As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”   (Psalms 42:1)

Great deeds are done by men with great desires, and the heart of man is the furnace that forges those desires.

Knowledge won’t drive you that far – it just makes you accountable.
Wisdom may enlighten you and make you aware, but it is not the driving force of your heart.
Obediently doing good deeds will make a fair show of going through the motions, but it is not inspired with the flame of passion.

We sit and listen to passionate preachers pointing us in the direction we should go, we read the books that are meant to get us moving down the right path, and we sing the songs that lift our souls, but those are only tools to help, not the actual driving force itself.

As human beings, we need inspiration to lift us up over mediocrity.  Something must drive us, or we will not be driven; something has to draw us, or we will not be drawn.  It is not in the heart of man to inspire himself to great things in God; it has to come from God.

We know what to do – we just need the desire to do it.

I have preached a lot of messages, and have had a lot messages preached to me, but as the congregation files out the back door, you have to wonder how far the word that was just preached to them will go.  We need more than that little bit of gas that the preacher put in our tanks to go much farther than the church door.

We can edify one another and hold each other up, but inspiration must come from the Throne of God.  He is the only one that can light that fire in your heart with the spark that comes from the Holy Ghost.  Now true, you have to bring fuel for the fire, and you have to continue to feed that fire, but the first spark comes from the Spirit of God.

It happens when you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  A fire is lit in your heart that you never had before.  You can actually feel the warmth!  But it is up to you to keep the fire going.

All the preachers in the world, all the edifying stories from other Christians, and all the self-help books written cannot replace the wood for that fire.  That wood comes from the Word of God and nothing else.  There is no substitute.  The Word of God was written in the Spirit, and that is what you need to pierce through the layers of flesh and mind to touch the innermost part of your heart.

Reading and prayer will draw you to God and builds the fire in your heart, but when you forget your reading and prayer, however, you forget your power in God, and eventually the fire goes out. 

God will put the desire in our hearts if we go up to Him and get it; it doesn’t just fall out of Heaven into our lap.  And once we have it, we must continue to seek the face of the Lord to keep it.

So, life is a test: 

Some people care, and some people don’t. 

Some will seek the face of God, and some won’t. 

Some will overcome everything in their way to serve the Lord, and some will choose the easy way out. 

Some will cry out to God for the drive and desire to serve Him, and some will just wait for it to happen to them. 

Some will depend on others to serve the Lord, and some will push their way through the crowd to touch the Throne of God for themselves.

Some will cause their lights to shine and their fires to blaze, while others allow their embers to grow cold.

Some will do great deeds in God, while others sit and watch.

Where is the Line?

Where’s the Line?

I wonder about a lot of things. 

It’s not that I am the naturally curious type that wonders about everything that comes along, like some overly playful cat, but some things warrant answers that are more important than the humdrum procession of daily living.  One of those things is where God will draw the line between those who go to Heaven and those who will wind up in Hell. 

I figure that’s a pretty important question – more important than even where my next meal is coming from, how I will pay the bills, or who is going to win the Super Bowl.  Since I will have to live with that answer for Eternity, I want to make sure I get it right.

When I look at standard Christianity, I see a few basic levels:

One is the average good-guy Christian who lives a decent life, works hard for an honest living, treats others with a certain measure of respect and kindness, and will admit to believing in God … if you ask him.  He’s a regular nice guy, and yeah, maybe he says “hell” or “damn” once in a while, but other than that, he keeps most of the rules in the Bible that he has been taught.  You can meet this guy every Sunday in church, holding his Bible and singing worship songs.  He’s been saved once upon a time and considers himself a good Christian that is on his way to Heaven.  But that is about it.

Of course, that’s a lot better than the mass of people out there who, despite the fact that they curse, lie, drink, fornicate, dabble in pornography, and tell dirty jokes, still think that they’re going to Heaven simply because they believe in God – as if that is the only requirement for escaping Hell.  Most of them have never studied the Word of God to find out how strict the rules really are but are content to have other like-minded believers convince them that they are going to Heaven, nonetheless.

Shucks, everybody thinks they’re going to Heaven, even the most destitute.  If you think I’m kidding, just ask them.  They’ll tell you that Jesus loves them and that they really aren’t such a bad person once you get to know them.  If that’s the case, then why did Jesus have to die?

