STRIKING AT THE HEART OF EVIL AND DESPAIR

When Josh and I drove to the tent, we passed a junkyard.  We saw police with guns drawn.  We knew then we were in the right place—our place.  We are in Stockton, California—one of the nation’s hardest hit cities for violence, poverty and addiction.  We are partnering with Frank Saldana and Inner-City Action.

What God is doing in Stockton is awesome.  The crowds are seeing proof of the power of Jesus.  The miracles are compelling.  Many souls are saved and bodies healed.  However, this blog is about something  way beyond  Stockton.

The real message of this letter is epitomized by this phrase: Striking at the heart of evil and despair.  A great urgency grips me.  I believe our nation teeters on the edge.  Satan wants to blow out the flickering candle of the Gospel here at home.  The Body of Christ is almost totally unprepared for a coming storm because they are feeding on fluff.  The denial that most believers live in today is horrifying.

The signs and wonders revival with Inner-City Action continues until May 27.  Check out the poster for more information about guest speakers and details.

I thank God that this letter is going out to believers who do get it—who want to broom away religious cobwebs and obey God.  The American church needs a dynamic reeducation.

American Christianity needs electrode paddles to the chest.  But you cannot wait for that!  You, right where you are, need to become a weapon that strikes at the heart of evil.  To strike at the heart of evil and despair, do these things:

  1. Face reality! American Christians assume the problem will stay in the inner city. The fire that rages in our inner cities is not going to stay there. This fire is burning its way towards your house right now.  Unchecked, this fire will burn down the whole nation.

A straight-A high school student—with no ties to gangs or drugs—walks out of a convenience store into a hail of bullets.  When I found out about this senseless killing, I asked how it could happen.  The answer was, “He was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Then it hit me like a Mack truck:  Satan is turning entire cities into THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME.

  1. Wake up to the work: We are not doing a good work—we are doing the work. A well-meaning Christian said, “Mario, you are doing a good work.” I gently corrected him by showing him how other Christians misuse that phrase.

If someone says, “You are doing a good work,” it is often code for, “I am glad I don’t have to do what you are doing.”  The connotation is: this is a special work and not for everyone.  But it is for everyone.  Saving America is every believer’s business.  Getting filled with the Holy Ghost to serve is the mandate for every child of God.  We are not doing a good work—we are doing THE WORK.

Years of bad teaching coaxed the church away from the real work.  The self-entitlement gospel changed the focus to self-fulfillment instead of fulfilling the great commission.  That is one big reason we woke up to an America we can’t recognize.

What do we have to show for this compromise?  We gained a system that harmlessly herds thousands of Christians into impressive campuses but we lost an entire generation, our values and soon—without a miracle, our freedom.

Jesus said in John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

  1. God is forging us—you and me—to be the people He has been looking for.

If Church history teaches us anything, it teaches us that God waits for someone to rise in the Name of Jesus and thrust a spear into the heart of evil.  God is always on the hunt for people who will heed His call to action:

Ezekiel 22:30 — So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

Isaiah 63:5 — I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.

1 Samuel 14: 6 — Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

Too many servants of God are powerless—sitting out this great battle—because they refuse to pay the price for a miracle-working anointing.  They circle around the problem but never strike it directly.  They have no heart for war.

  1. Paying the price means you don’t stop no matter what. Remember I told you we would target 10 cities? We targeted them alright, but we were shocked by the blow- back from the enemy.

In one city, we walked into a firestorm of divided churches, violent gangs, and massive apathy among the Christians.  The result was a disappointing event.

This setback hit me hard, but it points out a reality of spiritual warfare: perseverance.   Are we willing to learn from our errors, get back up and attack again with greater force than ever?  Are we ready to keep going no matter what?  The thought of backing off when a nation and lost souls hang in the balance is too terrible to consider.

Evangelists are supposed to give glowing reports filled with pictures that make donors feel their money is well invested.  Are you also willing to weep with us in our disappointments?  Will you stay with me if the vision takes a little longer than we first imagined?  Will you trust my honesty about our progress?

Are you willing to see how some important victories can’t be quantified in numbers and pictures?   After we work with a church, young pastors become permanent revivalists—our workshops jettison hundreds of Christians out of apathy and mediocrity—we mentor other outreach ministries to make them bolder and more effective.

I am not saying we won’t see massive outreaches…those are in the works.  What I am saying is that the battle is fierce—we must be fiercer than the battle.  I never told you this would be easy…but I know it will be glorious.

Now I want to offer one last question.  It is a question that means the world to me:

  1. Are we doing what we say we do? Every ministry should continually ask itself, “Are we doing what we say we do?” If I write you a letter, can I say without hesitation, we are doing what we say we do?

A ministry must always manage itself toward an outcome.  What is the outcome of our efforts?  Why are we doing this?  Do our actions take us to the goal God gave us?  Are we willing to cast everything aside—even good things—if it does not take us to our goal?

