FINAL INSTRUCTIONS

 God is doing a secret work in our day. He is raising up a hungry people who are growing more and more dissatisfied with the fleshly, worldly system as it now exists—even in the church.

These God-hungry people are saying among themselves, “This is not it. There is something more. The bigness and the sensationalism of it all has left us empty and dry. We want more. More than entertainment. More than big, showy buildings. More than a shallow celebrity gospel. We want deeper values. We want to see Jesus. We want spotless robes of righteousness. We want to go back to doing things in total dependence on God.”

I see it all over the nation today — disillusioned Christians searching for reality. The people in the pew are beginning to fast and pray. They are the ones who now weep between the porch and the altar. And, they are crying out for more depth and more of eternal values from the pulpit. If the minister of their church goes on in some egocentric way, pursuing expensive dreams, they will go out looking for a place where their deepest spiritual needs will be met.

I know it to be a fact that numerous ministers share my own desperate hunger for a deeper work of God in the church and ministry today. There seems to be a secret underground network of men of God who are stripping themselves down, humbling themselves, and getting back into the secret closet of prayer. Recently I have met a number of ministers, of various denominations, who are praying up to 6 and 8 hours a day. They are fasting. Some of these dear men of God grieve over conditions in the church today. God is revealing to all praying people that a glorious new work of the Spirit is about to break forth. God is going to shake everything that can be shaken. He will tear down the old political, backslidden, ecclesiastical system. He will disown the formal, super-church structure. He will chase out of His presence all who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.

Be honest, saints of God. Are you really satisfied with the religious system today, and especially in your church? Some are. But most are not getting their needs met. I believe we have gotten off the track of true spirituality. The spiritual leanness of so many Christians today is a direct result of getting into the flesh — trying to do kingdom work in our own power, with worldly methods. Our values are becoming perverted.

Shame on us! We are substituting temporal values for eternal ones. We have evangelists and teachers who specialize in telling believers how much God owes them. Material blessings are magnified, spiritual ones minimized. According to some, it is our right to be rich, successful, and immune to all pain.

These teachers point to themselves as examples of prosperity. “Look at me,” it is said, “I have proved the promises. I live well. I am never sick — I have no unpaid bills. I drive the best cars. I live in the finest home. It works for me, so believe as I do and you can have what I have.”

Beloved, how much of that teaching will stand up before the judgment seat of Christ? There is a growing inner knowledge in me that most of our modern, self-centered teaching is going to be consumed before the flaming eyes of the Son of God.

John, in his vision of the Son of God, saw an awesome sight.

“…his head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire…” (Rev. 1:14).

John goes on to say,

“…I fell at his feet as dead…” (v.17).

Will any of us, as teachers and evangelists, be able to stand before those piercing eyes of flaming fire? Can any Christian look Him in the eyes? No ego can withstand His gaze. No self-centered dreams can go unexposed. All secret sin will be exposed as a terrible abomination in His sight.

All the things we have accumulated will burn. All the great works we have done for Him, with such zeal and sweat, will they also burn?

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How important is what you are doing to God’s kingdom? God can give you the desire of your heart, but send leanness to your soul. God assisted Israel in their desire to have a king. But He later disciplined them for their selfish motives.

Are you in some kind of competitive race? Are you doing things for God just to keep up with others? In eternity, looking back—how really necessary will it all be then?

Children of God, what is the good of what you and I are doing? Do we have motives based on eternal values? If we truly believe the end of all things is upon us, what should we be doing about purging our values? What is it going to take to wake us up and get us out of the drift toward ease and comfort?

I confess to you that it has taken years for me to live only for eternal values. I grieve when I think back of the time and money I wasted trying to build something tangible for God. I wanted something people could see. How important I thought those buildings were to God’s kingdom. I convinced myself, “God deserves the best.” He does—but not in bricks, mortar, and steel—He deserves the best of our time and yieldedness. Thank God for the day the Spirit revealed to me how shallow my values were! I spent 20 years planning programs, building buildings, running all over the world trying to show God how important to His kingdom I was. All the while my reputation grew as a minister of faith and vision. Yet, after each new project, I felt a letdown. No sooner was one building finished, and I was already planning another. I was an idea-man for God. I had more ideas than any preacher in America. Ideas on how to evangelize. How to organize New Testament programs. The programs and ideas were successful enough to entrap me and keep me on the treadmill of busy-ness.

