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“We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done…That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” Psalm 78

Oh, the Glory!  Can any of you out there remember what it was like to feel the outpouring of the Holy Ghost filling up services with His Shekinah Glory?  Do you remember when God came down, and hearts were overwhelmed, and praises poured out from hearts that were open?  When souls were filled to overflowing and the Spirit of God flowed like anointing oil through our streets?  Souls were saved, people were healed, and multitudes were drawn to the fountain of life pouring out from the Throne.

Those who remember, they know what I’m talking about.

Where has it gone?  What happened to the great moves of God in our churches?  Those who should have passed on the glory have instead given us over to man-made doctrines, to secular preaching, and to churches that have lost their vibrancy.  Depths in God have been turned over to educated preachers who know so much theology about God that they no longer know what it’s like to be led of the Spirit. If that is not so, then where is the manifestation of the Power of God?

The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.  But our churches have turned the Gospel of Jesus Christ into just another religion.  Lost souls that are desperate for God have looked upon us as another philosophy; another dead religion with no power, no Spirit, and no glory.

Their cry is “Sir, we would see Jesus!”  Give us the demonstration of the Spirit and power.  Let Holy Ghost conviction open our hearts to return to that place in God that we once had.  Church “as usual” is death.  We need Life!  And that can only come from men of God who are not afraid to take a stand for righteousness and for the fear of God. Men that are willing to walk the walk of the lowly Nazarene and allow their lives to be filled with the power of God instead of theology.

The indictment stands against those who remember, and who did not pass it on.

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“When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves.” – A. W. Tozer

Passionless prayer is not what Paul referred to when he wrote about striving in prayer. The word he used was “agonizomai“, which means to struggle in a wrestling match, not to just finish, but to win against all odds.

Is your prayer hour like that, or is it just “a little talk with Jesus”? Is your prayer time described as contending with God like Jacob or Elijah, or is it your “quiet time with Jesus”?

A.W. Tozer knew what he was saying would ruffle some feathers because people without passion will almost always choose comfort over contending. But he said it anyway because it is true.

There is no substitute for contending prayer. I was taught early on that when you have a problem, to take it to the prayer room and seek the face of God. Keep praying until you get an answer – fast if you have to — but get your answers from God. If you don’t understand something, give it to God, and when you are ready to receive the answer, He will give it to you.

But this generation has instead made a habit of seeking to Christian self-help books for answers to their spiritual problems. They read book after book seeking answers, and then they will check with the Bible to see if it lines up with what they have chosen to believe. They are substituting reading books for prayer.

I can hear all the voices rising up to tell me about all the wonderful things they’ve learned from books. I would answer that, besides missing a personal experience from your Father, the real problem is that you don’t know if they are right or wrong. Maybe they’re mostly right … like 99% right. And we all know that that 1% is the pebble in the stream that nudges your direction just a little bit off the true course, setting you up for the next pebble, and the next, until the stream ends up in a very different destination.

Am I too old-fashioned? Maybe. But I’d rather get my answers from God because He is always right.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

 

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[It is difficult to write a short, one-page description of what a true prophet is in contrast to the swarm of false prophets that have infiltrated the Church. Nevertheless, in an attempt for brevity and clarity, I have listed a few characteristics without padding it with too many examples and scriptures. I hope this is easy, clear, and concise.]

1) A true prophet is determined first of all by his message.

It is what he says that sets him apart from false prophets. A true prophet is called to preach against sin and call the people of God to repentance. His voice is always aimed at the false religion that is infiltrated into the true religion.

“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.“(Micah 3:8)

A false prophet, on the other hand, never preaches about repentance (Jer.23:14, 17), but his message is always targeted on the “smooth things” that people want to hear.

“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;”  2 Timothy 4:3

2) A true prophet is also known by his attitude – how he says it.