When it comes to conviction—when it comes to dedication and hard work—I will put my staff ahead of anyone.  Are we doing enough?  We are desperate to do much, much more. Are we as effective as we want to be?  Not nearly, but we will be.  The answer is summed up this way: We will strike at the heart of evil and despair.

Tonight we begin a tour that will hit Northern California in a way that it has not been hit before.

 

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Tonight we begin a tour that will hit Northern California in a way that it has not been hit before.   Yes, there have been countless worthy attempts to preach the Gospel to this unique region of the world…but nothing like this.

So what is different about these events compared to the many that have happened before?  The difference is summed up in the title of the event: LIVING PROOF.

For starters, we are thrilled to introduce Jennifer Azzato to lead worship and her gift is something new to this region. The term living proof evokes the right picture, an image of proof that is alive.  In the purest sense of the word that is what you and I are.  Jesus said that we would be a witness, meaning that we are walking, talking breathing evidence of the power and love of God.

Romans 12: 1 beseeches us to “present our bodies a living sacrifice wholly acceptable unto God that we may prove…”

living proof generic

That theme of proof is also affirmed in Acts 17:31 says, “because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Why is this tour different?  It is different because it faces the realities that are the key to this moment in American history.

1. America is no longer a Christian nation.  We have lost an entire generation.  Arguing about why this happened and assigning blame only wastes precious time.  It is what it is, and we cannot stay in denial.    We have to dust ourselves off and get fresh marching orders.  America is a new mission field and it demands a new strategy.

2.  Fresh miracles are the order of the day.   Because America is a pagan nation we must revert to a Book of Acts mind set.  Christ wants to do miracles to lay a fresh foundation of faith in the Bible.   By recognizing that the ills of society are works of Satan, we unleash power to see those works destroyed.

3.  Miracles set the stage for clear preaching.   Everything has been redefined so that our children do not know the God who made our nation great.  It is not enough for preaching to be interesting, it must also set the record straight.  Luke 21:15 says,“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”

In each and every night of this tour we will follow these edicts.  These are nights where worship will invoke a change in the atmosphere, miracles will break the chains and preaching will command souls to leave the darkness and follow Christ.

Let all of the family of God in Northern California seize this  great opportunity.  Come and bring those who need living proof.    To all of our partners and friends across America take heart!  We are going to be taking this message all corners of our nation.    Please pray for this historic outreach.

 Living Proof calendar blog

Good Friday April 18 marks the beginning of a remarkable tour.

 

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You want to know the truth?  They went after our children with a vengeance unseen in history.  A harem of Hollywood operatives seduced them.  A battery of activist University Professors bullied them.  A malignant media provided a smoke screen and a poisoned well of politicians flat-out lied to them. The younger generation was seduced by promises of a better life.  

But the God haters took it to another level by turning moral teaching into hate speech.  George Orwell said, “In times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”  

Isaiah said, “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” -Isaiah 5:18-22

George did not mean revolutionary in the way we have come to use it i.e. “a revolutionary way to wax your car.”  He meant that those who spoke the truth would be deemed enemies of the state.

Listen to Charles Krauthammer, “The left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

“The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian,” he explains. “It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced.”

Because of this and many other factors experts say American youth are a lost cause to Christianity.  How can we expect to counter the onslaught of modern evil and win the young?  How can we expect to compete with such monstrous power?

The answer is to take a closer look!  If you do you will see that a door of opportunity has opened.  Youth have seen the beast!  They are feeling the aftermath.  The brave new world of justice and prosperity never dawned.  The equality never transpired, for that matter neither did the medical coverage, the prosperity or the promised of hope and change.  What they do see is an angry self-serving tyranny that has endangered their future.

souls in San Jose

 

The wreckage of his administration and the cruelty of his actions toward political enemies are now painfully clear to youth in America.

In a detailed, national poll released last month by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, nearly half of young voters said they would recall President Obama if they could. Think of that!

There is a great door opening to us and here is what we are going to do about it.

Good Friday April 18 marks the beginning of a remarkable tour.  Mario Murillo and Jennifer Azzato will team up to bring Living Proof to Northern California.  Living Proof is not just a slogan but the literal goal of this tour.  In each and every city that is included in this tour will come a night where the claim that Christ is the Son of God will be backed up with miracles.

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As we see it, California leads the nation in this deception and this is where we need the miracle to start.

We need to declare truth!  The problem is not global warming…it is moral cooling.   We need miracles that will verify God’s love.   This tour provides the atmosphere for supernatural evidence to touch all who are willing to receive.  These are not nights to debate the existence of God but to experience the power of God.

The enemy we face is sophisticated, organized and well-funded.  Any endeavor with a human origin is doomed from the start.   Going forward, we must saturate our plans in prayer and only apply solutions from the Holy Spirit.  The ideas must come from Him. We will find the strategies we need, the words that will silence our enemy and the miracles that will confirm and convince a secular generation.

Join us in prayer and if you live within driving distance of one of these Living Proof events bring someone who needs Christ or a healing miracle.   Here is the Calendar of events:

Living Proof calendar blog