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Well, I have been told that I was going to Hell again.

This time from someone that had read the Statement of Faith on my website, www.revivalfire.org and decided that, because I do not believe as she does, I was not saved. She was also quick to point out that you can’t go by feelings.  I beg your pardon, but I don’t see how you can go without feelings.

Yes, we walk by Faith and we must go by the Word of God, but doesn’t the Spirit and the Word agree?  And isn’t faith the substance of things hoped for?  And if it is a substance, can you not feel it?  Faith opens the door to walk into the presence of God, but believe me, when you are in the presence of God, you can feel it!

I don’t want to just believe I’m saved or think I’m saved –I want to know it!  I want to feel it!  I love that rush that comes down from the Throne of God when I pray.  When I raise my hands and lift up my heart in praise and feel the Heavens open up – wow, there is no feeling in the world like that!

When you lead someone through the Sinner’s Prayer and you feel the Spirit of God come down and flow through them – how can you not feel that?

When you lay hands on someone that is sick and feel the Blood of Jesus Christ wash over them and heal them right in front of you; when the preacher is under the Anointing and you feel the power of God flowing through whole church; when you are deep in prayer and the Lord speaks to you or shows you a vision – tell me, how can you not go by feelings?

Perhaps that woman has never felt the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost in her life.  If she did, maybe she’d have a different opinion.

I’ll tell you what, if I were in a church or a denomination or a doctrine (or whatever you want to call it), and I couldn’t feel the Spirit of God, then something is missing.  (Like maybe God?)

If you can’t feel the Spirit of God, then something is standing between you and Him.  Maybe that something is your religion.

I don’t want a cold, dead faith.  I don’t want to guess or try to theologically convince myself that I’m saved.  My faith isn’t cerebral; it’s deep in my heart.  I want a relationship with the Lord that is so personal and so powerful that all the devils in Hell cannot convince me that I am not right with God.  Not even some zealot that doesn’t happen to agree with me.

In order to be led by the Spirit of God and keep heading down the right path with Him, you’ve got to be able to feel His leading and His correction.  This is not something you can guess on, or gamble your soul on the throw of a dice – you have to be sure.  Hell burns for a long, long time.

Jesus said that as many as are led of the Spirit, they are the Sons of God.

And if you’re not led of the Spirit … well, good luck trying to figure it out.

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Well, I am at the halfway point for this mission in Nigeria. One more week and a half of rice and chicken and I will be ready for a Big Mac … or two. Just about the time my body’s time schedule gets adjusted to Nigerian time, I will be back in the U.S. and have to do it all in reverse.

I have nothing supernatural to report today. No miracle healings, huge altar calls, or shattering breakthroughs. Each day another visit to another small church to deliver another message about revival. While I am not the jump-up-and-down excitable showman like some of these guys are here in Africa, I do catch their interest. For me, it’s not about how emotional a response I can get, but if they understand the message or not.

I believe they do, but they are often so easily swayed back to that excitable prosperity, riches-and-blessings-for-free message that so many of these false prophets here will feed them. The corruption in the Church here is beyond anything that I have seen anywhere else. They know intrinsically that it is wrong, but Oh my gosh, it feels so good! It will take a while to turn this ship around.

I think the thing that amazes me the most in this struggle for truth is that so many pastors, bishops and leaders all tell me the same thing – they recognize that what I am saying is the truth, and they have never heard anyone preach it. Huh?

Okay, I get that you recognize the truth of what I am saying because I’m just pulling it out of the Bible. There isn’t any analytical, theological, super-spiritual twist to my messages – just tell them the truth! They’ve read that book before, I’m sure. Maybe not a lot, but they have read it, so they must recognize the passages I’m pulling everything from. And their hearts are bearing witness to this message of righteousness, repentance and responsibility. They know I’m right.

But why have they not heard this before? Is it not a popular message like the ones that promise free riches and blessings?  Is there such a reluctance to tell people the truth that they would rather go along with a “feel good” ministry so that they can continue to get paid? Or has it been so long since old fashioned warriors like T.L. Osborne have preached this message here that they no longer know how to do it? Or is it simply about the stinking money?

