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True Prophets

[It is difficult to write a short, one-page description of what a true prophet is in contrast to the swarm of false prophets that have infiltrated the Church. Nevertheless, in an attempt for brevity and clarity, I have listed a few characteristics without padding it with too many examples and scriptures. I hope this is easy, clear, and concise.]

1) A true prophet is determined first of all by his message.

It is what he says that sets him apart from false prophets. A true prophet is called to preach against sin and call the people of God to repentance. His voice is always aimed at the false religion that is infiltrated into the true religion.

“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.“(Micah 3:8)

A false prophet, on the other hand, never preaches about repentance (Jer.23:14, 17), but his message is always targeted on the “smooth things” that people want to hear.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”  2 Timothy 4:3

2) A true prophet is also known by his attitude – how he says it.

A true prophet is never part of the crowd and does not care what anyone thinks. He is not like everyone else and cannot “fit in”. He walks to a different rhythm and hears a different melody. In order to deliver the message that God has given him, he cannot be affected in any way by the opinions of others or what the crowd believes is right.  As a result, true prophets rarely care about softening their message to accommodate their listeners. They simply do not care what others think of them.

3) A true prophet has a solitary walk.

He walks alone with God. He hears only God; no one else.  A.W. Tozer wrote, “In order for God to use a man, he has to be separated so that God can speak to him in such a way that the man can hear God. Only the man who can hear God can speak for God.” It is part of his consecrated walk. In order to clearly hear the true voice of God, there must be silence so that he may abide in that “secret place of the Most High”. Elijah had his cave on Mount Horeb, Joseph had his prison, Jacob his 21 years under Laban, and Jesus his 40 days in the wilderness. These are places you can only go through alone, but it is in those valleys that true prophets find the depth of their calling and the deep fellowship with the Cross. It is a filter that false prophets cannot pass.

4) A true prophet is known by his personality and perspective on life.

Prophets are not celebrities. God calls them out of obscurity so that it is the message that gets the attention, not the messenger. Jesus said that no prophet receives honor in their own country. When you find a so-called prophet who is greatly honored and celebrated, and whose books are on the Best Seller list, check on his message. More often than not, the reason everyone likes him is because he is telling them what they want to hear.

“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” (1 John 4:5)

5) A true prophet is known by his purpose – what his job is.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”  Ezekiel 22:30

Prophets are called to stand in the gaps of the walls that are broken down to hold back the judgments of God. (Eze. 22:30). Those walls are the defenses surrounding the Church that are supposed to hold back the enemy. When they are broken down through sin, the church is left defenseless against the destruction of Satan.

Prophets are not called to be Gypsies or horoscope fortune tellers. Their job is to stand in the gaps and rebuild the wall so they can bring the people back to righteousness and renew their proper relationship with God.

6) A true prophet cannot be cultivated or taught; he has to be called by God.

A.W.Tozer said, “Only God can prepare a prophet to do the ministry of a prophet. The schools of the prophet never produced an Elijah or an Elisha.” That’s because they weren’t schools. The Hebrew word used in Kings and Chronicles means an organization or group, as in a school of fish, not an educational institution. You can’t teach someone how to be a prophet. A true prophet is called by God. He does not call himself.

7) A true prophet is always aware of the presence of God and must walk a consecrated walk without sin.

Elijah had a sense that God was standing right behind him (“…the Lord God, before whom I stand…”), watching everything he did. He didn’t dare cross the line into worldliness and sin. Because of the intense degree with which God must operate through His prophets, He cannot work through a vessel that is disobedient. Sin separates you from God (Isa.59:2).

8) A true prophet must be crucified.

He must be a man of deep, prevailing prayer and ready to pay a heavy price of a deeply crucified walk, broken and surrendered to everything around him. Paul said he was crucified unto the world and the world was crucified unto him (Gal 6:14). There has to be a complete rejection of the world and everything in the world. (1John 2:15) His whole cognizance must be immersed in the Spirit of God, not in this world. That makes him different – he is not of this world.

9) A true prophet is humble and walks in a deeper fear of God than others.

He understands that he is nothing without God and is able to give God all the glory. He desires nothing for himself. Let others keep their riches. The prophet of God is sustained by God, not man. Neither does he need or seek glory for himself. Just as John the Baptist handed over his ministry to Jesus upon his arrival at Jordan, so a true prophet gives all the glory to God.