A true prophet is never part of the crowd and does not care what anyone thinks. He is not like everyone else and cannot “fit in”. He walks to a different rhythm and hears a different melody. In order to deliver the message that God has given him, he cannot be affected in any way by the opinions of others or what the crowd believes is right.  As a result, true prophets rarely care about softening their message to accommodate their listeners. They simply do not care what others think of them.

3) A true prophet has a solitary walk.

He walks alone with God. He hears only God; no one else.  A.W. Tozer wrote, “In order for God to use a man, he has to be separated so that God can speak to him in such a way that the man can hear God. Only the man who can hear God can speak for God.” It is part of his consecrated walk. In order to clearly hear the true voice of God, there must be silence so that he may abide in that “secret place of the Most High”. Elijah had his cave on Mount Horeb, Joseph had his prison, Jacob his 21 years under Laban, and Jesus his 40 days in the wilderness. These are places you can only go through alone, but it is in those valleys that true prophets find the depth of their calling and the deep fellowship with the Cross. It is a filter that false prophets cannot pass.

4) A true prophet is known by his personality and perspective on life.

Prophets are not celebrities. God calls them out of obscurity so that it is the message that gets the attention, not the messenger. Jesus said that no prophet receives honor in their own country. When you find a so-called prophet who is greatly honored and celebrated, and whose books are on the Best Seller list, check on his message. More often than not, the reason everyone likes him is because he is telling them what they want to hear.

“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” (1 John 4:5)

5) A true prophet is known by his purpose – what his job is.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”  Ezekiel 22:30

Prophets are called to stand in the gaps of the walls that are broken down to hold back the judgments of God. (Eze. 22:30). Those walls are the defenses surrounding the Church that are supposed to hold back the enemy. When they are broken down through sin, the church is left defenseless against the destruction of Satan.

Prophets are not called to be Gypsies or horoscope fortune tellers. Their job is to stand in the gaps and rebuild the wall so they can bring the people back to righteousness and renew their proper relationship with God.

6) A true prophet cannot be cultivated or taught; he has to be called by God.

A.W.Tozer said, “Only God can prepare a prophet to do the ministry of a prophet. The schools of the prophet never produced an Elijah or an Elisha.” That’s because they weren’t schools. The Hebrew word used in Kings and Chronicles means an organization or group, as in a school of fish, not an educational institution. You can’t teach someone how to be a prophet. A true prophet is called by God. He does not call himself.

7) A true prophet is always aware of the presence of God and must walk a consecrated walk without sin.

Elijah had a sense that God was standing right behind him (“…the Lord God, before whom I stand…”), watching everything he did. He didn’t dare cross the line into worldliness and sin. Because of the intense degree with which God must operate through His prophets, He cannot work through a vessel that is disobedient. Sin separates you from God (Isa.59:2).

8) A true prophet must be crucified.

He must be a man of deep, prevailing prayer and ready to pay a heavy price of a deeply crucified walk, broken and surrendered to everything around him. Paul said he was crucified unto the world and the world was crucified unto him (Gal 6:14). There has to be a complete rejection of the world and everything in the world. (1John 2:15) His whole cognizance must be immersed in the Spirit of God, not in this world. That makes him different – he is not of this world.

9) A true prophet is humble and walks in a deeper fear of God than others.

He understands that he is nothing without God and is able to give God all the glory. He desires nothing for himself. Let others keep their riches. The prophet of God is sustained by God, not man. Neither does he need or seek glory for himself. Just as John the Baptist handed over his ministry to Jesus upon his arrival at Jordan, so a true prophet gives all the glory to God.

10) To get a better understanding and a clearer picture of what a prophet is, read the Prophets.

Listen to their hearts, feel the cries of their hearts when they cry out to a rebellious people. Feel the rejection and loneliness that they are left with. But also feel the strength of righteousness in their voice and the power of authority in their stand against a church that has fallen away from God and is now walking in darkness and do not know at what they stumble. (Prov. 4:19)

The Lord showed me that His Bride is becoming invisible. She has put on garments that are full of golden jewels, pearls, and beautiful costly array. She is beginning to look just like the world and is fading away. God is losing His Bride. We need a true prophet to bring Her back.