Then there’s a small group of people who are driven by more than a desire to go to church and sing songs.  They have a driving passion that engulfs their entire life to separate themselves from the “stuff” of this world because all they want is God.  These are the fanatics that we tolerate but politely dismiss as being just a bit over the edge.  It’s not enough for them to just live a quiet Christian life – they have to convince everybody else to get as intense as they are. 

They can be irritating, especially when you have settled into a normal life and quietly believe in God for your salvation.  It’s as if they are on a different wavelength and insist that everyone needs to turn on the same light switch.  They’re just a different kind of people that act like they can see something that most of us normal people just don’t see.  Why they can’t just let the rest of us go on in our own ways is beyond what most of us can understand.

But then, maybe they do see something that is covered by the daily routine of this life.  Maybe that fire that seems to burn inside them wasn’t kindled from an over-active imagination but is something that they caught from the Throne of God.

So back to the original question – where exactly does God draw the line?  How high does God set the bar? Hell burns for a long time, so you better make sure you have the right answer.

 Is it simply a matter of what we think – a function of our own determination – or is Life a test to see if we will look beyond what is convenient to seek the face of God for the Truth? 

It’s a good question. 

Someone once asked Jesus the same question —

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 

 (Luke 13:23,24)

Well, I fell flat again. That makes two so far.

We are at another mountaintop church. This another of the churches that Isaiah has planted in this area, so it is still relatively young, but it is already grown to over a hundred or so people. Everyone is glad to see Isaiah. He is like their spiritual grandpa, so he wins the crowd over immediately. I, however, am another story.

I can’t get a leading from the Lord for a message. It’s probably because I am so exhausted, but that has not been that much of an obstacle before. There are sometimes when I do not get the message from the Lord until I get behind the pulpit, but this time, I’m not getting anything at all. So I stumbled through whatever came to me. I must have sounded like a tape recording. They got the message alright. They just didn’t feel it. It might have gone into their heads, but it never reached their hearts.

Hey, it happens. Not often, but it does happen. Almost always, the Lord lets me know where He is headed with the message. I may not know the details, but if I just jump into the river, it will carry me along in the flow of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, it would be stupid to try and prepare a message that I had no idea where it was going. He says to open our mouth and He will fill it. I just wish today’s preachers trusted Him more to give them the message and not trust in their prepared notes with bulleted points to give a lecture on God that you forget five minutes after you pass through the door.

What went wrong? Well, for starters, these are a simple people, and the message has to be simple to appeal to them. They love to sing and dance – oh boy, do they love to dance! – but they are not ready for a deeper message no matter how much it is based on Scripture. Here I was trying to feed them with meat when all they could handle at this point was milk.

It took some prayer to wake me up, but I started feeling the pull toward a new message, not about revival like I was expected to deliver, but about the importance of the Word. To seal my understanding, He took me through a passage in 1 Samuel 14 that I use for a message about having a vision for God and instead, re-routed it to the 330,000 swords that had gone missing.

Two chapters earlier, Saul had 330,000 warriors to beat the enemy. Now, he only had 600 men and no one except Saul and Jonathon had swords. Where did all the swords go?

From there I launched into what the Word can do for you. From there, I showed how the wedding at Cana was an analogy that a wedding without wine was like a church without the Spirit. When you fill the people to the brim with the water of the Word, the Spirit and the Word become one, and the water turns to wine.

They got it now. This same crowd that was bored on Saturday were hooping and hollerin’ on Sunday. And then, the Lord made me realize what the whole problem was with this church. Like the soldiers around Saul, they had no swords! Very few had Bibles and even fewer read them. No wonder they loved to sing and dance but shied away from stepping into deeper water. Had I been more in the Spirit, I would have picked up on that. But as it was, they now had a grip on what was needed to go forward.

The ultimate purpose is to win the lost. I left them with a commission and a plan to win this entire mountain for the Lord. Reading the Word is where it all starts. Once the fire starts in their hearts from reading the Word, it will spread through the church, out into the streets, and will encompass this mountain.

This is how revival starts – one person at a time, one church at a time, one mountain at a time. May God ignite a fire so hot that they will smell the smoke across Rwanda.

Brother Dale

Rwanda certainly has it’s share of mountains. It is called Le Pay des Mille Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills). It makes the air feel that much crisper and cleaner and the sun that much stronger. Man, I could spend some time here just soaking it in, especially when I hear that the temperature in Texas is in triple digits!