10) To get a better understanding and a clearer picture of what a prophet is, read the Prophets.

Listen to their hearts, feel the cries of their hearts when they cry out to a rebellious people. Feel the rejection and loneliness that they are left with. But also feel the strength of righteousness in their voice and the power of authority in their stand against a church that has fallen away from God and is now walking in darkness and do not know at what they stumble. (Prov. 4:19)

The Lord showed me that His Bride is becoming invisible. She has put on garments that are full of golden jewels, pearls, and beautiful costly array. She is beginning to look just like the world and is fading away. God is losing His Bride. We need a true prophet to bring Her back.

Brother Dale,  http://revivalfire.org

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Last Ride Home

The smog lies like a thick grey haze over the whole city. At first, I thought it was fog or a mist from off the lake, but finally realized that this was just like the smog in L.A. back in 1970. You could see the slight veil of grey even down just one block. Add that to the poverty, squalor, and the overpopulation here, and you have a scene from some apocalyptic movie. It’s also a good picture of the spiritual landscape here. There is a layer of spiritual darkness and oppression in the air that lies like that smog over this whole area.

Life is hard here, especially for the masses of humanity who are under the poverty level. I see them everyday, trudging up the roads, looking for work or some opportunity to make it through this day, and go back to their hovels at night only to start it over tomorrow. What resilience there is here! They just keep trudging along, pushing through life for one more day of survival. Somewhere buried down there has to be a slender ray of hope for something more.

But underneath this is a widespread faith in God, maybe born out of that same desperation. And that may be why their faith is so easy to ignite. Each African country that I have been to has a different type and level of sincerity and faith. Here in the Congo, it is simple, hard, and uncomplicated. They just need God more than others, and that desperation acts like vinegar to cut away the grease of superficial Christianity. The world does not offer them much of anything. Their only hope is in God.

Maybe that’s why I got so sick over here four times! Twice with food poisoning, once with a flu-like cold, and once with who-knows-what-it-was. We did two 3-day seminars on revival and somebody must have telephoned Satan to let him know I was here, because all of a sudden, he woke up and for the next two weeks, I went through a deluge. I had to cancel two church services and missed the last day of the 3-day crusade because I could hardly stand up, never mind preach. The good thing was that the brothers here stood up in my place and took over. Proof that they don’t need me anywhere near as much as they claim.

One of the things that feels like the highest praise to me is that during the crusade that I missed, the pastors that were there said that my host, Pastor John, sounded like himself when he started preaching, but once he warmed up and got going, he sounded just like Brother Dale. To be more correct, he fell into the same Spirit that flows through me.  If I am able to affect the next generation of preachers like that, then that is truly high praise.

So now I am on my last ride home. I will not miss the long hours on the planes, the hotel rooms that begin to feel like a shoebox after a month or so, the African diet, the dirt and mud that is everywhere, the broken fixtures, the insane traffic, and the constant need for more than you can give. But its’ the faces that I will miss. Always the faces. So many stories written into the eyes that look at you with longing and hope for what only God can give them.

Tens of thousands have been saved, hundreds have been supernaturally healed, and there’s no telling how many churches have been revived and set on fire. I didn’t start the fire or fan the flames – I just planted the idea that was written in the Word of God. The Anointing accompanied me everywhere we went, and that is what made it all come alive. They recognized God, and they believed Him, and the seed that was planted in them will germinate and grow into the harvest that is surely coming. I am done and have transferred the anointing and commission to the leaders that are there on the ground that God has chosen. They will take it the rest of the way.

As for me? Oh, there’ll be something come along in due time, I imagine. I’m not rushing it. I been talkin’ for a while about setting on that porch with Cindy watching the grass grow. I think I might give that a shot for a while.

Brother Dale

Dale@revivalfire.org

Three Days in Kavumu

It has been a while since I’ve written. Food poisoning took me out for a day or so and three days later, I still have no drive or energy. So much for believing that the food is safe at the hotels.

I missed the first day of a 3-day seminar. There was no way I was going to make to this place that was 2 hours away, so I turned it over to my host, Pastor John, to fill in for me. He did a great job, which is proof that they really can do this without me.

