Archive for October, 2010

For some reason, darkness falls more quickly here at the Equator than it does in North America.  It is not that late – only an hour or two after sunset – and the only description that comes to mind is the old saying, “Blacker than the insides of a cat’s belly”.  It is so dark that the blackness has a rich, velvety texture — you can feel the darkness.  Which makes the display overhead all that much more blazing.  The heavens most certainly declare the glory of God – especially way out here in the desert.

We are 50 kilometers from the nearest blacktop road.  There are no stores, gas stations, or cell phone service.  No TV, newspapers, or electricity … and little water.  We are in the Bush.  You would think that the level of sophistication amongst the people who sparsely inhabit this place would be rudimentary, but I have found them to be surprisingly aware, engaged, and intelligent.  Like the doctor whose place we are staying at – an Army medical doctor for years who chose to come home to this place to be with his people, the Massai.

We are camping inside his compound.  (Actually, I’m sleeping inside the house because I’m too old to sleep on the ground, but the others are out in the tents.)  There is a barrier of thorned acacia branches that make a prickling 3 foot wall around the compound to keep out predators like lions, leopards and hyenas.  Yeah, nice place Africa.  Great place for the kids to play.  But hey,  I have been reassured that it’s safe.  The lions only come down in the rainy season.  And the leopards…?

I tell folks that the landscape and arid climate is much like Texas, but that’s not exactly true.  There is faint wildness to the feel of this place that is distinctively Africa.  Almost like a sandy, raw and wild edge that is felt rather than seen. Perhaps it’s from the exotic adventure books that I read as a kid which gives this place a certain flavor that is unlike any other place in the world.  Imagination or not, it certainly feels different here.

The Massai who are here favor bright reds and yellows in their dress – a sharp contrast to the muted colors of the desert.  But while they may be dressed in the bizarre costumes of the Massai, living in small Hobbit-like mud huts and cut off from the world, they do possess a piercing hunger for the things of God.  It’s as if they have shed the layer of worldliness like you would a layer of clothing, and now have a clearer and a cleaner exposure to the things that are not of this world.

There is none of the “churchiness” that you find in the churches back home, especially the evangelical churches.  This is straight stuff, clear focus, no frills religion. It strikes me funny that many church people would probably say, “What ‘churchliness’?”  If they could see it, they wouldn’t be it.  These Christians aren’t exposed to “church”.  What they have is faith and that’s what sustains them in this dry spiritual desert.

I have brought Bibles here – both the written and the talking radio kind for those who cannot read.  It is like showers of rain in the desert to them.  You can’t describe what it is like to see them get their own Bible – their very own!  One that is not ripped and held together with tape and rubber bands!  One that is not shared by 30 or so people in the church!

Water in the desert.  Yeah, that’s a good way to describe it.  Water is used in the Bible as an analogy for the Word of God.  Not only as a cleansing agent in Ephesians 5:26 and the laver of brass in Exodus, but also as a producer of fruit and a giver of life, a picture of the outpouring of the Spirit of God, and the latter rain.  The drought of this parched desert makes it desperate for that water of life, while the worldly lushness of a fat and saturated land is not as focused, driven, or thirsty for the same.

Just a guess here, but we may be surprised at how many of them make it to Heaven, and how many of us will not.

Brother Dale,  Revivalfire.org

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“Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house: “  Leviticus 14:36

The laws of leprosy for a house still apply today, especially when the uncleanness is found in a house of God.

According to the Law, when leprosy is found in a house, the house has to be emptied of everything in it and then scrubbed and scoured to scrape out every last vestige of the disease.  If the plague is stayed, then you can bring everything back in, but if not, then everything – the house, walls, roof, and everything that was still inside it – has to be broken down to rubble and taken outside the city.

When leprosy is found in the house of God, the same rules apply, no matter where the uncleanness is found.  If it is found in those in leadership or the congregation, they must be scoured and cleaned.  How much more if it is found in the pastor himself!  If it is the doctrine, the teachings, the service or the music, then the house must be cleaned.

Too often I hear people excuse, justify, and minimize sins found in their church and leadership. They are excused away with weak responses about how we are all human and we all sin every day, we shouldn’t judge, and how God loves us all and understands that we are just flesh.

Excuse me? Where did that come from?  Geez, doesn’t that sound familiar to you?  Like maybe in the very beginning?  “Yea, hath God said? … ye shall not surely die.”  Isn’t this the same lie that Satan has been using for the last 6,000 years?

First of all, the Word of God says that He will give us power to overcome all sin, and reinforces that with a command to be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.  So, God thinks you can do it – Satan tells you that you cannot.  Whom will you believe?