Before we leave Rwanda, Isaiah, my host, takes me to where his church used to be so I can pray over it for a new construction and a greater church than what was there before. The government shut down 8,000 churches because they didn’t meet the government’s standards. Isaiah’s was one of them.

Isaiah believes in the promise that I have told him of a great revival coming, and he has reprinted thousands of my book, Four Steps to Revival, and passed them out at his crusades. He credits me with the message that fueled him to plant several churches and do the crusades that have won so many souls.

Once I was done, I noticed someone sitting over on the side, so I went over and prayed him through the Sinner’s Prayer. It was like christening the church that was going to be built there.

They have driven me to Rwamagama. I have the hardest time remembering how to say it. I keep hearing “Rama Lama Ding Dong” from an old 1950s song, “Blue Moon”. I gotta stop it. I’m not sure they appreciate the humor. As usual, the church is tucked away at the end of a dirt road that is worse than any grueling obstacle course I’ve seen. This is from the rain that turns the roads here into impassable quagmires. And when they dry, what’s left are not roads anymore. I don’t know what to call them, but you better have a serious roadworthy vehicle to get through the pits and gullies that are left.

A fair-sized crowd has showed up, which is notable for a Thursday night. Of course, out here there’s not much for Thursday night entertainment, nevertheless, I am pleased that they came. The praise and worship was live as you can find only in Africa. It was great! And then I got up to the pulpit.

Let’s just say it was less than stellar. Maybe it was the language barrier. The interpreter had a hard time getting the message across, and that can kill a message. Maybe it was me. I can barely see straight and the fatigue is laying right under my skin. I haven’t had a day off for going on two weeks now. Then again, maybe there just wasn’t the hunger for something more serious than singing and dancing.

It was better the next day but certainly not something to write home about (which is what I’m doing now, aren’t I.). But at least the pastors were wowed. They want to know more, and they want to join our Revivalfire Ministries network. They can see past the superficial and they realize he desperate need for a genuine move of God instead of simply entertaining the troops. They especially loved the idea of passing out business cards with an invitation to come to church. They got it! Go win souls! Nothing else matters if you don’t win the lost.

And always, as in every church I go to, they are pressing me to come back again. Mmmm, maybe not.

We go back to Kigali in the morning, and off to another church service with another story to tell

Leaving Zambia

Well, we are finally leaving Zambia. Noah and I have been impressed with the raw hunger that we have found here. They are dry and hungry. They are desperate for a revival. Every church I have been to has been the same way. They sit on the edge of their chairs and stare at me, soaking up every word. The amens are loud and instant, and the laughs are genuine. Of course, it remains to be seen if they will do what I have told them to do. All I can do is plant the seed as deeply as I can and let others take it from there.

When they heard that we were considering starting an NGO for Africa, the pastors here jumped at being a part of it. They are so excited at the idea that they are already making plans to establish it here in Zambia. We have a lot of churches that have been started through our ministry that want us to be a covering for them. Many are small but are growing fast as they put in action the message I gave them. Others are medium to large churches that feel like they have been wandering without direction and our message of the Four Steps to Revival has galvanized them into action. It is gratifying to see the response we are getting. This idea of getting an NGO is growing so fast that we are wondering how immense this mission is going to be. A bishop and his wife called me to say that they have prayed about it and they want me to be their mentor. That’s the measure of response that we are getting.

I did find out how they learned about me. A few years ago, I had a series of services in the Congo and one of the pastors got a copy of my book, the Four Steps to Revival. He went to Zambia and started preaching out of that book. The pastors there started following me.. Then, one bishop’s wife started praying for God to send me to Zambia. I was supposed to be done with traveling to Africa, but one woman’s prayers changed all that. That’s the power of prayer by a determined woman who exercised holy boldness to shake the Throne of God.
I am exhausted. So exhausted, in fact, that I don’t even know what day it is. As I was relaxing on Saturday as my first day off, my host showed up at the hotel ready to pick me up and go.

Wait a minute. It’s Saturday and it’s my day off!
No, it’s Sunday and you have a final service at 11:00.
No, it’s Saturday!
No, check your phone.
Oh, dear God. I have 20 minutes to stuff my clothes in a suitcase, check out of the hotel
and make it to church!