The next day I showed up to a group of over 500 pastors, most of whom belong to CEPAC, a conservative Pentecostal organization that started during the revivals that swept through Africa during the early ‘70’s. I knew they’d be scrutinizing every thing I said, but I also knew that this younger generation chafed at the legalistic restrictions that the organization had put upon them over the years.

Like all religious organizations that are birthed in times of a move of God, the fresh excitement of revival slowly fades into a more organized replica of it’s original raw and wilder version. They retain the same vision, believe the same doctrine, sing the same songs, but they just get polished and sophisticated and begin to add more and more rules to maintain their perceived place on the path to Salvation. It’s like they grew up and became adults and lost the freshness of their youth and vitality. They become boring and are no longer fun.

They also change their status in society. Whereas they used to be on the other side of the theological tracks, they have now moved into the respectable section of town. But they have lost something in the transition. They become stiff with a programmed approach to the things that used to be led by the Spirit. And along with that they develop a “churchy” personality, but they never see it.

So I knew what I was stepping into when I stood up to address all the dark suit coats sitting out there. But I also knew that everything I was about to say for the next two days was based solely on the Word of God. I don’t troll all the latest Christian self-help books, subscribe to the podcasts, or view everyone’s videos. I don’t want to replicate someone else’s ideas. I want the Word of God to direct the message so that everything I say can be backed up by God.

I needn’t have worried. They were with me every step of the way. Yeah, there were the expected questions when it came to Question-and-Answer time, but it was more because they wanted to know how to answer these questions. Questions like makeup, lipstick, a glass of beer, women wearing pants, and a variety of the same old issues. When I answered that they were more concerned with a tube of lipstick than the fact that souls were dropping off into Hell, and that God blamed them for allowing the harvest to perish, you should have heard them cheer. Yeah, they cheered! They got the message.

Both days were great – they always are – and I left with a confidence in these simple, humble people that they would take the message I left them and begin to put it to work. They were so happy that they gave me a goat to take home. Yes, that’s right, a goat. And a strange twisted rope that contained a dozen hard boiled eggs. I guess that means they like me.

We tied the goat up in the backseat of the car and waved goodbye. I don’t know if I will ever see them again. Kavumu is a bit out of the way, but God knows exactly where it is and He is able to start a fire in a place like Kavumu that no one has heard of and send it around the world, because He is God and that’s what He does.

Like so many out-of-the-way places that I’ve ministered to, you can only deliver the message God has given you and leave the rest in His hands. He will water the seed you’ve planted, cultivate it, and bring it to harvest.

Brother Dale, www.Revivalfire.org

Sunday is my first day on the ground here in the Congo, so naturally we are headed off to one of the local churches. I say “local” with some literary license. This place is not exactly local.

After I left the Congo last year, the brothers here were on fire to spread this message of revival everywhere. This church is just one of the many churches that were planted. As I heard it, this pastor heard of me and came to last year’s meetings and asked if they could plant a church in his village. So I started this time in a church that is one of my seeds. I thought that was pretty cool.

But local it is not. We drove up and over the mountains that surround Bukavu, and then we drove down the other side and kept going. Maybe it really wasn’t that far, but it sure felt like they were taking me way out into the bush. Then all of a sudden, we took a left hand turn straight into a tea plantation. This is a road? Well, sort of. But then, we took another turn straight up a rocky, muddy path. Are you kidding me? Horses can’t go up that path, and you’re going to drive up there with this little Toyota?

Out on the outskirts of this huge tea plantation was a tiny village. It was nice, neat, clean, and orderly. Nothing like the squalor that you find in the cities. And in the midst was a tiny church packed wall-to-wall with about 100 people singing and praising the Lord.

Services out here are nothing like you experience in America. First of all, the service lasted over 5 hours. Let’s sing another song! Let’s pray again! How about another message? Add to that an altar call for the nine souls that got saved and a water baptism for another 8 souls. My little message was only a small part of all this.

Africans do not do church like we do in the West. The level of intensity would blow most of us out of our pews. The music is loud and boisterous, and the dancing is ferocious. The praying is so intense it lifts the roof up a few inches or so. And the preaching is serious and anything but the boring lectures we receive in American churches. You got to really want God to dive into church at this level. The thing is, they do. And we don’t.