But all along my heart yearned for more. I knew the blessing was not in building. Not in some well-planned scheme to reach the lost. Not in bigness, and not in activity. I discovered the hard way, that the glory of God, the peace and joy of the Spirit, was in being stripped down, emptied, and made totally weak. God had to expose all my values. He turned His flaming eyes on my soul and showed me I had better reject my old way of doing things, or be lost in a maze of self-imposed activity.

Now, my greatest joy is waiting upon Him for direction. I have made time to be alone with Him, and have prepared my soul to abide in His quiet presence. He is letting me sense what the Spirit is saying to this generation. The more He empties me, the more He fills me with a desire to depend only on Him for everything. I see now that all along the Lord was waiting for me to lay down all my plans, all my ambitions, and be given over to Him as a bondslave. The sweat is now gone – the pressure is off. He is recreating all my values.

The Final Shaking

What will happen when God begins to shake everything that can be shaken? When all false values tumble and earthly dreams and plans lose their meaning?

Sadly, many of God’s children are going to end up bewildered and confused. As the world moves into the era of economic collapse – when persecution falls even upon civilized nations – when governments are convulsing and tottering on the brink of total collapse — how many Christians will survive the test?

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A lot of God’s people are going to wonder where they are. Ministers who are caught up in the trap of human vision will leave the ministry confused, all their work to no avail. Multitudes will be asking, “What’s it all about? What’s happening? What does the future hold? Where are we? Who can tell us the mind of God?”

We are now moving swiftly into what we know as the end time. We had better be in possession of a heavenly vision of holiness and humility. The testing time is coming down upon us with lightning speed. It is going to take more than a doctrine or a particular teaching to see us through. We are going to have to really know the Lord in His fullness. We had better have our eyes on eternal values. Only spiritual things are going to remain. Only spiritual people will understand what is happening and not faint. We must be linked up with the mind of the Spirit so we will not be thrown by the radical changes that are coming. We must bring ourselves, to the place we have nothing to lose. We need to walk away from all the junk in our lives — we are going to lose it all anyhow.

How much of God do you possess in this final hour of disintegration and fear? How earthly are you? How transitory are your desires? Have your values been sifted and purged by the Spirit of almighty God? How much of the world interests you — how much time is consumed in chasing after things that don’t matter now?

End-Time Restlessness

You will know when the Spirit is calling you out of the shallow Christianity about you. You will know when the Lord is wanting to touch you in a supernatural way. You will know when He is calling you out of the ordinary. He will stir your nest. An unexplainable divine restlessness will come upon you. You will become disinterested in what you have been doing. All your successes will leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled. Nothing that you have or do will meet the need in you for reality. You will sense that a very deep need in you has not yet been met — questions that have never been answered. A shadow of dissatisfaction will be cast over your entire life.

That is a mark of God’s dealing with you in a supernatural way, trying to get you to turn loose of all that you hold dear. It is His way of showing you that your needs are really spiritual and not physical.

You will feel His magnetic pull back to prayer — back to spiritual hunger, to broken-ness and self-emptying. Soon, you will be touching those satisfying eternal values and your soul will cry out, “This is what I’ve been wanting all along. He has taken away the earthly and replaced it with the spiritual.”

Saints, the key word is hunger. He has promised to fill the hungry heart. I have never been so hungry for God. That hunger almost overwhelms me at times. Every waking hour my heart reaches out to Him. Because His thoughts are always on my mind, the things of the world have lost their value. I see things as Paul did — nothing but the dung of this world. I am becoming a nobody—it feels so good.

Do you also sense this call to a deeper walk with God? Is your soul hungry for more of the Spirit in your life? If so, end the civil war in you — by yielding everything you have to the Master. The misery goes the very moment you surrender all to Him. You can know true peace and happiness the moment you quit trying to be somebody. Want nothing but Jesus, and your life will take on a new meaning.