We did it, and made the flight to Rwanda, thank God, but it could’ve been a disaster.

A lot of us believe something special will come out of this trip. What was so special? I don’t know; it’s just a feeling we all have gotten here. It is dry and they are hungry, and we have planted a seed of hope in them that, with a little bit of watering, we grow quickly into a harvest. The fire started here may be the spark to ignite the rest of Africa,

It’s going to happen somewhere. It might as well be here

This is the final day of the 3-day revival meetings. Expectations are high and the pastors that have been here the previous two days are lit up. Last night, I was taken to another church to deliver a replica of the same excitement that we had during the day meetings. I have told my host that I can only handle just so much before I get exhausted. I am not what I used to be 15 or even 5 years ago. He looks at me as if he understands, but I can tell he is going to ignore everything I just told him.

I get it. I really do. They have never experienced this kind of raw power in their services and it whets their appetite for the revival that they have been hoping for. Apparently, I am expendable; the message is not.
But here we are in Day 3, and they are waiting for the promised message of how to build fire in the church. I told them not to go bringing in the lost until the fire is burning otherwise, sinners will turn right around and leave. You have nothing to offer them that they want if all you have is a dead church. I hinted that the answers are in the passages of the marriage at Cana of Galilee and Elijah’s sacrifice on Mt. Carmel. (No, I am not going to share them with you here.)

By this time, the reality of a true Holy Ghost revival coming to their nation is taking shape in their minds. This is not some worn-out message that they keep repeating with no clear direction on how to actually get a revival. This is a point-by-point direction on what they have to do.This actually makes sense. And it was right there in the Bible all along! They just hadn’t seen it.

And that is the problem. Africans don’t like to read. They like to pray and sing and dance, but reading the Bible is like dragging a plow through hard fallow ground. Without the power of the Word of God, however, you will never have the power to pray at the level and intensity it takes to move God. Revival will not come to a church that is not in the Spirit and the Word of God is Spirit and it is life. Jesus said that without Him, we can do nothing, and He was the Word of God.
Services wrap up with an even greater intensity than the last two. I am hoping it is because they are so much more excited than when they started because they now have the book, the brochure, and the message. Who knows how many of their churches will catch fire and spread the flames. Some do; some don’t. But the ones that do, will double, triple, and quadruple in a matter of months and sometimes weeks. This is how the Kingdom is built – one piece at a time.

I have two or three more churches to visit in the next few days and somehow they want me to condense the revival message into an hour or so for each one. What they really want is to experience the same outpouring we are having in the other services. And for each place, God delivers again and again. He is so faithful that it is hard to put it in words. What a Savior! These are His children, and He is their Father, and He is feeding them with that precious ointment that comes from the Throne of God.

I will be as limp as a used dishrag by the time we are done. So tired, in fact, that on Sunday, my last day here, I was convinced it was Saturday and that I finally had a day off. I almost missed my flight out of here!

But again, that is a story for another time.

Brother Dale

It is now day three, the second day of the seminar. When you are bringing a message, you start with the Promise to encourage them, then you expose the Problem, and finally you bring the Solution. Promise, Problem, Solution. I had already shown them the prophecies of a coming Revival and told him about the vision that the Lord had given me. I talked about how the fire was breaking out all over the place in Africa, just about everywhere we go. And how I expect the fire to break out even greater here in Zambia. And they believe me. And wow, are they excited.

Their hunger is palpable. Even in these poverty areas, populated with small churches with no money, on dirt streets and crumbling buildings, there is a hope and a fire in their eyes that makes them ready for whatever God can bring them. So when I tell them that revivial is coming, they are way ahead of me. They are ready for revival!

So, since this was the second day of the seminar, this was about the Problem. My job as a revivalist is to bring the Church to a realization of how far they have actually fallen. No outpouring, no miracles, and no souls getting saved. Nada. If the supernatural is missing, then so is God. The Church in general has slipped so slowly into a dead sleep that She doesn’t even realize how dead She really is.

That’s where I start. Then I start running down the situation in Joel chapter 1 where 15 curses are laid on the Church of the last days. Joel says that the Spirit of God has been lifted off us because we have let the harvest perish. In other words, souls are rushing into Hell and God blames us because we were the ones He told to go get them. And we are doing everything else except what He told us to do!