God does understand our weaknesses.  That’s why He sent His Son to die for us and deliver us from sin.  Grace is not an excuse to continue in sin – it is the power of God to overcome it.  To adhere to any other doctrine is to trample the Blood of Jesus and count it as an unholy thing.  In other words, you do not believe there is power in the Blood and that His sacrifice on the Cross was for naught.

And Judgment?  How much like Satan to try and convince us to sheer away from judgment and to consider it as being something evil!  If we do not stand for the righteousness of God, then who will declare Truth to this generation?  We are commanded to warn those in sin, not placate them with soothing lies.  He never said not to tell them the truth.  He commanded us to get the beam out of our eye first and stand in righteousness ourselves, and then we can see clearly to reprove others.  This is not condemnation – this is giving life!

God wants His Church clean.  He wants a Bride without spot or wrinkle. Revelations does not say that He will give the Tree of Life to those who tried, but to those who overcome. That’s why He tells us to examine ourselves.

Jesus is the High Priest who will examine the house and declare us clean or unclean. Judgment will begin at the house of God.  Clean the House.  Scrub the walls, scour the place inside out.  Come out from a church that is not clean.  If you decide to remain inside a house that has leprosy in it by making excuses for sin, you also will be broken down and carried outside the camp.

Revival does not come without deep, corporate repentance, and will never come to the Church as long as there is sin in the house.  The trick is in recognizing it and being honest with ourselves and with God.  Only when the Church is clean will it ever see a true move of God.

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil
… nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

Revelations 2:2,4

Brother Dale, RevivalFire.org

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­ “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.”
2nd Timothy 4:14,15

Burundi is a tiny country nestled in the midst of East Africa.  Only a few short years ago close to 300,000 people died here in a 12-year civil war, but now it is clean, open and peaceful and a welcome relief from the squalor you find in Kampala and other cities in Africa.

But for such a small country, I had an incredible amount of resistance and trouble.  It all surrounded one single person who caused so much trouble. And guess who that person was – our host, the guy who invited me there – my own personal Alexander the Coppersmith!

Without hanging out all the dirty laundry, suffice it to say that it has been a battle, but we knew we had to work through it, and in the end, we reached dozens of pastors and leaders with a startling message of revival that they had never heard before.  They are ignited and ready to turn Burundi ablaze with a new fire that they have been praying for.

There are churches all over the place and probably 85% of the population are true practicing Christians – even the President of the country is born again – but there is such a lack of depth here.  They pray like warriors, but they read Bible like children. Many pastors here have only a rudimentary knowledge of the Bible.  I had to help one of them today find the Book of Judges because he didn’t know where it was.

With that kind of deficiency, there can be no power in the Church … and no revival.  Only the Word of God can bring forth revival.

  • Without a deep hold on the Word, your faith will be anemic and you will not have the power to raise your prayers past the ceiling.  Oh, you can pray loud, but you won’t get very high.
  • Without the Word of God, any repentance will be superficial at best because it is the Word of God that separates between flesh and spirit to open your heart for Holy Ghost conviction.
  • Without a knowledge of the Word, how will you tell the new souls that come in what is right and wrong?
  • Without a depth in God’s Word, how will you recognize the devil when he comes to destroy the church?

No power, no wisdom or understanding, no depth, and no strength.  It’s as if they have all the pieces here except the most important one.

Ah, but once they grasp the importance of reading the Bible, they cannot hold their excitement.  This is what they have been waiting for.  It’s as if they have been sitting in a dark room and someone just ripped open the curtains to let in the bright sunshine of the day. And then it’s, “Get outta the way, ‘cause here they come!”

I was taken to a church way out in the bush country in northern Burundi.  Pastors and people came from miles around to see the white man from America.  At the end of the 2nd service, we gave them some oil to pray over their people for revival.  They didn’t know what to do with the oil because they had never done this before, and stood there looking at us with blank faces.  But oh, once they got the idea, it was like pouring out hot fire on dry tinder!

I don’t know how long we prayed – first over those who wanted the fire of God in their lives, then the children, then for healing, and who knows what else after that – that place was transformed.  The very air changed. There was a feeling of warm wholeness in the air that gave you a feeling of light.  (Sorry, but that’s the best I can do in trying to describe the feeling).

Miracles took place there.  Miracles that so many of the churches in America and Europe have long ago traded for a modern sophistication that has left them like the Church of Laodicea — rich and increased with goods, but not realizing how blind and poor and naked they have become.

Satan knew.  He knew that these people were a tinderbox ready for a move of the Holy Spirit if they could just be pointed in the right direction.  So he sent Alexander the Coppersmith to do everything he could to stop the move of God.

In the end, however, God will have His way.  He did with Paul in Ephesus, and He did with these people in Burundi.  But sometimes that means you have to stand in the battle to fight all the way through to claim that victory.

But the victory is always worth it.

Brother Dale

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