I have heard of several instances where local pastors will harangue a host to force him to share the money they insist has been given him by their American guests, even to the point of threatening them with physical violence. I guess I am too big, ugly, and mean-looking for them to threaten me, so they come against my hosts. These are men of God?  The consuming lust of greed has taken such a hold of them that many not only cannot deliver themselves from its grasp, but are no longer able to even see how wicked they have become.

And every Sunday, they lead their congregations deeper into darkness.  So when a message of Light comes along, it is blinding.

It’s not that they haven’t heard it before — they know the truth; they’ve read the Bible; they’ve been told.

They’re just not listening.

“For everyone from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 8:10-11

Brother Dale
RevivalFire.org

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The Inner Side of the Veil

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19,20 ESV

The King James calls it “that within the veil”. The New King James calls it “the Presence”. Holman calls it “the inner sanctuary”. The literal Greek is esothen meaning “the inner side” of the veil. What is the writer of Hebrews (let’s assume for clarity that the writer is Paul) referring to?

Chapter 6 of Hebrews is a mysterious chapter. By that, I mean that the message is not immediately obvious. What seem to be five different and separate messages is actually one message that is not stated but woven into them all. I am reminded that, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2) It is left to us to search it out.

The chapter opens with an admonition about going on to “perfection” or a higher level in our spiritual walk instead of being bogged down with basic essentials, of which he names six. But, Paul warns, don’t start seeking some deeper of more “spiritual” level unless God permits!

Why is that? What is the problem with seeking more knowledge or deeper spiritual understanding? Doesn’t Proverbs plainly tell us to do that with everything we have? And such a warning! Why?

Because, Paul warns, it is impossible, once you have crossed over the line, to come back again. I know this is anathema to who believe in Eternal Security, but it clearly describes five unmistakable marks of true salvation: enlightenment, sampling the heavenly gift, partaking of the Holy Spirit, tasting the Word of God, and tasting the powers of the age to come. And it clearly warns that if they fall away that there is a point where they cannot repent again.

In other words, be careful before you wander off into theological scholasticism or modern Christianity’s bent on deeper “spirituality”. You can wander off into dangerous theories, arguments, doctrines, and translucent ideas that will take you away from the basics of the Gospel. Jesus said to be concerned with the “weightier matters of the law”, judgment, mercy, and faith. (Mathew 23:23) It is the foolishness of preaching that God uses to save souls (1 Cor. 1:21), not the wisdom of man, as he further admonishes in that chapter.

In other words, stick to the basics; you can’t go wrong with the basics. The Bibles tells us that, “he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30), not those with carnal intelligence, because “to be carnally minded is death” (Romans 8:6)

And then Paul turns to encourage the reader that God is not unjust to forget our works and mercies that we have done. He fortifies it with a reference to God’s promise to Abraham, which is confirmed by God’s own oath so that we would have a strong consolation to have hope in God.

That hope is not found in the pursuit of knowledge and theological strivings or of any other paths that lead around and away from the Cross. It is embedded on the inside of that veil. Not on the side of the veil that the priesthood could see and touch, but on the other side, the side that is inhabited and immersed in the Holy Spirit of God.

You see, that place of assurance cannot be reached through carnal efforts, no matter how well intentioned they are. Our works and efforts are all good things, but they won’t bring you into the Presence of God. You can’t touch the inner side of the veil by sticking your finger through the outer side.

You approach God through faith. That is what gives you hope. And hope is the anchor of the soul, hooked into the inside surface of that holy fabric which was torn open on the Cross so that we could pass through into His Presence.

 

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[Here’s another post from the Nigeria-2012 booklet that I thought I’d pass on. There’s a couple more that I’ll send later. — Dale ]


It’s the eyes that get you.

All the shouting and the praising is great, but it is when you look into their eyes and see the sincerity of their heart that you really know that God is doing something special here. It’s not just another meeting to sing some songs and hear about how much God wants to bless you and bring you into some vaunted abundant life.  The stuff we saw tonight is down to the roots of the soul – serious dedication to do whatever it takes to have revival.