And then, I start in on the judgments of God on those who are so full of church that they have not shown mercy on the lost. Like the goats whose only difference between them and the sheep is that they didn’t make an effort to have mercy on the lost. And they were cast into Hell as a result. Or like the parable of the Good Samaritan, or the True Vine, or the fig tree … I can list them for an hour of all the clearly written judgments on the Christians that were so full of church that they neglected to win souls.

I’ve got their attention now. What’s more, they get it. Scripture, when it speaks directly to your sin, can be very loud in your soul.

But the good news is that if you know something is broken, you can fix it! There most definitely is a Problem, but praise God, there is also a Solution. And it starts with a repentance that is so deep that it reaches into the depths of your soul and wrings your heart out.

The Altar Call lasted for 20 minutes – top of their lungs, crying out to God. It was so loud, my hearing shut off. Really. And then it was done. Just like that, and I handed it over to Noah.

For the next 40 minutes, they sailed in the Spirit! There is no way to describe it to you, but that they were free, they were forgiven, and they had a clear sight on the direction God wanted them to go. Remember now, these were over 100 pastors, bishops, and church leaders who are going to carry this back to their congregations. The effect will be multiplied many times and the seed planted here will result in a harvest that only God knows how great it will be.

Next is the Solution. Simple, go win souls. Do what God has asked you to do and God will restore the corn, the wine, and the oil that He has taken away. But first we have to build a fire in the church, and that is for tomorrow.

Brother Dale

Judging by yesterday’s turnout, I was trying not to be despondent. I’ve spent a lot of money to be here and was told there would be around 300 to maybe 500 pastors and leaders here to receive the message of revival. The little church we are in can not fit more than 100 and only 20 people showed up for yesterday’s Sunday service. I have been to this situation literally hundreds of times and have watched God pour out His Spirit and turn similar small meetings into something supernatural. I always figure that if it’s good enough for God, it should be good enough for me.

Still, it would be nice to see a great turnout to come hear the message of revival. I shouldn’t have worried. They came. About 100 of them. And they were hungry. He had this all figured out long before He called me to come. What was I worried about?

I tell audiences everywhere that I subscribe to the doctrine of Alfred E. Newman. Remember him from Mad Magazine? “What me worry?” I’m supposed to leave all the worry to God. I am supposed to trust Him so much that I can step off the edge of a cliff and start flapping my arms to not only fly, but to soar.

For the next hour or two, this service was turned on and live. It was one of them most powerful services I’ve had. Through point by point, they were right with me, shouting “Amen!”, laughing at my stupid jokes, and mourning with sorrow over their failure to hold up the Great Commission that God had given them. They got it!

They understood as I went down the line of scriptures that testified against the churches that had lost their fire and their love for lost souls. This is why they came – they are tired of “church as usual”. They want to reclaim the power that their churches once had only 50 years ago.

They understand the Four Steps to Revival. First, there is the recognition that the Church is no longer in that place of power and revival that she once was. The Spirit was not pouring out on them like it had, souls were not crowding the altar to get saved, and there has bee a dearth of miracles. Something was wrong, the Church had died, and they wanted to get that power back.

Then came the heartfelt repentance because they had not been going out to win souls. Fifty years ago they used to go out into the streets and go get the souls and bring them to the church to get saved. Now, they just waited patiently in their plastic chairs for them to come.The Church had become inwardly focused and was no longer cut to the heart for the lost. Or, as Amos chapter 6 says, “they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph”. They cringed as I ran down passage after passage that they stood in danger of judgment for not doing what the Lord had commissioned them to do. They were not bearing fruit, and were in danger of being “hewn down and cast into the fire”. God’s words; not mine.

Needless to say, you should’ve seen the altar call. All I said was, “Let’s pray,” and for the next 20 minutes or so, they lifted the roof in cries of repentance. I handed it over to Pastor Noah, my companion, and they went for another half hour, singing, crying, yelling, and praising the Lord at the top of their lungs. Like I said, you should’ve been there.

And this is just Day One of the meetings

As we drove into the neighborhood, I knew what type of church we would be starting off this revival campaign in. We left the paved highway and descended into the typical African neighborhood, The roads were a challenge to drive through unless you had a Land Rover, a motorbike, or a horse. Our driver in his little Japanese sedan slowed down to a crawl just to navigate his way over the pits filled with garbage and the rocks and ledges that he had to scrape the bottom of the car to get over. The shops alongside of the streets were a running riot of color, advertisements, and noise. At least the chickens and goats that are usually running around aimlessly were not there, Just people and kids.

