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Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.

Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

(Haggai 1:7-11)

I am an old-fashioned revivalist, so several years ago, when I was invited to a Revival Prayer Meeting, I was pretty excited. The pastor who was hosting this meeting in his home was a friend of mine, and I knew what a Prayer Warrior he was. Plus, there were several pastors, professors, and other important church personalities that would be there, so I expected that this would be a powerful prayer meeting.

How wrong I was!

We started praying for the pastors, then the church, on to the people, and so forth.  But when we got to praying for the parking lot, I had to stop them. Now remember, I was just a nobody in a room full of big shots, so I didn’t know what their reaction would be, but I challenged them anyway. “This is supposed to be a prayer meeting for revival, but instead of praying for lost souls, you are praying for everything else but!”

And right at that point, the Lord gave me a vision.

I saw a wide pier jutting out into the ocean. It was much wider than a normal dock, and it was crowded with people. It was a very bright day. The sun was shining and the air was clear and warm.  The people were all wearing very bright colors – reds, yellows, greens, etc. – and they were all smiling, laughing, and having a great time. I could see them prophesying over each other and pronouncing some “word from God” that they had for each other.  It looked just like Church.

And then the vision expanded out into the ocean, but it was in dark muted colors of greys and dark blues. The waters were rough with waves breaking all over. Around the dock as far as I could see were hundreds of people drowning in the ocean, waving their arms and crying for help.

I called to the church people on the dock to throw some life preservers out there, or better yet, jump in and save these people, but everyone just kept smiling and ministering to each other, laughing, and having a wonderful time. They totally ignored the calls for help from those around them that were drowning.

I couldn’t believe it! How could they be so heartless?  Didn’t they care? These were supposed to be Christians!

And then I realized the problem. It wasn’t that they didn’t care – oh, they cared alright – they just couldn’t hear them. Their ears were so plugged up with church and religion and they were so fully absorbed with their own ministries that they could not hear the cries of the lost.

I see this same thing in the ministries of this generation. We seem to be absorbed with edifying the church and ministering to each other, but how few of us turn around and set our focus and attention to those who are lost and dying in sin? And yet, that was the one thing that the Lord commissioned us to do. As He was ascending to Heaven, He had one last request, but we have done everything except what He asked us to do.

Like the Israelites that Haggai was calling to, when we get so absorbed with our own lives that we forget the original call to win souls, we stand the risk of entering into a spiritual famine.  The imagery of the drought and the dearth of harvest are pictures of spiritual famine. The wheat represents the depths of God’s Word (Bread of Life), the new wine is the spirit of prayer, and the oil is the anointing of the Holy Spirit . We see this same imagery in Joel chapter 1 where the prophet is describing the apostasy of the church in the last days and the subsequent spiritual famine that God would bring because of it.

Joel 1:11 gives us the reason why:

“Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.”

In other words, the world is going to Hell, and God blames us. We have been so absorbed with ourselves, our friends, and ministering to ourselves that we have ignored those who are perishing and have allowed the harvest of lost souls to perish in Hell.

God will not bless us until we repent.   If we will not do what He wants us to do, then He will not do what we want Him to do.  He will not restore the grain, the wine, and the oil until we finally repent and do what He has asked.

And if we will not, He will find someone else who will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m sitting here in the cold early morning of the day after Christmas. Everyone is still sleeping; it’s quiet, dark and cold. The sugar plums have all been eaten, so I hope there is something pleasant dancing in their dreams.  But I am here alone and wanted to send out this belated greeting to everyone.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  Christmas is always magical for children and sometimes tiring for us old folks, but it has always been a special time set apart to honor the Savior.  Now, I know that Jesus was not born on Christmas. He was born on the Feast of Tabernacles.  ( In a Stable).  Nevertheless, this is the season we have chosen for Christmas and all its trappings, and regardless of how you feel about celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25th, I hope it has been good for you.

And I really do hope this New Year will be something momentous in your life.

joshua-earle-tUb9a0RB04k-unsplash

I don’t subscribe to the false prophets who run around proclaiming to you that this will be “your year of victory”, or blessings, or prosperity, or deliverance, or whatever nonsense they think will get a rise out of you.  Your year will be what you make it – either in the Lord or in the flesh.  I don’t believe that God is running a lottery for those who do not seek His face.  It is not a matter of luck, misdirected hope, cheap grace, or empty faith.  The Lord will direct and open paths and opportunities to those who seek Him and choose to bury themselves in His Word and in prayer.  You reap what you sow.

On that note, I hope you sow as much as you can this year.  If it is true that we are fast approaching a culmination of things for this old world, then we need to consider a New Year’s resolution that spurs us to do things this year that we have been only thinking about up until now. Whether that means something for your family or breaking the constraining bonds of inaction to go out and do something for the Lord, this year may your best and possibly only chance.  If not now, when? New Year’s resolutions only work when you actually act on them.

Do something different this year, something outrageous, something so far out of the box that it breaks all the restraints that are holding you back.  Do something dangerous!  Do something that requires you to bury yourself in God for your absolute safety and support. Cut everything that is holding you back into the dark folds of mediocrity.

If you don’t step off the ledge, you will never learn how to fly.

 

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“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” 

Luke 2:25,26

Thirty-three years later, old man Simeon was gone, and Mary was the sole survivor of all the witnesses of the birth of God’s Messiah.  This great event of the birth of Christ was the advent of a plan that had its beginning before Creation, and that had been spoken of by the prophets and dreamed of by all Israel for thousands of years.

The Savior of the world had finally arrived, but who was there to witness this greatest of all events?  Three wise men, a handful of shepherds (and maybe a drummer boy), an old woman prophetess, and Simeon.  Besides Joseph and Mary, very few people knew what had just happened, and fewer still understood the magnitude of it.