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Don’t Waste Another Hour

My greatest grief is that it took so long for me to get out of God’s way. I wasted years doing things simply out of compassion. I was spiritually blind, not knowing that God must clearly direct every step I take. I had an international pulpit — preaching to thousands — with crowded altars. Thank God He showed me there was much more. The numbers and the crowds meant nothing. I wanted to see people get deeper into the Lord. I wanted nothing more to do with shallow decisions. God had to totally change my way of thinking, and now, like Gideon, I know that big is not always best.

Don’t let it happen to you. Take stock of your life and values. Shut yourself up with God alone in the secret closet. Pray diligently for spiritual hunger. Ask God to give you a spirit of sorrow for wasting so much time. Pray for a greater desire for His Word. Pray for a broken heart. Pray for a purging and a purifying work in your life. Then get ready to be cast into the fire of testing.

“…I will purge the sons of Levi…” (Mal. 3:3)

I can tell you it’s worth it! The purging will not seem joyous, but rather grievous. But you will soon glorify the Lord for the results in your life. All the anxiety will be gone. All worldly ambition will die. Your spiritual eyes will be opened to truth. The Spirit will give you revelation knowledge. You will exchange the riches of this world for the true riches of Christ Jesus. You will wake up each morning with an over-flowing joy. Your soul will cry out “I found what my soul has been longing for. Rest–beautiful rest in my Lord.”

You can then say with David, the Psalmist — “In his presence is there is fullness of joy; at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore…” (Ps.16:11).

Proof Scriptures

“…for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ So then everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God…”(Rom. 14:10-12).

“…The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer…” (I Pet. 4:7).

“… The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light…” (Rom. 13:12).

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build, upon this foundation gold stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire…” (I Cor. 3: 11-15).

CHRISTIAN LEADERS WHO DRINK

 

You can accuse me of writing this because of the widespread abuse of alcohol by ministers—but that is not the case.  You can call me judgmental and again you would be mistaken.   I am certain I will be attacked by those who believe I have gone too far and by those who believe I have not gone far enough.  Nevertheless, I must obey God.

I believe the Holy Spirit is raising this issue because America is teetering on the edge of disaster.  We can all see that the Bible, Christianity, Israel, and American values—the values that keep us alive—are under an all-out attack.  Time is running out for our nation.

Jesus is on the hunt for special vessels.  He is looking for someone to demonstrate power on a level we have not yet seen.  To have authority for miracles that are beyond what we have seen or heard.

I am convinced God is calling those who would be excellent, and powerful in the Spirit, to stop drinking alcohol…including beer.   Not out of legalism—not out of condemnation but because of this one phrase: IT IS NOT FOR YOU. 

Proverbs 31: 4,5 tells us, “It is not for kings, Lemuel—it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.”

Wait, what?  Does it really say If you would be a king, or a ruler, then wine and beer are not for you?  Yes, it does.

Can you drink?  Of course, you can.  You can live in the elementary level that says it’s okay so long as you don’t get drunk.  However, in this hour—if you want all that God has for you—it is not for you.

Fine, be a casual drinker, but if you yearn for a deeper level of power and true revival—it is not for you.

It may be okay for others, but if you want to see the notable miracles—the ones that quake cities and alter generations—then it is not for you.

The clue to this new call to a higher personal purity is seen in the next verses: Proverbs 31:6 “Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! 7 Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”

Is the Bible telling us that alcohol is for death and misery?  At the very least that should give us pause to ask, “why am I drinking?”  Or, “do I really need this.”  And finally, “what am I trying to prove by taking this liberty?”  If you find you are defending it beyond reason, then you must consider the specter of a drinking habit growing out of control.

Many who oppose ministers who drink do make this salient point: “If one of my congregation is a recovering alcoholic and sees me having a glass of wine in public, it could trigger them to start drinking again.  I may be able to handle it, but they can’t.”

While I totally agree with that, the real issue goes much deeper. That good argument does not address private drinking.   You must give it up for Christ not public appearance.

Of course, there are many other issues we need to cover including nutrition, wholesome conversation, financial integrity, sexual purity to name a few…but right now, the enemy is capitalizing on the subtly of alcohol to plateau and even destroy the power of vessels of God.

You know you want power.  You know you yearn for a greater presence of God on your life.  Don’t let a crude habit sabotage your destiny.  Remember, a real disciple gives up what they want now, for what they want most.