Sure enough, the promised crowd of a large crowd wound down to a couple dozen plus singers and usher. No surprise here. This is Africa, and whatever you are told will be different by the time you get there. This used to bother me until I realized how fluid the African mind is. Not bound by strict rules and boundaries, there is an easy flow to how things go here. You may order a bushel of apples and get a bushel of oranges instead. Hey, they both taste good, and the oranges looked better and they were cheaper. What the problem? Hakuna Matata = No Worries! This is Africa.

I have to remind myself to stay on mission. Out here, you don’t work with what you want or need – you work with what you got. It will all somehow flow together and will work out in the end. It takes a while to get used to, but this is Africa, not America, and you are on African time, not the business-minded, organized American clock.

The thing that galvanizes me to the mission is the knowledge that God sent me here. He once asked me, “Do you trust Me?” Do you? Completely? Do you know that you have followed His lead and right in the place the Holy Spirit has led you to? Then let it go! He knows what He is doing, and you don’t. When I allow myself to surrender, it always works to His glory.

He is not concerned about the size of the crowd or the amount of money, or any of the other things that we gauge our ministry by. As a matter of fact, He does things quite the opposite as we do. He uses the foolish things of the world, the weak things, the little people, the humble to do His great things. I listen to people crow about large arenas filled with enormous altar calls — and yes, these things are good — but that is not how the Kingdom is built. Search the Scriptures and see.

I once was asked to come to a town called Molo to preach to over 300 people, but when I got there, the church was about 20×20 with 25 people crammed in it. I was mad. Why did you lie to me? Why didn’t you just tell me the truth? Smoke was coming out of my ears, I was so mad. And then, the Lord reminded me of Acts chapter 10, the small meeting with Peter and Cornelius. A very small meeting indeed, but that was the meeting that opened up the dispensation to the Gentiles — no small meeting at all. What would have happened if Peter decided it wasn’t worth the trip for just a few people, and most of them Gentiles?

I settled in and preached what I had to give. The response was … okay. The pastor’s wife was excited, but if any of the others were, they were doing a great job of not showing it. It’s at this point where you always start wondering. But then, I remember, “Do you trust Me?” And all the worries and stress falls away. Yes, Lord, I trust You. My job has always been just to show up and let You take it from there. This is Your ministry, not mine.

This story doesn’t end there. The next day was the first day of the seminar – same place, same pastor. But oh, what a difference!

Ah, but that is a story for tomorrow.

Brother Dale

15,000 miles and I’m finally there. Forty-two hours of travel will wear you out, but it also makes you reevaluate what you’re doing and why. This is not a casual trip for an old man to catch a bit of his glory days. This is a reaffirmation of the vision that God gave me fifty-two years ago. I am going to plant seed in a new field of harvest.

I asked my host, Bishop Peter, how he had heard of me. He answered that he had been following me for two years and that he knew several of my contacts in Africa. He was especially close with a pastor in Nigeria who considered himself as being under my mentorship. Small world indeed.

But it has been Bishop Peter’s wife who was the driving force to bring me to Zambia. I still don’t know all the details yet, but apparently, she has been praying hard for God to send me here. And I guess He heard her because here I am, and she is as excited as a young schoolgirl.

I will meet with the leaders some time today. I’m not sure yet what the message will be or what ultimate purpose the Lord has for this trip, but as always, my job is to show up. His job is to take it from there. I am supposed to surrender; He is supposed to take total control. That is something the American denominations have forgotten in their efforts to prepare their messages so that they are theologically correct.

I just let God take care of that. He does a much better job than any of us do.

I will keep you up-to-date as I can. I expect something explosive is about to happen here.

Brother Dale Jun 5, 2022

By the Brook Cherith

We all cycle through the different contrasts of life – prosperity and poverty, laughter and tears, sickness and health. We’re told that it is all designed to make us strong, to stretch our character and turn us into better people. That all sounds great if you plan on joining the U.S. Marines, but it is little comfort when you are dipping into the down part of that cycle. Even when you know how the drill works, it would be so much better if you got a word of encouragement from the Lord that you’re okay, you’re not being punished for something you did wrong, and you didn’t zig when you were supposed to zag.

