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Archive for July, 2015

Yesterday I crossed the White Nile River. Even way back here in the Sudan, thousands of miles from Egypt, this is a pretty good-sized river and it flows fast. Images of Dr. Livingston, Ernest Hemingway, and Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen come to your mind as you cross the old iron-grated bridge. I kept wondering, as I crossed over, how long this rickety old bridge was scheduled to last. I should have taken a picture to show you, but I was more interested in the thrill of crossing the Nile and the prospect of the bridge collapsing into it.metal-church

We headed to a small church south of Juba where several pastors had come to hear this new message of revival that they had been told about. The church was little more than several poles stuck into the ground holding up sheets of corrugated iron for walls and a partial roof. Dirt floor and plastic chairs. Just like churches all over Africa.

Sometimes I wonder why the Lord has not sent me to very many large churches. I know that for one, the Spirit of God is not released as powerfully in the big auditoriums like it is in the small, out-of-the-way churches. Every blind person I have seen receive their sight has been in the rural villages. The same goes for most, not all, of the deaf, crippled, and paralyzed, some of which get healed as they step inside the tent or canopy. I am sure there are a plethora of reasons why, but I’m not sure it matters. This is where He sends me, and this is where the power of God comes down.

metalchruch2And here I am again. I promised God a long time ago that I would take the jobs that no one else wanted and I would go to the places nobody else would go to. He must have been wide awake and listening when I said that … I think He even wrote it down.

Hearts seem more personal here, or maybe more needy, or maybe there’s just no distractions between these people and their desperation for God. Whatever it is, they are drawn to the call. But they do not want to hear a soft American gospel – they’ve gotten enough of that and it doesn’t bring true revival. They want that old-fashioned message of repentance that they heard 50 years ago. Yes, they do know the difference. It is a shame that we do not.

That is not to say that they do not have their charlatans and opportunists. I listened to one guy get up and talk about how he is an apostle and how great his calling is. Let me tell you, if you have to wear a title around your neck so we can all know how great you are, then I am not impressed. If you have real power in God, you don’t need some stupid title. There are metalchruch2tons of self-proclaimed apostles and prophets of the wind running around doing their best to lie to the Church and keep her away from the altar of repentance. We have them all over America too, especially in the evangelical churches. But Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice, and these people know the difference.

I go back to this church today to talk about how to build a fire in the church. They are excited because finally here is a solution. Everyone talks about revival, but how do you get it? How do you go about to bring down that fire that will light up not only the church, but everyone around it? In America, we talk about revival, but few will do what it takes because they just are not desperate enough. But here in these little churches that are so poor they can barely pay for the lights, the world does not hold much for them. They desperately need God, and they are willing to do whatever the Word of God tells them.

As I crossed the river on my way back to the hotel in Juba, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some message there. As a white man, I had crossed the White Nile to bring a message of revival to this dark place. Whether or not they take up the torch and spread the fire will be up to them, but I have crossed the river to strike the match.

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I told Vinnie, but I’m not sure he really understood. I don’t think you really can until you actually experience it for yourself. The excitement that breaks out during these services sometimes has nothing to compare it with. You just have to be there.

On the 2nd day of this set of meetings, I took the people there to the Word to show them how to build a fire in the church. It’s all there in all its simplicity for anyone to read … if you’re looking.

I showed them the instructions Jesus gave in the Wedding in Cana, backed it up with Elijah’s sacrifice on Mount Carmel, and sealed it with Isaiah 58. They had never seen that before and the simplicity of it all was exciting to them.

And then we moved to that personal challenge — do you really want revival, and do you want it bad enough to cry out to God? They did, and the call brought everyone in the church down to the altar in an intense cry to God to forgive us, change us, and empower us to seek His face for revival.

That was yesterday. Today we sealed it with a climatic breakthrough to the Throne of God.

You think I’m just slinging out expansive words and painting a picture in exaggerated colors? Well, that’s because you weren’t there.

The message centered on the prophesy of the Last Great Revival in the Book of Joel but focused on building that drive, desire, and dedication  in us to do whatever God requires to bring revival to the Sudan. They were wide open to the Spirit of God when I called them to the altar to anoint them with oil and pray over each one of them. I could feel the intensity building as I was going down the line praying over them.

And then I could hear Noah begin to take off.

I didn’t tell you about Noah, did I? I have never met anyone that can close services like Noah. He has a way of holding people’s hearts in his hands and taking them right up the very Throne of God. As I was finishing the prayer line, he started ascending Jacob’s ladder.

The noise from the praises and cries to God was deafening! I told Vinnie what it was like, but I know he had never seen anything like it. He was standing over on the side grinning taking pictures while the place went wild.

I suppose an outbreak of revival is a two-way street. It is certainly dependant on the will and timing of a sovereign God, but there are also conditions that we meet as we bring our broken hearts to Him in desperate prayer to get Him to move and spark a Holy Ghost revival. Tonight, we didn’t just knock on the door. We took our request right up to the Altar of God and touched the Fire of God.

I told Vinnie, but he had to experience it himself … and so do you.

Sudan4

Brother Dale (dale@revivalfire.org)

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Sudan. Just the name conjures up images of desert, camels, dark-skinned women carrying clay jugs of water on their heads … and war. The idea of going into this land of conflict scares most people in the West, but the truth is that the Sudanese are people just like everyone else. They trudge through life just trying to survive one day at a time.

Conflict and war have been a part of their lives for decades, and are still going on, but the wounds of war serve as a golden opportunity to open up the truth of the Gospel to them. When hearts are surrounded with comfort, wealth, and ease they Sudan1tend to fall into a slumber. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, bring the stark contrast of reality into sharp focus. It is into places like this that we are presented with a chance to plant the seeds of truth deep into this soil.

