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It’s rainy season in Lagos – its either cloudy or raining. It seems like a perfect setting for the spiritual landscape that lies before me on this trip. It is evident from the very start that we are here on a mission, not vacation, and there is a feeling like a somber cloud that lies over the whole setting. It is here, I believe, that Satan will dig his claws in to hold on to the spiritual grip he has gotten over these people and use that hold to keep revival from spreading across Africa. We are not here for fun; this is war.

We had a couple services in Lagos at the Shepherd’s House where both Cindy and I preached. Great services, filled with the excitement that only comes from the Throne of God. There were many broken hearts that committed themselves to a fresh new fire and to the opening of a new and greater vision to win the lost and prepare the way for a great revival. Everyone was excited and pleaded with us to come back to see the fruits that would be born from these services.

I always wonder when I leave these places. Was it enough? Will that feeling that they have right now stay with them? Will they catch the vision and build the fire? Every place I go, they say the same thing about me returning to see the fruit. They are so full of fire and inspiration that they cannot imagine going back to “church as usual”. But I always wonder.

I really should give people more credit. The stacks of emails I get testify to the hundreds of churches that have been planted, the thousands of souls that are getting saved, and the emergence of a second generation of evangelists and pastors that are out there spreading the fire. It is most definitely working, and working well. It’s not them that I should worry about – it’s me.

The workings of revival that we have seen these last ten years is so incredible to me that I guess I have trouble grasping the reality of what is really happening. Apparently, the people I preach to have no such problem. They get it. Just strike the match and they are off and running. Me, I’m the guy striking the match and I’m still wondering what is going on.

Maybe it’s supposed to be that way. I’ve given up trying to figure it all out. Just keep going. We have a job to do and don’t have time to fool around. We are here to break through the walls of superficial Christianity that Satan has built around the Church, and light a fire that will burn with the zeal of the Holy Ghost. Will we break through? Will these young warriors fan the flames that have been lit? Will they stand the ferocious spiritual warfare that will most assuredly begin to storm against them?

Yeah, I believe they will. There is a zeal and a desperation here driving them that I do not see anywhere else. They are determined to obtain victory. They just need someone to strike the match.
Maybe it is that serious dedication that I see reflected in these cloudy and rainy days. Surely it has to rain before the sunny days of harvest can ever come.

Is that thunder I hear in the distance? Ah, the sound of an abundance of rain.

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It is 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. A bizarre thing happens.

I receive a message through my mobile from my biological sister who is also born-again that she has sent me some money through MPESA (a way of transmitting money through cell phones). On calling to thank her for the money, I am surprised to learn she had not sent me any money. I scroll through the messages in my phone but the message is nowhere to be seen. Later on, I discover that I have a bill to pay for the same amount as the one in the message that disappeared. My sister just laughs when l call her for the second time informing her I could not find the message. Over the Easter weekend, I had been hammering the enemy (preaching and witnessing) and I do not know if this “’ghost” message has anything to do with the spiritual war I had engaged the enemy in.

Brother Pius

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Fire in crossfirethe Hole

… and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.”
Mark 3:7,8

I went to a local church on Sunday that has about 3,000 members to see what it was like. Obviously, there must be something there that attracts so many people, and I wanted to see what it was.  I was told that the pastor was a very good preacher, but there was also a pause when I was told  that which hinted at something that was missing. Well, there are always issues no matter where you go, so I decided to see for myself.

While I would admit that the pastor was a very good and impassioned speaker, I cannot say that he delivered an anointed message.  Maybe it was an “off” day.  But after several weeks of coming to his church, I was left with little more than a series of interesting messages, but no demonstration of the Spirit and power that Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians chapter 2. Nice, interesting, some great points … but not anointed.

Do we not understand the difference anymore? Has it been so long since we have had the anointing of the Holy Spirit take control of our pulpits that we no longer recognize what we are missing? Yes, this pastor was very passionate, but that does not constitute the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Yes, it was very interesting, but that does not transform a human soul. Yes, I am sure he meant well, but that and 50 cents won’t buy you a cup of coffee. Whatever happened to the outpouring of the power of God during services when whole congregations were so immersed in the Spirit that they were not only transformed by the message but overwhelmed with the presence of God?  Has it been so long that we have forgotten what that was like?