I think that’s the thing about Africa that I find the most telling – they are desperately hungry for God. From what I’ve read about revivals, that seems to be the one initial ingredient that is necessary for any outpouring the Holy Spirit. You gotta be hungry. So hungry that it will push you past the traditional limits of your typical staid and organized church. You cant fake this. That “churchy” thing has to go along with the half-hearted sincerity and the affected holy voices. The “unchurched” know what I’m talking about. Most of you church-goers do not.

The fervency extended to that evening’s radio broadcast. They had me on for an hour with a salvation message. People not only get saved, but they also get physically healed just listening to these broadcasts. I experienced the same thing when I had a radio broadcast in Liberia. It’s not me that makes the difference; it’s their desperate hunger for God. They need Him and they need Him desperately, and they expect the miracles, and so He brings them.

Us in America? Um, not so much. And that is why I believe revival will break out in Africa first before spreading around the world. We may be the last to get it. And that is IF we are willing to give up our comfortable religions, our weak, insipid messages, and our arrogance of being from “Christian America”.

We are the Church of Laodicea.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelations 3:32)

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Brother Dale

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Back to the Congo

Back to the Congo

Eastern Congo has no serviceable airport that can be reached by major airlines, so I have to fly into Kigali, Rwanda and then hop a prop plane to the border. From there, the brothers and sisters will pick me up to cross into the Congo.

While I am here in Kigali, news of the new emerging Ebola Crisis in the Congo is filtering through. Rwanda briefly closed their border because of the increasing deaths in the Congo. They have since reopened them, but the tension is wavering about what will happen next, especially if the outbreak continues to grow. So far, almost 2,000 have died.

Rwandans kind of look down their cultural noses at the Congo. It is evident that there is a huge difference in the two societies in money, prosperity, infrastructure, business, social responsibility, and much to the point, health. There’s all sort of reasons for this, most notably is the huge influx of cash into Rwanda from Western nations trying to assuage their guilty feelings from sitting by during the Genocide in 1994. In contrast, the Congo has been in a constant state of war for 10 years, both from militias inside the country and invasions from other countries trying to steal their mineral wealth. One country is clean, organized, and prosperous while the other is in tatters, shattered, poor, and under a cloud of darkness.

These are the kinds of places that we as Christians are sent into. While the bulk of American Christians will run to Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda because it is safe there and has an established infrastructure, the real battle and desperate callings are to places like the Congo. It is a difficult place, but it is in such places that the Light shines brightest.

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little scared, and I sure haven’t told Cindy yet. I have already been through this same thing when I was in Liberia when the Ebola Crisis broke out over there. There is a feeling of death in the air that is palpable. I felt it then, and I can feel it now. Is that the devil? Probably. Does it matter? You still feel that ominous weight of fear in your innermost soul. You can tell me how brave you would be, but it would sound more convincing coming from you if you were on the other side of the border.

But we go anyway, don’t we? To quote a friend in Florida, “It’s what we do.” We go. Anything less would be treasonous. We are dead in Christ and called to the sufferings of the Cross. Those people that are there are souls that are precision in His sight and someone has to bring them the Light. So we go anyway.

When I landed at the border, I was met by a whole contingent of brothers and sisters who came to greet me, all wearing polo shirts emblazoned with my cross-and-fire logo on their breasts and “Revivalfire Ministries” printed across the backs. Talk about a welcome!

This is why I come. The fire is not only already burning, it is growing and these brothers are fanning the flames. The Ebola Crisis is only adding to the fire. The same thing happened in Liberia. They started packing the services every night while the disease was devastating the country. When their mortality is staring them in the face, people tend to turn to God.

In “The Hiding Place”, Corrie Ten Boom wrote “thank God for the fleas” because they kept the Nazis from coming into their barracks. If this disease is drawing people to the meetings and causing the excitement level to rise, then I thank God that He is able to use something so deadly to save souls. The trick is that someone has to come and bring the Gospel to them.

And so we go.

Herod Feared John

“Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him…” Mk 6:20

If you picked up a newspaper today and saw that John the Baptist was holding revival services at a local church, would you drop everything you’re doing to make it there?  How about Elijah?  or Peter?  Would it be because they are famous?  Or is it because you would expect to hear a man speak with authority in God?