Revival or Civil War?

Trump is being investigated.  They claim he colluded with the Russians.  They claim he rigged an election.  Here is the hair pulling part of this:  We now know—without an investigation—Hillary did both of those things.

Revival or Civil War?

By Mario Murillo

After months of digging, the special prosecutor has turned up nothing linking Trump to any Russian, to any rigging, to any…anything.   Yet, investigators continue to claim they are about to find something.

Meanwhile, a gigantic something—the mastodon in the room—is ignored.  They simply refuse to investigate Hillary Clinton.  Hillary is so smug, that to this hour, she continues to accuse Trump collusion and rigging.

What has possessed the political elite to alter reality?  What mental defect has gripped the fake new media that they can do this without any pang of conscience?  How can they disregard the destruction they are heaping on America?  The focus of this blog is not Hillary but how the treatment of this situation highlights our moral disaster.  The Bible tells us how we got to this point.

Jesus said, “they strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”  But another Bible verse hits even closer to home.  Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

I bring up Hillary because she is symptomatic of what is killing the American soul.  It is a madness that is bringing us to the brink of civil war.  Indeed, Isaiah was warning those who call evil good and good evil of something very perilous: After you sin long enough, God judges you with a mind that reverses right and wrong, good and evil and yes, sanity and insanity.

You need to read all of Isaiah Chapter 5.  It is an eerie parallel to America right now.  Matthew Henry said about Isaiah 5, “In this chapter the prophet, in God’s name, shows the people of God their transgressions, even the house of Jacob their sins, and the judgments which were likely to be brought upon them for their sins…Covetousness, and greediness of worldly wealth, which shall be punished with famine (v. 8-10) 2. Rioting, revelling, and drunkenness (v. 11v. 12v. 22v. 23), which shall be punished with captivity and all the miseries that attend it (v. 13-17). Presumption in sin, and defying the justice of God (v. 18v. 19). Confounding the distinctions between virtue and vice, and so undermining the principles of religion (v. 20). Self-conceit (v. 21). Perverting justice, for which, and the other instances of reigning wickedness among them, a great and general desolation in threatened, which should lay all waste (v. 24v. 25), and which should be effected by a foreign invasion.”

I am convinced that America is down to 2 options:  Revival or Civil war.  Yes, you heard me right.  Millions of Americans staunchly support Trump—though they have been beaten into silence they are fervent in their commitment to our president.

They see injustice not only directed at Trump, but at their faith, their values, freedoms and their loved ones.  They understand political correctness to be the cancer of our times.

They see a small, vocal, activist cadre controlling most of what we see and hear.  They see free speech fading—they see morals vanishing—they see tyranny as Antifa is declaring violent warfare on American citizens.

With all my might, in this explosive hour, I am compelling everyone who will listen that revival is something that should be uniting every Christian.  The urgency of national repentance cannot be over stated—neither can the power of God.

What I am trying to say, in this blog, is that the mindset, that reverses light and darkness, good and evil has overtaken us because of our wickedness.

If we do not harness the anger of millions fed up with all of the perversion of truth—if we do not channel it into a moral awakening—it will lead to civil disruption on a scale too terrible to describe.

Let us drop all of our foolish distractions and provoke fervent prayer—church gatherings full of fire and love, pulpits peopled by preachers who thunder unvarnished truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Time is almost up.  A fuse is about to be lit.  God help us to light the right one.

ARE MEGA CHURCHES NOW A DISTRACTION TO REVIVAL?

Do you believe current church trends  will rescue our nation?  My guess is you don’t.  If you don’t, you are not alone.  A growing number of believers—many of whom will not say it out loud—question the value of attraction churches.

One day, I sat with some “hot names” in church growth in southern California.  We had talked a lot about styles of worship, preaching and marketing.  Being older than most of them, I felt a little bold.  I asked them: “Can any of you give me the name of a mega church in Los Angeles in 1906? “

Not one of them could come up with a name.  Then I said, “but you all remember the Azusa Street Revival, right?  Why is that?”  Because history remembers revivals and forgets mega churches.”  The reason is simple; revivals make history by reforming society.