Nigeria is very different from East Africa in that this is a serious people. You do not see the color and gaiety here that you find in Kenya, but neither do you see the lackadaisical attitude that you find in East Africa. Nigerians work hard and have a more serious outlook on life.  Their approach to the Gospel reflects that same attitude.  Whereas in Kenya, the shouting and singing may be louder initially, their ardor begins to wane when it comes time to dig in and do the work of the Gospel. Nigerians, on the other hand, may not be so open and emotional, but they seem to have a more serious fixation on the hard facts of the price that must be paid to have a true revival.

A prominent pastor here told me that they have been fasting and praying for revival but God is not answering.  Something is wrong, and they want to know what it is.  Now that is a serious cry for revival!  This is past the singing and dancing and enters into the serious reality of what God requires. The Altar of God is not a place of singing and dancing, but of blood and sacrifice and death.

One of the biggest lies that Satan has sold the Church is that we can just sit in our little pews and God will have mercy on us and send us revival.  Sorry, but if you do nothing, nothing will happen.  Mercy is not handed out free – it must be paid for.  Mercy begets mercy, unto the merciful He will show Himself merciful, and as James tells us, judgment shall be without mercy on those who have shown no mercy.  What a trip the devil has put us on!  And we believed him!  Or should that be in the present tense?

But these guys know differently.  They know there is a price to pay for everything in God – everything. And the price for a full Holy Ghost revival is extremely high.  That’s why they are so rare – nobody wants to pay that price.  That is precisely why you have to be desperate in order to see revival come.  So desperate that you are like Rachael in Genesis 30:1, “Give me souls or else I will die!”  So desperate that you are willing to give your life so that souls can be saved.  If you are not, you will not see a real Holy Ghost revival because you won’t do what it takes to get one.  You’ll just have some really good “church”.

But these people tonight have had enough of “church”.  They are ready for whatever God has placed before them and are ready to answer the call of the trumpet that is blowing in Zion – the call to the last battle between God and Satan for the souls of Man.

You could see it in their eyes as they came in droves to kneel at the altar.  The entire church came down — even the ushers!  They emptied themselves of their self-interest and pride as they ripped their hearts wide open to repent and surrender all to Jesus.  The passion at the altar was only surpassed by the cries of “hallelujah” that were so loud that my ears over-amped!  There was victory in the church tonight.

When you see a serious dedication like that, you can expect serious results.  I have no doubt that their passion will carry them into the Word of God to give them the power to fast and pray for God to build a fire in their church.  And then watch as that fire spills out into the streets to bring in the lost and dying into that same Holy Ghost blaze.

Just as in childbirth, revivals are birthed in pain and labor and travail. They also end up with the same kind of rejoicing.

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One of the messages that I have brought many times is the story in chapter 14 of 1st Samuel about Jonathan, the son of King Saul. It was one of the very first messages that the Lord brought to me about revival. Over time, it has grown to encompass messages about the necessity of the Word of God and prayer in bringing revival and the need for a vision for God.

King Saul had mustered 330,000 men of war to defeat the Philistines, but then sent them all home after the victory except for 3,000 men. But guess what happens when you lay down your defenses. The enemy will attack. And that is what happened to Saul.

The Philistines came with more than a hundred thousand men, and the men of Israel fled to the caves and dens of the rocks. Only 600 men remained, but none of them had a sword. Only Saul and Jonathan had swords. What happened to all the swords? When we do not maintain our grasp of our sword, the Word of God, we lose our defense against the enemy.

But Jonathan was not like his father. He was a man of vision for God. The circumstances around him did not matter. It was not how big the enemy was that he saw, but how big his God was. Jonathan turned to his armor bearer and said, “…There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” (1 Samuel 14:6)

And up the mountain he went.

Jonathan climbed up that hill on his hands and knees, just as we must do battle on our knees with our hands clasped in prayer. At the top of that hill, as Jonathan wielded his sword, twenty men fell before him. That is the power of the Word of God when it is joined with prayer that contends all the way to the top of the mountain.

But that was not what made the revival break out. What did twenty men matter in the face of 100,000? What good would such a small effort do to bring down such overwhelming odds? Why bother with those little out-of-the-way churches with small congregations? How can God possibly use such puny things to spark a worldwide revival? I don’t know. I just know He is God, and that’s what He does.

God saw the faithfulness of a man who simply believed God and took hold of a vision for God that spurred him to action. Jonathan never looked at the situation around him, but he looked beyond the horizon to a God that was bigger than any problem and any army of the enemy. He had the courage to believe God. That courage drove him up that hill. Had he stayed at the bottom, nothing would have happened and Israel would have been destroyed.