As Simeon returned the baby back to Mary, he must have looked deeply in her eyes as he realized that she alone of all these witnesses would remain at the end.  He and the prophetess Anna were old, the shepherds were scattered, and the wise men would have returned to their homes.  Even Joseph would be gone.  Only Mary would be left.

Thirty-three years later, as she knelt at the foot of a cross on Golgotha and gazed up at her son, did her heart go back to those few precious moments so many years before when she held the promise of all mankind in her arms, and a cloud of witnesses surrounded her to testify that this indeed was the Son of God?  Now they were all gone, and she alone was left as the sole witness that His was truly a virgin birth, that this really was God in Man who had come to save the world.

But now, he hung upon a rough wooden cross, rejected by the church, the government, and the people.  Only a handful of outcasts clung to Him in the last dying moments, while all the crowds who had witnessed His mighty works had fled.  How many who had once believed but had now become troubled with doubt, had turned away, leaving her to weep for Him on top of that lonely hill?

Did she ever complain?  Did she ever once deny that His birth was truly the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit?  Never.  Her silence was her strongest witness, for she of all people knew who He really was and that the mission He came to accomplish could only end this way.  He had come to die.

As we gather round the Christmas tree and recite to our children the meaning of Christmas, let us never forget the young Jewish girl who once held God’s gift to mankind in her arms and, through her suffering at the foot of the Cross, gave the world an enduring witness that truly He was the Son of God.

Thank God for His wonderful gift and the price that was paid to give it to us.

Merry Christmas,

Dale & Cindy

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Just a heads-up to everyone,

I just published three new books and they are on Amazon ready to ship. I thought some of you might want to get some copies in printed form instead of the intermittent email.

1.     Revival Campaigns in Africa – 2019

Revival Campaign 2019-front coverThis is about the four mission trips I took this year – Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, and the Congo. I wrote several articles while I was in each country I put this book together primarily for the sponsors who had supported our work so that they could see what they had paid for. It is, however, a great book for anyone who would like to know what it is like when you are in the midst of a revival campaign.

It’s a little expensive, $12.95, but that is because it is loaded with color photographs which effectively doubles the cost.

Link on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1701909855

2.     Standing in the Gap: the Difference Between True and False Prophets

Gap-front coverI was asked by a friend who was meeting with many top leaders in the Church about what the difference was between real prophets of God and swarms of false prophets we see in today’s church. This is a favorite topic of mine. After sending him some preliminary articles, I decided to make a book about it. I believe this is an extremely important topic for the church today. There are two gospels out there today. False prophets, like Pied Pipers, lead us into a false sense of grace, while true prophets of God herald the way to holiness. They lead in two different directions, and whichever one we follow will determine where we end up.

Price: $4.95

Lin on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734221305

3.     A Voice in the Wilderness – The Journey Begins

A Voice in Wilderness -front coverI have a lot of articles written – about 750. I was thinking the other day that’s twenty years worth of paper sitting in a file drawer. I decided that I needed to put it in print so I would have a legacy for my kids to know me by. This is the first installment. These are the newspaper columns from 1999. The rest will follow. There are some really great articles in there, as there will also be in the books that follow.

Price: 7.95

Link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999469495

Here is a link to see the whole catalog of 13 books: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Dalen+Garris&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Or just search Amazon under books for “Dalen Garris”.

 

Thanks for listening to me all these years. I believe we are coming to troublesome times and we will need all the exhortation and fellowship we can get.

 

Praise the Lord,

Brother Dale

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I read this passage today as if it was the first time that I had seen it:Yellow candle

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. (Luke 8:16)

Obviously this is talking about being a witness to the world. When you are saved, you receive the Light of the World and you want to shine that Light in the darkness so that everyone can see the truth about salvation. You don’t cover it up inside your vessel to hide it. Neither do you put it under your bed because you are too lazy to get up and shine the Light. You put it on a candlestick or lampstand so everyone can see.

But then He follows up with this next verse:

For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. (Luke 8:17)

What is the connection here? Could it be that the Lord is warning us that when we refuse to obey His commands to be a witness to the world that our sin will not be hidden. God sees and will make it manifest on the Day of Judgment.

And then He follows up with something very chilling:

Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. (Luke 8:18)

Just before Jesus left to ascend into the heavens, He had one last request. It wasn’t to build ministries, hand out canned goods, be nice to everyone, or get wrapped up in a myriad of “church” things.  It was simple: go win souls. Make disciples. Go into the entire world and preach the Gospel. All those other things may be good, but that’s not what He told us to do. We seem to be doing everything else except what He asked us to do.

Could it be that the Lord is warning us that unto those who faithfully follow His command to win souls, will be given blessings, but those who do not will lose what they seem to have? What is it that they “seem” to have that they can so easily lose?

When we look at the parables of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, the Church of Ephesus in Revelations 2, the True Vine in John 15, and many other places, we see a severe warning that we will be judged, not according to our “church” works, but according to whether we had mercy on the lost or not. That was the only difference separating the sheep and the goats. It was the difference between the Good Samaritan and the priest and Levite. It was the one thing that kept your branch from drying up and being broken off to throw in the fire.

Could it be that, like those in Amos 6 who are at ease in Zion, if we settle back and rest in our salvation, thinking that we do not have to worry about facing a reckoning for our lack of mercy, that the salvation that we “seem” to have is a lukewarm and has no real substance to it?

I know everyone wants to think that everyone is going to Heaven, and that because we believe in Jesus and go to church that we will escape Hell. But read carefully, my friend. The warnings are all through the Bible … if you take time to see them.

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (Proverbs 24:11-12)

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. (Ezekiel 33:6)

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)

Something to think about …

 

Brother Dale, Subscribe 

 

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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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