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Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

I have a dozen or so booklets from different trips that I had taken in Africa.I was reading  the booklet I had written from the trip to Nigeria in 2012 and thought it would be good to pass along the first chapter. I think I will also send the other chapters in the next few days.


“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  (James 1:27)

Nigeria is like no other place I have been. As the most populous country in Africa, the pressure of their dense population tends to make them a stronger, more aggressive culture.  That is both good and bad – that which is bad is really bad, but that which is good is really good. I saw some of the really good this evening.

The church where I am preaching at for three days is on a campaign to start a true Holy Ghost revival.  As the revivalist guest speaker, I am a major part of that plan.  I tell them what to do to have revival, and they go out and put it into practice.  My goal is that they will grab hold of a vision that will claim their entire community for Christ, and have the faith to believe that they can change the world.  And they can … they just have to have to want it bad enough.

It has to start somewhere, and tonight they started with an open air crusade.  Outdoor crusades do not work well in America – at least as far as I have seen – but they sure work well here in Africa.  At the end of the service tonight, at least 50-60 souls came to the altar to get saved, got plugged into one of the local churches here, and were instructed on what to do next in their Christian walk.  This is pure religion.  It does not get any better, deeper, heavier, or more important than this.

In contrast, our churches have developed a more layered and sophisticated way of operating.  I guess it is only natural given that the Church today has become very much like a corporate business.  Aspiring pastors apply for positions at various churches just like a job applicant fresh out of business school. Once hired, salaries are set, job descriptions and responsibilities are defined, and positions are secured. They start at Youth Pastor (why do we put our most inexperienced clergy In the most sensitive position?) and move on up through the different departments until they arrive at the pinnacle of Senior Pastor.  Programs are instituted, goals are voted on, methods are applied, and the whole machinery of church is organized.

This is denominational religion.  Like it or not, complain, criticize, or praise it, this is how it is done — and I suppose it works well enough for what it is supposed to accomplish — but what I experienced this evening was pure religion. This was raw “go out and get ‘em” Christianity — out in the street, face to face where they live.  Nothing complicated.  Just do it.

I tell the churches I preach at that if they are sitting in church waiting for souls to come, they will wait forever.  They’re not coming.  You know why?  Because they are afraid they will become just like us.  (You can always hear everyone groan when I say that). “Go ask them”, I tell them, “They will tell you.”

What they want is the real thing. They’ve already heard the message – probably know it better than most “church people” – but they’re not interested in what you believe, what you say, or what new fancy programs you got going.  They want the real thing – they want to see the power.  They don’t want the Gospel that is the philosophy of God – defined, analyzed, organized, packaged, and digested in your theological books and scholastic dissertations.  They want the Gospel that is the power of God unto Salvation. Raw power; raw truth.  And if they don’t see it in your church, is it a small wonder why they are not coming?

Proverbs tells us that he that winneth souls is wise.  This evening, over fifty people out here changed their eternal destination and escaped burning in Hell for Eternity.  I saw more wisdom in the simple zeal and faith of these people to go out and do this one thing than in all the sophisticated Bible College programs that our modern religions can muster.

I’m sure the scribes will object … but then, they always have, haven’t they?

“Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

(Luke 14:34-35)

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We are on the road to Tsavo, the area where man-eating lions once terrorized the railway workers many years ago. Richie is driving while I am writing this because I am way too tired by the time I get back to the hotel to write down our experiences. I have to do it on the road.

We just finished two days out in the bush country outside the town of Kibwezi. There is not much rain out here. A dry and gritty red dirt is everywhere, as are the big, fat Baba trees that have trunks that are ten feet wide with little stubby branches. There’s not much water out here, so the roots of these trees are unbelievably expansive and wide, searching for water in a dry and thirsty land.

The church here is a small mud building about 15×30. The walls are red mud packed into a lattice of sticks with the ever-present corrugated iron roof. Dirt floor, no windows, and a makeshift door – this is not your standard, everyday church like we would expect in America. This is the evidence of desperate faith and a desire to worship God where it is not convenient.

I was here with my two girls 10 years ago, and they still remember. They tell me that I am the only white guy who has ever come out here to bring the gospel. (I have heard that more than a few times before.) So yeah, naturally they remember me, but they also remember the Bibles I gave them and the Four Steps to Revival booklets. Some of them still have a copy after 10 years!

And they remember the message I gave. The pastor tells me that the church has grown and they have come from far to see me. He leans over and says, “They are so thirsty!”