But when God saw that faithfulness, the earth began to quake and the rocks began to fall and the entire Philistine army began to run for their lives. They went down killing each other in their panic to flee.

And the Israelites that had run to hide in the caves? They came out and began to chase the enemy. In like manner, when real revival breaks out, all those Christians that have run to the caves and dens to hide because of their discouragement with a dead religion, will suddenly see what they had been looking for in a new revived outpouring of the Holy Ghost, and will come forth.

This is the picture of revival that I see. It is not by might or by power but by the Spirit of God that revival will come. It is the little people of the Faith, not the big shots, which God will used to bring this great, end-time move of God just before Jesus comes back.

Revival is coming. But it is not coming to everybody. Only to those who answer the call and are willing to climb up that mountain, armed with the Word of God and the power of prayer. We need Jonathans with vision to lead the way up that mountain so that God will shake the earth once more.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

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“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us …”  (Eph. 3:20)

I went to go pray over a friend of mine who was in serious condition in the hospital. We had prayed for him a couple months ago when he was slipping over the edge into death, and the Lord answered mightily. I was on the phone with his wife as we were praying, and about 15 minutes into it, we both experienced the power of God come down in a finality that established the victory like slamming a standard into the middle of a battleground. It was done! God had answered!

Needless to say, the next morning, instead of dying as everyone expected, he immediately took a major turn toward life. Prayer had literally pulled him back from the dead.

Three months later, however, he was still in the hospital. It was up and down, back and forth. This week he is chipper and doing well; next week he is faltering. We had prayed him back from the dead, but now it was time to bring him back to life, real life.

I have seen just about every miracle healing I can think of from  blind, crippled, paralyzed, barren, broken bones, even one man who was virtually dead, but I still have no idea how it works. Or why.  I have listened to all the theological experts (who, by the way, rarely have done this themselves) explain how the whole process works, but I am still clueless. I can only step into the situation, lay hands and pray, and wait for God to do something miraculous.

And He does. Many times, an entire line of people who have come forward will get healed – every last one of them! But there are those times when you pray your guts out, and nothing happens. Burned into my memory is the picture of me in Africa holding a child that was brought to me with malaria. I prayed harder that morning than I had ever prayed, but, on the way to the hospital that afternoon, the baby died. You can’t question these things; you just keep going and keep doing. God is in charge.

In spite of all that I have seen, I am still intimidated and a little scared when I am asked to pray over someone. I don’t know how it works, I don’t always feel something when it does, and who am I anyway to drive my way into the Throne Room of God to demand this thing? This past weekend, however, the Lord was pressing me hard. Go and pray. Exercise your authority that I have placed upon you. Have the guts to believe Me and establish the promises that are planted in the Word of God.

Yikes! This has now taken a very different tack. This is no longer a mission of choice – this is a campaign of battle to establish the will of God. This is now a commission, not a request. The honor of God is on the table. He said it; we have done it; it is finished. Go!

And then the above scripture came to me. “Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” I get that part. God is sovereign. Everybody knows that. What has that got to do with prayer?

Ah, the “rest of the story”, so to speak, is in the other part of the verse, “according to the power that worketh in us …”

All of a sudden, this is not a work of chance or wishful thinking. It is not about tossing out some anemic prayer requests and hope that it works. And if it doesn’t, oh well, it must not have been the will of God. No excuses, no backdoor exit, no nebulous theologies. NO MORE EXCUSES!

What did God say? Then have the courage to believe Him! As a friend once told me, “Act like you believe the Bible.” That’s it. It’s as simple as that. Just step off the edge of the cliff and let God catch you.

The catch in this, however, is predicated on that one little turn of a phrase, “the power that worketh in us.” This is not a free-for-all; there is a price to pay for the kind of power that God requires. This is not a matter of “works”; this is a matter of power. And we are required to do what it takes to get that power in God so that we can, in turn, exercise it so the world can see how great God is.

I have said before that your place in God is determined by your depth of prayer. The oil for your lamps is gotten on your knees before God in deep, broken subjection. The deeper your prayer, the deeper you go into His bleeding side. That “secret place in God” that David speaks about in Psalm 91 can only be found in a place that is nailed to the Cross.