These past few months, I have felt like everything around me was shutting down.  The finances were drying up, both personal and ministry. Opportunities to share the message God gave me were closed. I could not get any traction in the churches here in America. No one was interested beyond giving me their heartfelt “ataboy”. I couldn’t even give away the books that I had written. Plenty of people thought everything we put out in articles, newsletters, books, YouTube broadcasts, and Facebook posts were great. They just weren’t interested.

I needed an answer from God. I felt like I was sinking in quicksand.

So, He woke me up at 1:20 am to go down and pray. Typical middle-of-the-night call to prayer. (Makes you wonder if He lives in an opposite time zone than ours. Or is it just so He can get our attention?) For the next 2 ½ hours, He unfolded His plan to me.

Elijah is the prophet that I most relate to. His message is the same as mine, and I see in his ministry a foreshadowing of the timeline for the last days. There are six stages to his ministry, and the Lord began to match them up with what was going on in my life.

Elijah began his mission by declaring the word of the Lord as a call to repentance. He appeared before both king Ahab and Queen Jezebel – the secular government and the established apostate church – and declared a spiritual famine for Israel. There would be neither dew nor rain until he said so. Beyond the physical drought, it was a spiritual drought, much like the famine declared by the prophet Amos in Amos 8:11. Against the backdrop of a lush countryside with plenty of rain and rivers flowing, Elijah’s call for repentance fell on deaf ears.

I have had the same message – a call to the church for broken-hearted repentance for being inwardly focused and full of “church” instead of going out to win the lost. The passages that point to severe judgment for not having mercy on the unsaved are numerous – so numerous that it takes me at least an hour to share them all with a congregation. But in America, I get the same response that Elijah got with Ahab. Even Jezebel, who hated the people of God, must have only been slightly bothered because although she had slaughtered the prophets, she only dismissed Elijah.

Who else are you going to preach to? Who will listen to you? Where are the real Christians who understand the spiritual devastation we are in? The answer comes back in hollow echoes – no one.

And so, it is off to the second stage: the brook Cherith. No one to preach to; no one to warn; no direction to work toward; no vision to inspire and direct you. Did Elijah wonder what happened to him? He was part of a vibrant ministry, but now he has no idea what is going to happen next. The only ones that he could ask these questions to are the ravens who can only give an unintelligible squawk back to him.

The church didn’t support him because the true church was missing. The carnal church that inhabited the land worshipped a different god. They thought Baal was the real god. After all, he gave them a much more modern and easier gospel than the old-fashioned Jehovah. This renegade Elijah and his strict, judgmental, fearful god had no place in their modern society.

It is noteworthy that it was ravens, not doves, that brought the bread and flesh to sustain Elijah. It was dark-feathered outsiders that kept Elijah alive, not the church. God provided a way that no one would have expected.

It struck me that the same thing is happening to me. I have delivered my warnings about the drought to the court and have been dismissed. I have found no traction in America for this message and yet it is the same message that Elijah and John the Baptist brought. It is too hard, too strict, too judgmental. The strange thing is that, while many pastors and evangelicals acknowledge that the message is true and have seen the incredible results in Africa, no one wants me to rock the boat in their church here in America.

So, I am off to the Brook Cherith where I have been sustained by some dark-haired brothers who are outside the church.

The Lord showed me that what I was experiencing was like what Elijah had experienced at the Brook Cherith. While everything seems to be shutting down for me, I realize that it’s not that I have failed; it’s that the brook is drying up, and we are about to enter the 3 ½ year period of the end times.

I’m fed with enough to keep me going, but the intensity of ministry for me is over for right now. The Lord spoke to me in 1993 concerning what was in store for me. He said, “There yet remaineth an appointed time.” That time appointed is found in Daniel chapter 11. It is still yet to come, but for now, I am watching the brook slowly trickle down to nothing.

It is time to move into the next phase, Zarephath.

Elijah is sent outside Israel, into the Gentile world of Sidon. This is not the church. This is completely outside the church. He will spend 3 ½ years with the widow of Zarephath with a little bit of meal (the Word of God) and a little bit of oil (the Anointing). This is a picture of the suppressed church during the 3 ½ years of the end time. Nothing is heard from Elijah. As a matter of fact, he cannot be found. Ahab is on a rampage looking for him, but the Lord has hidden him.