The thundering echoes of our men of God from the past have been reduced to the distant murmurs of a faded memory. Where have these great men and women of God gone? Where is the manifestation of the miracles of the Holy Spirit, the transforming power of anointed preaching of the Word of God, and the downpour of Holy Ghost conviction that sent a flood of repentant sinners to the altar? Where did God go? Has He left our churches to find fertile ground elsewhere? 

I was told by a woman who attends this church that she loves her pastor because “he doesn’t have a single judgmental bone in his body”.  Maybe that’s what the problem is — we have become “nice”. Certainly you can attract 3,000 people if you tell them what they want to hear, but are we so in tune with being “nice” that we have forsaken the commission God has given us to stand for the Truth? Have we become so focused on being “People That Love” that we no longer fear God?  Make no mistake, when you leave the fear of God, you abandon not only the depths of wisdom and understanding, but the strength and authority in God that goes with them. In our efforts to please people we have lost our place in God.  And with it, our anointing.

What caused so many people in Judea to drop everything they were doing and walk all the way to hear Jesus?  It was because he spoke with authority under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. That is what feeds a hungry soul, not theologically correct sermons and complacent messages that are designed to entertain rather than convict.  It takes Living Waters to quench a thirsty soul.

We are missing this today.  I understand that many pastors and evangelists are trying their hardest to convey the Gospel as best they can,

… But that is the problem, not the solution.

Brother Dale,  dale@revivalfire.org

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Lately, I’ve been putting together some video clips from my last trip to Uganda to post on my website. Watching them reminded me how great it felt to be in those services.  That, and what a contrast they were to the services here back in the USA  last Sunday.  What a difference!

When I share these videos of wildly exuberant praise going on at these services, why is it that I don’t get more of a rise from our quietly sophisticated church brethren?  Yeah, there’s some comments of approval, but few cries of desperate hunger.

Over here, it is like sipping on a glass of wine, holding the glass between your index finger and thumb while you pinky hangs gracefully in the air. You get a bit of a nice warm feeling while you discuss the discreet variances of flavor and undertones of the wine. Nice. And quite cultured. Some people really like that kind of thing.

Over in Africa, however, it’s like drinking the whole bottle … in one long upended pull.  Same wine, but wow, what a difference!

Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t you want to be immersed in a deluge of the Holy Spirit, rather than sipping at the edge of the glass? I will always remember the 70’s during the Jesus Movement when the Holy Ghost would fall down on services every night so hard that you would be literally beside yourself, jumping up and down, hands raised to touch the heavens, shouting out praises to God at the top of your lungs.  You couldn’t help yourself.  And that was the tame ones in the crowd!

I’m seeing the same thing in Africa that I saw in the U.S. in 1970.  And I am seeing the same reaction from the churches.  Back then, they patronized us long-haired Jesus Freaks as just a passing fad – a little crazy from drugs, but otherwise harmless.    Now, that same Holy Ghost excitement that is happening in Africa and it is being explained away as emotionalism or as something detatched that is happening “over there”.   (“Don’t you know they’re just more emotional over there? After all, white men can’t dance!”) Yeah, well then explain the powerful outpouring of the Jesus Movement that we had over here.  I’m white, and I was dancing.

Which do you want – the glass or the bottle?  You want a nice warm buzz, or do you want to get sloppy drunk out of your mind?  Are you so damned sophisticated that you can’t tell the difference?  Or is it that you are so comfortable where you are that you don’t want to shake things up … or worse, turn them upside down?

I’m going to post the videos of those wild and exuberant services anyway. I want people to see that there is a very real difference between what we have and what we could have.  We had it once.  Why not again? Of course, that begs the question, how bad do we want it?

There is a great move of God coming – a 2nd Pentecost- but it is not coming to the churches, and if you are not careful, you might miss it.