Those who praise the glories of mega churches never mention how they have no impact on cultural sin.  In this golden age of mega churches, society is experiencing its greatest moral landslide.   On their watch, the number of people who claim to be atheists has doubled.  More anti-God legislation has been enacted than any other time in our history.

But do churches bear any responsibility for the moral landslide of a nation?  Charles G. Finney sure thought so!   He said, “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are about to fall away, the pulpit is responsible.”

Some will say it is not fair to ask mega churches to reverse national destruction.   But you also can’t have it both ways.  You can’t go around extolling the wonders of these mammoth ministry centers and then say they can’t fix the nation.  If they can’t fix the only thing that needs fixing, what is the point?

But people point out, “They produce musicals as good as Broadway” Or, “They give the average person hope” These achievements ring hollow.  In a simpler time, they would be impressive.  Not today.

This is no time for entertainment.  This is no time for mild cures. Society’s condition has forced rule changes.  A demon possessed culture needs a church with power to cast out devils.  A culture reeling with unimaginable addictions needs a church were the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fire of God is plainly presented.

Are these churches a distraction to revival?  Let me offer this parable about distraction.  A college football team is losing their homecoming game. Badly.  Halftime is a welcome break.  The people are relieved when the marching band takes the field.

The band leader sees how much the people are enjoying the distraction.  He decides “we don’t need a second half; it is a good thing to just keep the show going.”

The lyrics of American Pie put it this way, “Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance ‘Cause the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed The day the music died?”

You, dear leader of a mega church, must ask yourself, is my church the band that refuses to yield.  Is my mega ministry a distracting substitute for revival?  Am I keeping the church from starting the second half?

The Bible asks painful questions about times.  Elisha’s servant Gehazi secretly took money and clothes from General Naaman after Naaman was healed of leprosy.  Elisha asked Gehazi, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?”-2 Kings 5:26,26

In a time of mass murder, mass suicide, of hurricanes floods, and fire, is it time for pastors to parade wealth, and grant mild cures?

Haggai asked another painful question: “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” -Haggai 1:4  The modern application for this is simple:  Pastor, are you building a personal empire, or the Kingdom of God?  Will you allow a nation to go down in flames while you live in a bubble of false victory? 

If we can truly confess that babble has replaced the Bible—that self-enhancement has replaced self-denial –that marketing has replaced miracles—and unconditionally surrender to the Holy Spirit, God will turn our churches into fire-breathing, nation-changing powerhouses.

WHAT IS UP WITH THIS SIGN?

What possessed a church to put up a sign like this in a cynical and cold world, especially in Los Angeles?  But is that right?  Is it right to offer hope to those who medical science cannot help?  Is it right to raise expectations to those who have given up on everything else?

What is up with this sign? Is it right to offer  miracle healing to a skeptical public?

By Mario Murillo 

When that young campus radical put his hands on my throat, I know, neither he, nor I, understood the rage in his hands.  Evil understood clearly what was at stake.  It knows the souls that can be saved, and the bodies that would be healed, if any miracle ministry, anywhere, is born.

In a moment, i’ll explain why my mind races back to that fateful day in Berkeley.

All afternoon I paced and prayed on the hillside above the campus of 44,000 students.  Two violent forces were colliding within me.  The burning question?  How do I reach a generation of students bent on Marxist revolution?  What reminded me of that day?   The fact that we now dealing with a generation that is, once again, bent on Marxist revolution.

On that hill, so many years ago, one inner voice argued that I must study the great modern apologists of the faith.  I should immerse myself in Francis Schaeffer, C.S. Lewis, and G.K. Chesterton.   The other voice said simply, “it is not by might nor by power but by my spirit.”

That night I would get my answer–emphatically.   It happened in front of the Student Union Building of Cal Berkeley at about 11PM.   I was sharing my “apologetic faith” with a flower child.  In the darkness, I could not see the angry radical who was stealing up behind me.

This atheist Goliath grabbed me by the neck and proceeded to choke the life out of me. Now the words of great Christian intellectuals were useless.  There was a demon fueling his rage.