Souls are drawn to men of God who can stand up in the power and authority of God.  Revivals are poured out on anointed vessels to whom people flock to hear the Word of God, and see the amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit work.  They came to Jesus to be healed, but stayed to listen because He spoke with authority.

We need that authority today.  Actually, we are desperate to see a man of God stand up in that kind of power and authority.  We have a lot of nice preachers, but we don’t have anyone like John the Baptist, Elijah, or Paul.  Why is that?

Search the Scriptures and you will find that the kind of power and authority we are referring to only comes the hard way.  We all read and pray, but how many of us STORM the Throne?  We all fast, but how many of us crucify our flesh?  All this lifts us up to a higher plateau in God, but the real holy boldness, the real strength and power in God, and the genuine authority in God only comes through the fear of the Lord.  That is what gives a man strong confidence, makes his face to shine, gives him that entrance into the presence of God’s power.  Moses’ knees smote together, David’s flesh trembled, the prophet’s spoke of Him being their Dread, Paul feared and trembled.  It is the common attribute for every powerful man with authority in God.  And we need that today.

In the last 20 to 30 years, the message of the Fear of the Lord has been extracted from our pulpits and has been preached out of our hearts to the point that most Christians don’t even believe it anymore.  They’ve been told that “Love” is the most important element.  Read carefully, my friend.  The Love of God is not possible without the Fear of the Lord.  Neither is wisdom, understanding, depth, or power.  And we will not see revival, nor a strong move of God without it.

Lord, raise us up to have the kind of power and authority in You that John had, that we may see the greatest revival of all time.

 

Answering Machine

Do You Get an Answering Machine When You Pray?

Ever wonder how in the world the Lord can really hear and pay attention to you when you pray?  Let’s face it.  He has got to be pretty busy. He has to pay attention to billions of people, what they do, what they saying, even what they’re thinking.  On top of that, He writes all this stuff down in a Book, and He can’t make any mistakes– people’s souls depend on its absolute accuracy!  If that’s not enough, He has to be mindful of the entire universe.  The rivers, the seasons, the wind and the weather, the animals and plant life, even the stars and galaxies are dependant upon His Word to be held together in order.  And you mean to tell me that He not only knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, but He actually numbers the hairs of your head?  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…  We’re talking busy here!

Is it a small wonder, then, that so many of us don’t expect a personal answer each and every time we go to pray?  When you pray, do you get a personal response, or do you get an answering machine?  “Thank you for praying.  I’m away from the prayer line right now and am either answering another prayer, or not at home right now.  Please leave your prayer at the sound of the beep, or press 0 to talk with one of the angels … Oh, and have a nice day!”

Do you pray with the attitude that you will just leave a message, and somehow, when God gets around to checking His messages, He’ll handle your request?  After all, He is pretty busy and we do have to cut Him a little slack.

Or do you pray expecting an answer?  When you call, do you ring the phone until you get an answer?  When you go to visit, do you hang on that doorbell until He answers the door?  You know He’s at home.  Answer the phone!  Open the door!  You didn’t come just to hear the cute little sound of the bell.  You need an answer!  Right here, right now!

We’ve got a contract with God that is written in Blood, and sealed with the Holy Ghost. That contract gives us rights to the Throne of God.  God is a Jew; He makes deals; and that’s part of the deal!  I’ve got it in writing.  I am not going to be satisfied with some dumb answering machine, or some angel for a secretary, or some saint.  I want the real thing, and I’m stubborn enough to hang in there until I get it.  So was the guy in Luke 11 who harangued his neighbor with his importunity until he got what he wanted.

We need powerful prayer warriors who know how to get answers from God. If there was ever a time the people of God need to stand strong, it is now in these last days. Each and every one of us needs to believe God for a personal answer when we contend before God with effective, prevailing prayers. That’s where you get your strength.  If we don’t learn to pray like that, our souls will become weak and insipid with a lack of faith and will eventually fall prey to the storms of Satan.

Elias was a man of like passions as we, and he stopped up the heavens from rain through prayer, and then he prayed again and it rained.  That’s what I call knowing how to get an answer from God!

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)