I get choked up at that. All the big evangelists can keep the large auditoriums and huge church services. Let me have these little people out here who are so thirsty that they will walk 10 to 13 hours just to come hear the Word of God because “they are so thirsty”. Are they not the ones that the Lord told us to come to when He said, “Inasmuch as you have done this to the least of these, you have done it unto me”? (Matt. 25:40)

Sometimes I wonder how the Lord is going to turn this into a worldwide revival, but He quickly reminds me that He is God, and that’s what He does! Not my problem. My job is to show up; His job is to take it from there. All I can do is plant the seed in the dirt; He is the one that brings it to life. “Who has despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4:10)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

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Mornings are gorgeous out here in Namanga. There’s a cool, refreshing tropical feeling in the air every morning. And each morning, little spider monkeys come out to entertain us for food. Almost like street kids who dance on street corners for change. They will come and take a banana right out of your hand.

But by mid-morning, they are gone. Back up into the mountain that is right behind us. It makes you wonder what other animals are up there. The whole area looks exactly like west Texas – arid scrub brush littered with short hardy trees – but instead of mesquite, these are acacia trees. And instead of Armadillos, they have monkeys; instead of deer, lions.

We had two more services here today. The afternoon service was full, but the evening service was packed again. These people are serious. Both services lasted around 3 hours, but no one wanted to leave. Not even close. They are determined to have what I have promised them is in the Word of God.

The Massai are a very different kind of people. They live secluded lives very close to the land and the animals. Lions fear them and will leave whenever a Massai is near, but the other tribes in Kenya look down on them as almost sub-human and uncivilized. They are almost correct. The Massai are very different, their culture is very dark, and the Massai religion is very demonic. Nevertheless, when they get saved, they get saved hard. Their transformation from darkness to Light is no little thing and they take it much more seriously than most others.

You can tell. These revival meetings have brought people in from the bush because they have seen what this message has done from when I have been here before, and they are desperate to get more.

It’s not the excitement or the fervor that makes me feel a difference here amongst the Massai. It is a very different anointing from God that I feel. It is hard to describe on paper, but it is almost as if God is a co-conspirator with me, secretly whispering in my ear to not worry, He’s got this. He has brought me here to speak to His people. He has the message and the anointing. All I have to do is show up and open my mouth. He will take it from there.

And He does.

What a service! This is just like last night. Something broke open in the heavenlies. I have no idea what, but everyone here can feel it. God has brought them hope. A real vision for God always has to be planted with a hope in your heart before it can ever be established by your faith.

That’s what He has done. He has given them a Light in the darkness.

Brother Dale (dale@revivalfire.org)

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“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” Acts 19:13

It always sounds so easy. Just say the words, clap your hands twice, click your heels, and kazaam!

I am so tired of hearing that all we have to do is speak positive words and it will bring life or blessings or healing or whatever we are trying so desperately to believe. But that isn’t faith talking; that’s presumption. Motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar may sound inspiring and fill you with neat sayings that make you feel good, but that doesn’t make them prophets of God. The power of positive thinking does not equate to the power of the blood of Jesus.

Those sons of Sceva in the above chapter of Acts saw all the miracles that Paul did and naturally figured that if they did the same things and said the words that they would get the same results. Except they were missing the one thing that made all the difference – the power that only comes through a crucified walk before God in deep, broken subjection to the Spirit of God. Everyone wants to be a prophet, but no one wants to pay the price.

Instead we grasp for shortcuts in our lives. We hypothesize. Just say the words, and it will come to pass. “This will be your year of blessings and prosperity …” Oh, wait a minute. Didn’t we hear that last year? And the year before?

Or how about this? “Call those things which be not as though they were …” And so we run around speaking things into the air to make them happen. But that’s not faith either; that is sorcery. You go to Hogsworth to learn that.

Faith has to be built (Jude 1:20); it is not wished into being. And there is a price for it, just as there is a price for everything in God. Anything other than that is just wishful thinking and will not produce lasting and full results. Every great man or woman of God had their 40 years in the backside of a desert before they were ever brought forth by God to exercise His power.

Ah, but that’s not what we want to hear, is it? We want everything to be quick ‘n’ easy in our microwave society. Snap your fingers and be healed!

And the demon taunted back to the sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”

He knew who Paul was. I’m sure Paul was famous in hell. Why? Because Paul, unlike Sceva’s lightweight sons, had paid the price in blood, tears, and prayer. He had stormed the gates of hell armed with a faith that had been built one block at a time, and he had declared victory in the blood of Jesus Christ over everything Satan had thrown at him. Oh yes, that demon knew who Paul was … and he feared.

But empty words of presumption based on a theological faith without any suffering, blood, or effort will not turn back the tides of darkness. Faith is built one precept at a time, and power in God is brought forth out of the crucified depths of prayer. There is a price for power in God, and it is not cheap or easy.