Brother Dale,  http://revivalfire.org

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Last Ride Home

The smog lies like a thick grey haze over the whole city. At first, I thought it was fog or a mist from off the lake, but finally realized that this was just like the smog in L.A. back in 1970. You could see the slight veil of grey even down just one block. Add that to the poverty, squalor, and the overpopulation here, and you have a scene from some apocalyptic movie. It’s also a good picture of the spiritual landscape here. There is a layer of spiritual darkness and oppression in the air that lies like that smog over this whole area.

Life is hard here, especially for the masses of humanity who are under the poverty level. I see them everyday, trudging up the roads, looking for work or some opportunity to make it through this day, and go back to their hovels at night only to start it over tomorrow. What resilience there is here! They just keep trudging along, pushing through life for one more day of survival. Somewhere buried down there has to be a slender ray of hope for something more.

But underneath this is a widespread faith in God, maybe born out of that same desperation. And that may be why their faith is so easy to ignite. Each African country that I have been to has a different type and level of sincerity and faith. Here in the Congo, it is simple, hard, and uncomplicated. They just need God more than others, and that desperation acts like vinegar to cut away the grease of superficial Christianity. The world does not offer them much of anything. Their only hope is in God.

Maybe that’s why I got so sick over here four times! Twice with food poisoning, once with a flu-like cold, and once with who-knows-what-it-was. We did two 3-day seminars on revival and somebody must have telephoned Satan to let him know I was here, because all of a sudden, he woke up and for the next two weeks, I went through a deluge. I had to cancel two church services and missed the last day of the 3-day crusade because I could hardly stand up, never mind preach. The good thing was that the brothers here stood up in my place and took over. Proof that they don’t need me anywhere near as much as they claim.

One of the things that feels like the highest praise to me is that during the crusade that I missed, the pastors that were there said that my host, Pastor John, sounded like himself when he started preaching, but once he warmed up and got going, he sounded just like Brother Dale. To be more correct, he fell into the same Spirit that flows through me.  If I am able to affect the next generation of preachers like that, then that is truly high praise.

So now I am on my last ride home. I will not miss the long hours on the planes, the hotel rooms that begin to feel like a shoebox after a month or so, the African diet, the dirt and mud that is everywhere, the broken fixtures, the insane traffic, and the constant need for more than you can give. But its’ the faces that I will miss. Always the faces. So many stories written into the eyes that look at you with longing and hope for what only God can give them.

Tens of thousands have been saved, hundreds have been supernaturally healed, and there’s no telling how many churches have been revived and set on fire. I didn’t start the fire or fan the flames – I just planted the idea that was written in the Word of God. The Anointing accompanied me everywhere we went, and that is what made it all come alive. They recognized God, and they believed Him, and the seed that was planted in them will germinate and grow into the harvest that is surely coming. I am done and have transferred the anointing and commission to the leaders that are there on the ground that God has chosen. They will take it the rest of the way.

As for me? Oh, there’ll be something come along in due time, I imagine. I’m not rushing it. I been talkin’ for a while about setting on that porch with Cindy watching the grass grow. I think I might give that a shot for a while.

Brother Dale

Dale@revivalfire.org

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Three Days in Kavumu

It has been a while since I’ve written. Food poisoning took me out for a day or so and three days later, I still have no drive or energy. So much for believing that the food is safe at the hotels.

I missed the first day of a 3-day seminar. There was no way I was going to make to this place that was 2 hours away, so I turned it over to my host, Pastor John, to fill in for me. He did a great job, which is proof that they really can do this without me.

The next day I showed up to a group of over 500 pastors, most of whom belong to CEPAC, a conservative Pentecostal organization that started during the revivals that swept through Africa during the early ‘70’s. I knew they’d be scrutinizing every thing I said, but I also knew that this younger generation chafed at the legalistic restrictions that the organization had put upon them over the years.