God ordered me to take my stand in the power of the Spirit. In my own faltering way I did.   My assailant suddenly stopped and stood stunned by something behind me in the shadows.  To this day I do not know what startled him, I only know that I ran, and as I ran I affirmed my commitment to the Supernatural Gospel of Christ.

first miracle services in Berkeley

That what when we began telling people they could come and be healed.  But is that right?  Is it right to offer hope to those who medical science cannot help?  Is it right to raise expectations to those who have given up on everything else?

The world began to change when Jesus stood and read these words from the book of Isaiah:  Luke 4: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

1. He was hanging out a shingle:   When you start a business you do what is called hanging out a shingle.    A Shingle is a small signboard that indicates a professional office. The world began to change when Jesus stood and read these words.

He was announcing the start and the content of His miracle ministry and He did it publicly.   Here are 6 targets of His ministry:

Give good news to the poor.

Heal the broken hearted.

Proclaim liberty to the captives.

Recovery of sight to the blind.

To set at liberty those who are oppressed.

To declare the time of God’s favor.

2.  He announces by what authority He is announcing this.

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  What an astounding statement that is!   Every Jew knew that verse.  Everyone in Israel has been waiting for that verse to be fulfilled and Jesus flat out says that He is fulfilling it. Talk about raising the hopes of the people!

Yet it is right that He does this so that the miracles can be released.  And that is precisely what the Church of Jesus should do.  We must go public about the resurrection of Jesus did to the works of Satan and all of the benefits of the Gospel.

3.  God was with Him in this project. Acts 10:38 says, “Jesus went about doing good healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.  Jesus was not acting on His own initiative.

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Likewise, we are the continuation of Christ’s war on the works of Satan.  We too must make a public announcement, we must set the time and the place that the Holy Spirit has designated for the supernatural to appear.

Having settled the question in Berkeley we announced our first healing rally.  I was such a newbie that I stood in front of the audience frozen in fear.  What I did not know yet is that God rewards those who show up for war.

In the crowd was a young man lying unconscious on a couch at the back of the chapel.  He had shot a mixture of LSD and Heroin and it made him comatose.   Supernaturally, he woke up and his symptoms vanished.   He came to the front and knelt in utter adoration of God.   This single healing launched ten years of harvest on that university campus.

So today I am in prayer because we have gone very public in the Inland Empire of Southern California.  Thousands of card invitations have been given directly to the public and they plainly state that miracles will happen in the meetings.

If this was a human endeavor I would be panicking right now instead I am clothed with a divine peace.  Nothing man can say or do will be able to undo the conviction that I feel that this is a God event.

Let Church leadership everywhere listen from their heart.  If ever I knew that Jesus was trying to get a message through it is this:  Seek Him now.  Set a date at His bidding.  Prepare your people for signs and wonders.  Vow to give all glory to God.  Invite to public to come and see the awesomeness of our God!

At some point, we must offend.

There are reasons the original 12 were so bold.  There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may.  They understood that at some point, they must offend.  They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons.  Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend.  They just don’t get it.

At some point, we must offend

By Mario Murillo

There are reasons the original 12 were so bold.  There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may.  They understood that at some point, they must offend.  They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons.  Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend.  They just don’t get it.  Here is how A.W. Tozer described the true preacher, “they serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.”

Before some lazy reader jumps to a wrong conclusion let me say—we are not to try to offend.  We are not to give offense.  My point is that leaving truth out to avoid offending is a disaster—when it is wildly successful, it is an even greater disaster.  Spurgeon said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout ‘Well done’ to a Christian man.”

It is a great evil when congregations reward you, yea enrich you, and raise you to superstar status because you keep God’s rightful demands off them.

When you take aim at a vastly successful far-flung enterprise, you are easily rejected because how can you deny its effectiveness?  How can you keep from sounding petty and jealous?

The reason it is hard to see why it is valid to criticize attraction churches is because we don’t know what might have been.  We don’t know how America would look like today had we obeyed the Holy Spirit instead of the laws of marketing.

They did not offend and they also did not stop the moral avalanche.  On their watch, we lost marriage—we lost millions of unborn—we lost so much that we cannot even recognize America.  And most ironically, after all the efforts to avoid offending, the public hates the church more than ever.