“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Isaiah 26:20

Society and the modern church have rejected the holiness and righteousness of the Word of the Lord in favor of the enticements of Baal. She is becoming invisible to the Lord because she looks just like the world. Her garments are dripping with pearls and jewels, and her dress and mannerisms are like the wealthy of this world. She looks like the world, sounds like the world, and even smells like the world. She is wooed by a lover that is not her husband and she is becoming more and more infatuated with him. Jesus is losing His Bride, and how His heart must be broken!

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1st John 2:15)

We are in a spiritual famine, but she does not see it. The Church thinks she is doing great and will become the Church Triumphant. She is waiting for God to drop this great revival on her as she rises victorious over the darkness of this world. But the truth is that she has been blinded and is no longer able to recognize how far she has fallen.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Rev. 3:17

The Lord once spoke to me about the Church, “I will give the churches a certain space of time to repent … and they will not repent. And then I will raise up stones in their place.” That is a direct quote, word for word. Those “stones” can be found in Joel chapter 2.

The 4th phase is the judgment on the Church on top of Mt. Carmel. Elijah calls down fire on the sacrifice and slaughters the priests of Baal at the Brook Kishon. It is not Ahab that is judged. It is the Church – the religious priests of the commonly accepted religion of the society.  I don’t know what form the judgment upon us will take, but I am assured that it will affect our entire society and will be worse than the disaster of 9/11. It will pull the carpet out from under the feet of the church to bring her to repentance. The prosperity that has wooed her away from her Bridegroom will be destroyed by fire. Revival cannot come unless there is a broken repentance that drives us to our knees, and it will take a severe judgment to break us to that point.

And then, there is a sound of an abundance of rain, the sound of a coming revival, the greatest revival of all time.

“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month”.  Joel 2:23

If the former rain was Pentecost, then a Second Day of Pentecost is coming that will be far greater than the first. The rain that comes drenches everything. This will be the greatest revival of all time.

Revival always comes after the judgment and subsequent repentance. Without repentance, nothing will change. The whole purpose of judgment is to turn us back to God.

Revival is then followed by the persecution. After the rain, Jezebel, the Whore Church, rose up against Elijah to kill him. Jezebel was afraid of Elijah because she knew he had the power to destroy her, and so she gave him 24 hours to get out of town.

God then brings Elijah to Mt. Horeb to meet with Him.

And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 1st Kings 19:10

Forsaken thy covenant – the Church no longer adheres to righteousness and holiness in the fear of the Lord.

Thrown down thine altars– the Church is no longer what it once was. The altars that were once a place of repentance, tears, and brokenness have become a place for “pity lines” to pray for the things you didn’t overcome last week and wishing wells where all you have to do is come down to the altar and you will magically receive your gift.

Slain thy prophets – the prophets of God are no longer welcome. They have been replaced with modern prophets whose message is about love, blessings, and prosperity. Their messages are never about repentance. Their purpose is to keep the people of God away from the altar of repentance because Satan knows that without repentance there can be no revival. So, they tell the people what they want to hear to make them feel good about themselves.

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;” 2nd Timothy 4:3

 And they no longer have to worry about being accurate in their prophesyings because they can “prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6). How convenient. That just frees them to prophesy whatever wispy thought enters their mind.

I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.” Jeremiah 23:25 

And I, even I only, am left – That’s what it feels like sometimes. Nobody understands you. You are on a solitary walk, and you do not fit in anywhere. You’re not supposed to. You don’t fit in the churches. Neither are they packing the stadiums to listen to the message that the Lord has given you. And yet, you know it is the Word of the Lord to this generation.

Therefore, thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.” Jeremiah 7:27

And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Luke 4:24

The answer from God cannot be heard in the wind, the fire, or the earthquake. That’s what most of us expect, but God bypasses the noise and celebration to speak clearly, quietly, and deeply to our hearts. Elijah recognizes that still, small voice. It is a voice that is as powerful as any shouting, but it is still, without the acoustic vibrations of sound.

This time, the response will be different. Elijah, as the spirit that was upon John the Baptist and will also be on the Joel’s Army (Joel 2:1-11), is the voice crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord and make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3).