Like all religious organizations that are birthed in times of a move of God, the fresh excitement of revival slowly fades into a more organized replica of it’s original raw and wilder version. They retain the same vision, believe the same doctrine, sing the same songs, but they just get polished and sophisticated and begin to add more and more rules to maintain their perceived place on the path to Salvation. It’s like they grew up and became adults and lost the freshness of their youth and vitality. They become boring and are no longer fun.

They also change their status in society. Whereas they used to be on the other side of the theological tracks, they have now moved into the respectable section of town. But they have lost something in the transition. They become stiff with a programmed approach to the things that used to be led by the Spirit. And along with that they develop a “churchy” personality, but they never see it.

So I knew what I was stepping into when I stood up to address all the dark suit coats sitting out there. But I also knew that everything I was about to say for the next two days was based solely on the Word of God. I don’t troll all the latest Christian self-help books, subscribe to the podcasts, or view everyone’s videos. I don’t want to replicate someone else’s ideas. I want the Word of God to direct the message so that everything I say can be backed up by God.

I needn’t have worried. They were with me every step of the way. Yeah, there were the expected questions when it came to Question-and-Answer time, but it was more because they wanted to know how to answer these questions. Questions like makeup, lipstick, a glass of beer, women wearing pants, and a variety of the same old issues. When I answered that they were more concerned with a tube of lipstick than the fact that souls were dropping off into Hell, and that God blamed them for allowing the harvest to perish, you should have heard them cheer. Yeah, they cheered! They got the message.

Both days were great – they always are – and I left with a confidence in these simple, humble people that they would take the message I left them and begin to put it to work. They were so happy that they gave me a goat to take home. Yes, that’s right, a goat. And a strange twisted rope that contained a dozen hard boiled eggs. I guess that means they like me.

We tied the goat up in the backseat of the car and waved goodbye. I don’t know if I will ever see them again. Kavumu is a bit out of the way, but God knows exactly where it is and He is able to start a fire in a place like Kavumu that no one has heard of and send it around the world, because He is God and that’s what He does.

Like so many out-of-the-way places that I’ve ministered to, you can only deliver the message God has given you and leave the rest in His hands. He will water the seed you’ve planted, cultivate it, and bring it to harvest.

Brother Dale, www.Revivalfire.org

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Sunday is my first day on the ground here in the Congo, so naturally we are headed off to one of the local churches. I say “local” with some literary license. This place is not exactly local.

After I left the Congo last year, the brothers here were on fire to spread this message of revival everywhere. This church is just one of the many churches that were planted. As I heard it, this pastor heard of me and came to last year’s meetings and asked if they could plant a church in his village. So I started this time in a church that is one of my seeds. I thought that was pretty cool.

But local it is not. We drove up and over the mountains that surround Bukavu, and then we drove down the other side and kept going. Maybe it really wasn’t that far, but it sure felt like they were taking me way out into the bush. Then all of a sudden, we took a left hand turn straight into a tea plantation. This is a road? Well, sort of. But then, we took another turn straight up a rocky, muddy path. Are you kidding me? Horses can’t go up that path, and you’re going to drive up there with this little Toyota?

Out on the outskirts of this huge tea plantation was a tiny village. It was nice, neat, clean, and orderly. Nothing like the squalor that you find in the cities. And in the midst was a tiny church packed wall-to-wall with about 100 people singing and praising the Lord.

Services out here are nothing like you experience in America. First of all, the service lasted over 5 hours. Let’s sing another song! Let’s pray again! How about another message? Add to that an altar call for the nine souls that got saved and a water baptism for another 8 souls. My little message was only a small part of all this.

Africans do not do church like we do in the West. The level of intensity would blow most of us out of our pews. The music is loud and boisterous, and the dancing is ferocious. The praying is so intense it lifts the roof up a few inches or so. And the preaching is serious and anything but the boring lectures we receive in American churches. You got to really want God to dive into church at this level. The thing is, they do. And we don’t.

