicalize them in the furnace of artificial outrage. This bacteria of easily triggered anger oozes from the swamp in Washington. When leaders believe government workers should go without pay at Christmas to prove a point! “We believe national security is racist!”
The same deranged fervor, drives them to ban Manger Scenes. This is convenient for Washington.  Because where would they find 3 wise men anyway?
But these irritants are small compared to the convulsions in the world. The rumble of war in the distance. The threat to our way of life from economic uncertainty.
We don’t get a silent night this year…or do we? Should the child of God feel that evil has taken the high ground, the microphone, the power and everything good? Or is there a mighty secret we need to remember about this Holy Day?
The Holy Spirit just gave me a fresh meaning of Christmas. I needed it. I call this blog Silent Night because that is where this revelation hit me.
It was Christmas Eve 1818. The young priest of St. Nicholas parish church in Obendorf, Germany faced disaster. Mice had wrecked the church organ. There was no way to fix it before the service that night.
Father Joseph Mohr refused to give up. He pulled out a poem he had written several years before called “Stille Nacht.” He took that poem to Franz Xaver Gruber—a school master and organist in the next town. The priest asked Gruber to write a melody to go with the poem.
In a few hours it was done, and that night the carol Silent Night was played for the first time.
It hit me. How devastating it must have seemed to them that the organ was broken. But if the organ had been working, one of the greatest songs of all time—a song that has touched millions of souls—would never have been born.

In 1914, the Germans and French agreed to a Christmas truce. Yes, indeed they stopped fighting. They decided they needed to sing. The only Christmas song that both armies knew, was you guessed it, Silent Night.
It is easy for me to get frustrated. We have so many setbacks in soul winning. But I look back and see God making things out of those setbacks. I see breakthroughs that would never be if our original plans had not been ruined.
I look at America and see a moral decay that seems terminal. But millions are praying and have been praying. God will not forget those prayers. God haters beware—The Lord is a mighty warrior with shocking power and wisdom. He can rock this nation at any time. How do I know this?
One night my room grew unusually dark. A stench introduced the evil presence. “I will” the evil one said. “I will have them. I will addict them. I will pervert them. I will kill them.” Satan was talking about our children!
Just as suddenly, the presence of God flooded the room and swallowed the boasts of Satan, “But I will pour out of My Spirit on them and they shall prophesy.” I was awestruck but the presence and power of God. But what really impacted me was the ferocious zeal of the Lord to save America. He is not going let this nation go down without giving the devil the fight of his life. Never forget that on this Silent Night.
This song reminds us that a day that seems to spell disaster may be hiding a secret breakthrough. And, the seemingly insurmountable evil of a time still must bow and surrender to the mighty power of God. The world may sink into despair, but the child of God is upheld by the unseen but mighty hand of Almighty God.
Or as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:
“And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men
Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

MECHELLE AND I WISH YOU, AND THOSE YOU LOVE, THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER

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.