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another,
What meaneth this?  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.”
Acts 2:12,13

“Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.” Joel 1:5

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

 

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Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 4:16-18

What an incredible statement of faith! To believe not only the unseen, but the incomprehensible simply because God said so! Abraham believed God! But how is it that we so readily try to take this great pronouncement of faith in God’s creative power and ascribe it to ourselves?
Abraham had just settled in Haran with his brother and family when God told him to pack up and leave. Just when everything was going so well! Just go, God told him, and He would tell him where he was going when he got there.
So Abraham left.
Then God declares unto Abraham great promises that he would inherit the land, that all nations would be blessed because of him, and that his seed would be like the dust of the world. Pretty astounding stuff for a camel herder to hear.
Abraham wasn’t sure where all this was going, but he knew it was true. After all, this didn’t come from Abraham’s imagination, but directly from the mouth of God. Abraham was even visited by the priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek, and was blessed again. Okay, now he knows that this is not coincidence, but this is real. But what exactly is going on?
And then one more time, God appears to him and promises His all encompassing protection and reward. Pretty heavy stuff for anyone, even someone as righteous as Abraham. But what is Abraham supposed to do with all this? What is the purpose of all these great and precious promises? He has no children, so who is he supposed to pass this on to after he is dead? What is the point?
God then promises Abraham the stars in the sky. And Abraham believes Him. He believed God because He was God, and God could bring nothing into existence and make things that are not to become real – or as the King James translators put it, “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Abraham did not have to know how God did it or why. He didn’t even have to believe that God could do it – He simply believed that He would. And God counted to him for righteousness.
But what do I hear in the churches today? “Oh praise the Lord, brother. Just speak the word and call those things which be not into existence!” “Just name it and claim it!” “Call it into being!” Yeah right, just snap your fingers and speak it into the wind and all kinds of stuff will pop into existence!
Excuse me, but where did we get this kind of outrageous audacity from? Who gave you the power of creation? Do you really think that because you got saved that you automatically inherited the divine powers of creation? You can just snap your fingers and speak something into existence? That is not faith – that is presumption. And an audacious presumption at that.
The Bible says that the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. In other words, we have power in God through our faith and our broken submission to Him, but our faith is in God’s power, not our own. But magic words do not possess power of their own. To attribute magical power to words that we speak is not faith. It’s the kind of stuff you learn at Hogwarts with Harry Potter. It is sorcery, and it is sin.
The funny thing is that I hear Christians misquote Romans 4:17 all the time, attributing God’s divine power to themselves, but it always seems to come from Christians who have not found that broken, crucified walk in God. These are the same Christians who are enamored with prosperity, blessings and wealth and believe there will be a great transference of wealth to themselves. Their main focus seems to be, not on what they can do for God, but what God can do for them. They won’t pay the price that is required, but they sure want to reap the rewards. They don’t want to break their spirits or crucify their flesh, but are expecting the deeper spiritual walk that comes from sacrifice. They won’t prostrate themselves and cry out upon the altar of repentance with fastings, prayers, and tears, but they want to walk around with a power they neither earned nor deserve.
Everybody wants to be an Elijah, but nobody wants to pay the price.
Abraham believed God, and was willing to leave everything behind to follow God into a strange land, where he was a stranger. He believed God because if God said it, He could do it. God could bring forth that which did not exist into existence. God had the power, not Abraham. Abraham’s power was in that he believed God, not that he became God.
To ascribe to ourselves the divine power of creation that belongs only to God is not the righteousness of faith, but the wickedness and pride of Satan who desired to become like the Most High.

Brother Dale
RevivalFire.org
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Yesterday, we were at a camp that had been established to rehabilitate men who had been lost in drugs and bring them to salvation.  I understand that, in the 14 years that this camp has been in operation, hundreds of men have come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Many pastors have come out of here and established churches all over Cabe Verde.

We gave an altar call at the end of the second service and everyone came down.  I’m not sure that they fully understood what we were asking for, but about 50 men came down to the altar.  Oh well, we prayed them all through anyway, just to make sure.