I think that’s the thing about Africa that I find the most telling – they are desperately hungry for God. From what I’ve read about revivals, that seems to be the one initial ingredient that is necessary for any outpouring the Holy Spirit. You gotta be hungry. So hungry that it will push you past the traditional limits of your typical staid and organized church. You cant fake this. That “churchy” thing has to go along with the half-hearted sincerity and the affected holy voices. The “unchurched” know what I’m talking about. Most of you church-goers do not.

The fervency extended to that evening’s radio broadcast. They had me on for an hour with a salvation message. People not only get saved, but they also get physically healed just listening to these broadcasts. I experienced the same thing when I had a radio broadcast in Liberia. It’s not me that makes the difference; it’s their desperate hunger for God. They need Him and they need Him desperately, and they expect the miracles, and so He brings them.

Us in America? Um, not so much. And that is why I believe revival will break out in Africa first before spreading around the world. We may be the last to get it. And that is IF we are willing to give up our comfortable religions, our weak, insipid messages, and our arrogance of being from “Christian America”.

We are the Church of Laodicea.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelations 3:32)

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Brother Dale

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Back to the Congo

Back to the Congo

Eastern Congo has no serviceable airport that can be reached by major airlines, so I have to fly into Kigali, Rwanda and then hop a prop plane to the border. From there, the brothers and sisters will pick me up to cross into the Congo.

While I am here in Kigali, news of the new emerging Ebola Crisis in the Congo is filtering through. Rwanda briefly closed their border because of the increasing deaths in the Congo. They have since reopened them, but the tension is wavering about what will happen next, especially if the outbreak continues to grow. So far, almost 2,000 have died.

Rwandans kind of look down their cultural noses at the Congo. It is evident that there is a huge difference in the two societies in money, prosperity, infrastructure, business, social responsibility, and much to the point, health. There’s all sort of reasons for this, most notably is the huge influx of cash into Rwanda from Western nations trying to assuage their guilty feelings from sitting by during the Genocide in 1994. In contrast, the Congo has been in a constant state of war for 10 years, both from militias inside the country and invasions from other countries trying to steal their mineral wealth. One country is clean, organized, and prosperous while the other is in tatters, shattered, poor, and under a cloud of darkness.

These are the kinds of places that we as Christians are sent into. While the bulk of American Christians will run to Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda because it is safe there and has an established infrastructure, the real battle and desperate callings are to places like the Congo. It is a difficult place, but it is in such places that the Light shines brightest.

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little scared, and I sure haven’t told Cindy yet. I have already been through this same thing when I was in Liberia when the Ebola Crisis broke out over there. There is a feeling of death in the air that is palpable. I felt it then, and I can feel it now. Is that the devil? Probably. Does it matter? You still feel that ominous weight of fear in your innermost soul. You can tell me how brave you would be, but it would sound more convincing coming from you if you were on the other side of the border.

But we go anyway, don’t we? To quote a friend in Florida, “It’s what we do.” We go. Anything less would be treasonous. We are dead in Christ and called to the sufferings of the Cross. Those people that are there are souls that are precision in His sight and someone has to bring them the Light. So we go anyway.

When I landed at the border, I was met by a whole contingent of brothers and sisters who came to greet me, all wearing polo shirts emblazoned with my cross-and-fire logo on their breasts and “Revivalfire Ministries” printed across the backs. Talk about a welcome!

This is why I come. The fire is not only already burning, it is growing and these brothers are fanning the flames. The Ebola Crisis is only adding to the fire. The same thing happened in Liberia. They started packing the services every night while the disease was devastating the country. When their mortality is staring them in the face, people tend to turn to God.

In “The Hiding Place”, Corrie Ten Boom wrote “thank God for the fleas” because they kept the Nazis from coming into their barracks. If this disease is drawing people to the meetings and causing the excitement level to rise, then I thank God that He is able to use something so deadly to save souls. The trick is that someone has to come and bring the Gospel to them.

And so we go.

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