Here are the reasons we must offend:

Preaching the entire Gospel releases power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Romans 1: 16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”

Why is the phrase power of God in two verses that deal with the offense of the Gospel?  Why would Paul even use the qualifier “I am not ashamed?”  Because, as a top-flight intellectual, he was keenly aware of the parts of the Gospel that tweak the human brain, and offend “proper society.”  He welcomes the tweak because it releases great power.

The American Church has a day of reckoning with American culture.  The clash is inevitable because our society has become an open sewer, a bastion of banality where madness has the microphone.  We have the one message that should not be hidden or redacted.

When the suffering soul tastes peace that passes understanding, and joy unspeakable—when marriages are healed—when suicidal teenagers are filled with a will to live—when the lame walk, the blind see, cancers vanish and addictions break in one-step instead of 12, then the Cross, the Blood, and repentance become—what they truly are: the best thing humanity has ever heard.   We must offend in order to heal.

THE AMERICAN MIRACLE: ARE YOU FINALLY READY?

So what if some think I am crazy?  So what if saying “an American miracle”  makes even some Christian leaders mad? I am asked all the time what it would take…so if you are finally ready—if you are willing to leave the turkeys and fly with the eagles—here is what you do…

If you are finally ready

By Mario Murillo

“I wish you would give us an answer for America.”  I hear that a lot!   Oh the answer is out there alright, but you have to be ready.  Many believe that they are ready but they are not.

To be ready means an unshakable passion for change.  The sorcerer tried to buy from Peter the power to impart the Holy Spirit.  Peter said, “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God” – Acts 8:21. The daily behavior of millions of Christians and pastors prove they are not ready.

If you are playing games you are not ready.  Seeker churches are playing a marketing game.  They will never be a force for change in our culture; unless of course, someone invents a way to have moral awakening without repentance.

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The hyper-emotional churches are not ready either.  They are also playing games.  Fire tunnels and prophetic conferences can–if not balanced into actual soul-sinning–easily degenerate a version of Dungeons and Dragons.  Those who chase blessings and “words” are worse than unready, they are immobilized.  They are play-acting at revival.

Do lost souls, national sin, and the loss of our constitution deeply matter to you?   If they do not, God will not enroll you to save America.  How could He?  If you shy away from reality and say silly things like, “I don’t want to know what is going on, it is too depressing,” then you have no part in the solution.

Here are the people who are ready: Pastors who want to influence the culture more than they want a big church are ready.  Pastors who are passionate for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and cannot live without winning the lost, are ready.   Christians, who are clear that America will soon die without revival, are ready. What is the most urgent sign that you are ready?  The answer is an unambiguous conviction to pursue revival even if no one else joins you.  God is not waiting for the church.  He will start without them.   All He needs is one willing vessel.

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The one willing vessel will unlock awesome power by confessing, “I will do whatever it takes for however long it takes.”  What makes this idea come alive is something called the Stockdale Paradox.  Here is an excerpt from Good to Great written by Jim Collins: The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking United States military officer in the “Hanoi  

Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over 20 times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973,

Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. “Here I am sitting in my warm and comfortable office, looking out over the beautiful Stanford campus on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I’m getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus.

afternoon. I’m getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus.

If it feels depressing for me, how on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?” “I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

I didn’t say anything for many minutes, and we continued the slow walk toward the faculty club, Stockdale limping and arc-swinging his stiff leg that had never fully recovered from repeated torture. Finally, after about a hundred meters of silence, I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?” “Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.” “The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused, given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier. “The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Another long pause, and more walking. Then he turned to me and said, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”Blog 3Why is this Paradox so important to the American church right now?  The answer is the last several years.  These are years that shattered Pollyanna doctrines and fluff faith.  We never dreamed it could get this bad this fast. Our version of optimists has left the church.  They have fallen away because of persecution.

The remnant is ready for untold power if it heeds this lesson: Things are bad, really bad; deal with it.  But never, ever lose faith in the arrival of revival.  Embrace the facts no matter how brutal they seem and at the same time believe with all of your might that everything you are doing to see the power of God released on America will be rewarded. When you pray, God will hear.  When you speak out people will listen.  No matter how unpromising your action feels now, keep going because “there is no restraint with God to save by few or to save by many!”  Hallelujah!