In between the morning and afternoon services, we have been handing out handfuls of tracts and sending everyone out in twos to go witnessing in the area around whichever church we are at.  It works like a charm!  This is something new for almost everyone – they have heard of this, but have never done it. The results are always stunning and immediate – souls come in for the service and many get saved. Once they realize how simple this is, it is as if a light bulb goes off in their head.  They get it. Revival is this simple. Go get the lost and bring them in to the House of God so they can be saved, and you’ve got revival! (more…)

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I wonder how old these cobblestones are that I am walking on?  I’m wandering down the narrow alleys of Praia, the capital of Cabo Verde, and there is an ancient feeling that hangs in the air.  The cobblestones under my feet are black and slick from ages of wear. There’s no telling how old they are. Old is measured here in centuries, not years.

I can just picture Portuguese soldiers in shiny breastplates and those funny curved helmets running down these very same alleys with their pikes and habergeons to the breastworks to defend the city from another attack by French or English.  Rusty old Portuguese cannons from the 17th or 18th century lay around as if they are discarded reminders of wars from times past.

The Plateau, as they call it, sits high above the harbor overlooking a deep blue ocean while a tropical breeze flows in cooling these old brick and plaster walls from the equatorial sun directly overhead.  In a typical sidewalk café under an expansive orange umbrella, you can sip a cup of strong espresso and enjoy the peaceful feeling of a lazy afternoon.  Old men gather to play chess around a table and argue in rapid-fire Portuguese with old friends, while young men and girls can be heard laughing at the next one. Time doesn’t really pass here – it floats away.  It is almost as if there is no time, and life drifts softly into the sunset.  Sorry, I don’t mean to sound maudlin, but there really is no other way to describe it.

It is in this hypnotic landscape that Christianity has had such a hard time gaining a foothold. It is as if these islands are in a dream world where there is no tomorrow, no yesterday, only the languid presence of now. No one cares about anything because they would have to work too hard to take it seriously. The prospect of pleasures today far outweighs the consternations of Hell tomorrow.

But there is a group of pastors who know better. They know they need something from God that is strong enough to shatter this dreamy illusion. Even their congregations are affected with a laissez-faire attitude toward church, sinners, and Eternity.  Instead of their focus being directed to the Cross, it is directed toward them; instead of looking for ways they can serve God, they are looking for ways that God can serve them.  It is the intoxication around them that has affected their outlook.

But there are pockets here of real Christians who really want revival, and it is for them that I have come. I believe that they will be the lightning rod that God will use to break the demonic spirit that has such a hold on these islands.

Last night, we ministered at such a church.  Very few people showed up for the first service and I wasn’t sure if it was just another example of “African time”, or just nobody really cared.  The Lord gave me a simple and a short message, so I delivered it and sat down.  Oh well. That was all He gave me.

I figured that it was pretty much over and that the evening service might be a dud when a girl in the congregation said she had a question.  A question? Wow. A spark of life!  She wanted to know what real-life experiences I had with revival.  Ah-hem. Excuse me, but how much time do we have?

For the next 45 minutes or so, the crowd came in and sat mesmerized as I described what true supernatural revival is really like. They sat with open hearts drinking it all while I painted a picture for them in vivid colors of what revival was really like. By the time I was finished, the place was packed!   The pastor encouraged them to put what I had said into action and handed them Gospel tracts to hand out in the streets around them for the next thirty minutes and then come back in time for the evening service.

Needless to say, that service was a great!  I don’t know how long I preached, but I know how hard. The Spirit of the Lord had taken over and we were in His presence.  What a service!

And then, as I handed the microphone to the pastor to close with an altar call, a woman came forward with her two girls to get saved.  She had gotten a tract during that 30 minute session between services and had come to church to hear the Gospel.  What an incredible breakthrough!  I felt like jumping up and down yelling, “See? See? I told you it works!”

But I didn’t have to. They were jumping up and down themselves.

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