The troubles and pain in the valleys, the sufferings of the Cross, the crucified walks, the brokenness and surrender all lead to a place in God that cannot be found in the mountaintop experiences and pleasant times that we celebrate in church. This is the price we pay for that deeper walk in God. Pain and sorrow open wounds that take us into a depth in God that laughter never will. It also brings us into a walk of righteousness because the closer we get to God, the more we approach His holiness and are finally able to understand the fear of the Lord. Righteousness establishes the promises of God, and a crucified walk that takes us into the sufferings of the Body of Christ brings us to that place of righteousness, not because pain cleanses us, but because it opens depths in our soul that brings us closer to God.

Walking in this kind of depth establishes a confidence of faith and power in you that you never had before. It exposes your understanding to realize that time and space are not real. They are unrealities that tie us to this world. Only when you understand that time and space are not real will you ever be able to believe God for the impossible.

Walking in the power of God blasts demons, breaks chains, destroys obstacles, and heals the sick. God has given you power to heal the sick – He didn’t ask you to ask Him to do it. He told you to do it. Now you understand; now you are empowered to exercise that which is “exceeding abundantly above all” because we have a power that works in us which has been forged in the fires off the altar of God – the same altar that accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that is covered with His blood.

That is where the power comes from – His blood on the altar of the suffering of the Cross.

But …  you have to go get it.

Are you wondering about why things are so weak? Are you, like Gideon in Judges Chapter 6 wondering about where the miracles are? Why are our altar calls so empty? Why are services more like a college lecture than a supernatural experience with God? Where is the power?

It starts on your knees … and goes down from there. Power in God only comes from a depth of prayer that is washed in the agony of His blood.
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Brother Dale

 

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I would just like to make a point that there some very real differences between Bible translations and that in some cases, these differences are something that we should at least be aware of.

There are different methods of translation as well as different source texts that different translations use. I don’t want to launch off into an intricate discussion of all the different variants, but let’s just say it seems that different perspectives reflect different approaches and attitudes toward God’s holy book.

There is a good example of these discrepancies that is brought up in Gary Zeolla’s book, “Differences Between Bible Versions.”

In 1Corinthians 7:1, Paul writes, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” This is a good example of a verse that can dictate some very different behavior depending on how you look at it. What does Paul mean by, “it is good for a man not to touch a woman?”

Here are the responses from the different translations:

  • ESV: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”
  • NIV: “It is good for a man not to marry.”
  • NIV footnote: “It is not to have sexual relations with a woman”
  • NLT (New Living Translation): “Yes, it is good to live a celibate life.”
  • NET (New English Translation): “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”
  • God’s Word: “It’s good for men not to marry.”
  • HCSB (Holman Christian Standard): “It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman.”
  • CEV (Contemporary English Version): “You asked, ‘Is it best for people not to marry?’”
  • GNB (Good News): “ A man does well not to marry.
  • LB (Living Bible): “If you do not marry, it is good.”

Which of these is correct? Is Paul talking about sex, cohabitation, or merely holding hands? The actual literal words used is to “not physically touch.” That an unmarried man is “not to have sexual relations with a woman” is most definitely true, but does this only include intercourse? There are a lot of things an unmarried couple can do without “going all the way.” How you interpret this passage can have eternal consequences.

Personally, I believe this verse is Paul’s admonition to couples against becoming so intimate that it lights a sexual fire that will pull them deeper and deeper into sin. But that is not the point – the point is that this is not about interpretation. It is about translation! Anytime you add or detract from the original “God-breathed” words, you run the risk of incurring serious consequences.

In Revelations 22:18-19, God says that if you add to the words of this book, He will add to you the plagues that are written therein. (Have you ever read some of the curses written in Deuteronomy?) If you take away from the words of this book, He will take away your part in the Book of Life. Even worse.

My point is that there is a raging controversy over the validity of Bible translations. It is one thing to learn the facts and the issues that are at stake and make your choice based on what you believe to be the best resolution to the different arguments. It is an entirely different thing to ignore the whole issue because, for one reason or another, you don’t care.

You are what you eat. Choose wisely.

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