A soft gospel, “feel good” messages, and prophets of peace and prosperity will find no foothold here. The lines of reality are too sharply drawn. But tell them the truth about righteousness, judgment and what God requires, and they stand up and take notice. These people know their Bibles — that’s all many of them had to hang onto during these times of darkness – and they recognize when the Holy Ghost is speaking and when it is nothing more than a well-meaning theological message. I was challenged, and I was impressed.

Services were exciting yesterday. We were late for the morning service that I was supposed to preach at, but the pastor didSudan2 allow me 30 minutes at the end. He got so excited, however, that he insisted that I stay and bring the message for the main service. The place was packed and the excitement ran high. Then he wanted me to keep preaching for the next 7 days!

But today’s meeting eclipsed what we experienced yesterday.

You know when you are trying to do your best, and at some point you just let go and allow the wind fill your sails and sail you away? That’s what it was like. I hit a certain stride about 15 minutes into the message, and the Spirit of God took us away after that.

And then it began to rain.

We were already on a roll, but somewhere in there, the Spirit began to soak us, drench us, and lift us up in a flood. Oh, it was beautiful! All you wanted to do was stretch out your hands and keep praising the Lord … and let it rain!

You know, I could have stayed home and ignored the call. Africa can be a dangerous place. I didn’t have to go. (Well actually, I did. I couldn’t have Sudan3ignored the call.)  But if I had, I would have missed this service. The riches of God’s depths are not found in sedate places within easy reach. They are only available to those who, reaching in faith beyond their capacity, will toss all caution to the wind to trust God and cast their nets into dangerous seas. It is there that great catches are found.

This campaign is just beginning. We have 3 weeks and several churches left to go. What will it be like as the crescendo rises?

Brother Dale (dale@revivalfire.org)

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The Plague Has Begun

“And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.” (Numbers 16:46-47)

Like so many others, I believe we crossed a line when the Supreme Court legalized Gay Marriage. And I don’t believe we are ever coming back. We are rolling toward judgment like a great stone wheel.

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram had risen up against Moses and had been judged. Korah was from the priesthood and the other two were from one of the other tribes – this was a rebellion that came out of both church and congregation. The judgment that had come upon them had been dramatic and sure — there was no wondering who was right and who was wrong – and yet it had not satisfied the people. They wanted out from the strict religion of Jehovah, and Moses was the obvious target.

The very next day, the whole congregation rose up against Moses and Aaron and kindled the wrath of God. There would be no sweet-talking God out of this one. The pleas that Moses had used the last time were not going to work this time. God was mad.

There was only one hope. Send Aaron into the midst of them holding up the incense of prayer. It is the only thing that can stop the judgment of God once it has been determined. Prayer moves God.

I have never gotten much traction on the evangelistic circuits in America. I guess I don’t have the message that they are looking for. Repeatedly, the Lord has counseled me to stay separate and keep my edge sharpened. Let others travel those circuits.

A cutting message of holiness and the fear of God is not a “feel good” message. It calls for brokenness, repentance, and a crucified walk in God, the Cross instead of the Crown, tears instead of blessings, and repentance instead of rejoicing. It calls for judgment in the earth.

Instead I hear, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” Excuse me, but can you tell me where that is at, because I’m reading in Psalms 5 that He hates the workers of iniquity and despises them. True, He loved the whole world so much that He gave His Son, not that we would not perish, but that we should not.  But He says in Proverbs 1 that if we refuse the fear of God and the way of righteousness, that He will laugh and mock at us when our destruction comes. I do understand that the Lord does not wish for any to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance, including homosexuals, but there is also a limit to His mercy.

I have to wonder about homosexuals when they say they were created that way because the Bible clearly states that it is God who has turned them over to a reprobate mind, not some genetic flaw. They were not born that way. He did that to them because they rejected the mercy and love of God that would have drawn them to salvation. Homosexuality is also the only sin in the New Testament that the Bible says is worthy of death. Romans chapter 1. Read it for yourself.

When we say that God loves the sinner, are we hinting at a more permissive Gospel than the old judgmental one that our forefathers believed in? Have we made our own golden calves like the Israelites made at the foot of Mount Sinai? Are we dumbing down the Gospel so that we can sound nice? Are we so worried about offending someone that we take no care about offending God by changing His Word and the very core meaning of righteousness?

Doesn’t God love the homosexual? It’s all about love, isn’t it? Does that include homosexual love? But the Word of God clearly says that God loves those who love Him, and that the love of God is determined by the keeping of His commandments. Over and over again, God tells us in His Word what He says love is — the keeping of His commandments. He implores us in Jude to “keep yourselves in the love of God”. How? By keeping His commandments.

God loved the whole world so much that He paid the ultimate price to give us the chance at salvation, paid for by the most precious substance in the Universe, His Son’s blood. He had to sit and endure all those long hours as He watched His only begotten Son be tortured, beaten beyond recognition, and brutally nailed naked to a wooden cross … for you. If you reject that after knowing the price that paid for your soul, is it any wonder that you stand in jeopardy of damnation and eternal fire? You can maintain that God still loves you if you’d like, but I would imagine it would be small consolation as you are plunging into the fires of Hell.

What are we afraid of? Why don’t we call sin what it is? Why mollify judgment? Tell them the truth, for heaven’s sake, and let them know they are headed to Hell. That is what love is.

To smooth down the message with sweet-sounding slogans is not love, but is the very hate that you are so afraid of and keeps them from the repentance that would have saved them.

May we answer the call to stand boldly between the dead and the living, to proclaim the truth of God’s righteousness.

“And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:48

 

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

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