That is why we see so many false prophets running around the church today, like Pied Pipers declaring all the things that our itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). Our church world has become little more than a revolving social circuit of entertaining speakers speaking great swelling words of encouragement to a church that instead is in desperate need of repentance. Instead of bringing us into the fear of the Lord, they are leading us in the power of positive thinking. In doing so, are leading us away from the altar of repentance which is the one place we need to be in order to see revival.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20

 

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Everybody needs something from God – some more desperately than others.  The question that begs to be asked is, how do we get God to answer our prayers?

There are those who believe that you can just “name it, and claim it”.  Poof!  Bingo-bango!  It’s a done deal.  You find them running around, laying hands on everybody, and claiming all sorts of things in the name of Jesus, but the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. Belief does not constitute Faith. There’s more to it than that.

Others believe in a doctrine of works, but that can get real tiring after a while.  You can count beads, light candles, say what amounts to “magic words”, do good works, and walk little old ladies across the street, but does that amount to winning clout with God to get some answers?  You might end up feeling good about yourself, but how does that add up when you are desperate for a move from God?

We know that the Book of James tells us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  He speaks of Elijah as a prime example of a man who could get answers from God, but isn’t Elijah the same guy who laughed all day long at the Priests of Baal who were jumping around, screaming and yelling for answers from a deaf god?  No, there’s got to be something more to it than making an outward show of religion.

There is a crucified, broken walk in God that speaks loudly to Him of a heart that is more yielded to His eternal will than anything else.  He searches hearts, not heads.  There is a depth of poignancy in our hearts that He looks for that goes past everything that is seen on the outside.  He looks past our desires to see needs that are colored with a willingness to yield to the will of God in our lives.  He looks for hearts that are broken for Him.

Some may say that the Sabbath has to do with the observance of a day of the week.  I say that the Sabbath is a place of rest from our own works that can only be attained through a crucified walk in the depth of the Spirit of God.  Total subjection; unquestioned yielding; complete trust in God. There is a high price to pay to get to that place.

Creation was not a finished work after seven days — it was finished on the Cross.  As Jesus rested on the Cross, so also does God labor to bring us to that same place in Him – a broken, yielded spirit that is completely given over to the will of God.

Then when we call, He will answer.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”   Psalms 91

 

 

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“… I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing …” (Rev 3:17)

I was at a High School baseball game not long ago, and as I was looking around at the crowd, I noticed how many people were fat. Not just “beefy” or “heavy”, but plain ol’ fat!

This is not an isolated scene, but is endemic across America. How’d we get so fat? I don’t remember it being like this when I was growing up, or even as recently as 20 years ago. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but regardless, Americans have lost that image of being lean, mean, tough, and hard-working. At some point we were paying attention to something else that captured our attentions, and we became soft and fat.

Our physical condition is a perfect reflection of our spiritual condition. A generation or so ago, our pastors preached a different message and our congregations were much more vibrant with a solid spirit to them. But now, our preachers have turned into nice guys and our churches have turned to mush. We’ve become soft and fat and lazy.

I’m sure lots of church-oriented people will object to that, just as those who have given up looking for a good church will probably agree with it.

I spend a lot of time in Africa where the people are desperately hungry to see the power of God working in their church – so much so that they will walk for up to 10 to 12 hours, sleep on the floor of the church, and be content with rice and beans just so they can hear the Word of God preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Americans are not that hungry, neither are they willing to pay that kind of price for anything.

As a result, in Africa, souls are getting saved, getting supernaturally healed, and getting ignited with the Fire of God. Churches there are being transformed from sleepy little country churches to on-fire Spirit-ignited soul winners. Revival is beginning to break out in Africa … but not in America.

I’ve noticed that almost everyone in Africa is skinny. Hmmm.

We used to be just like them once upon a time. What happened? Did we get so comfortable that we no longer needed God? Did our blessings kill us?

Did our fat plug up our ears so that we can no longer hear the reproof of the Word of God, and so instead of snapping out of it, we justify our religious institutions, our spiritual slackness, and our decided lack of the Fear of God. We have plenty of alternate theologies to explain away our spiritual laziness and justify our apostasy. Our leaders are all graduates of theologically correct institutions and are armed with libraries of scholastic credentials, so they must be right … aren’t they?

But our ears are plugged with our fat, and we can no longer hear the searing reproof of the Word of God. We have become scorners who are deaf and can no longer repent.

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”  (Isaiah 6:9,10)

 

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My wife hates the big discount stores like Walmart and Kmart.  It’s too big; too much stuff.  She gets lost in crowds.  But there sure is a lot of women that just love all the stuff!  Aisles and aisles of stuff.  Sure, you lose that personal touch that you get at the local Mom and Pop store, but the convenience is what draws them in.

Prayer is lot like that.

I’m not a fan of these prayer request shopping lists.  You know, the ones that have a long list of people that have dozens of needs from people all over the place.  A list of one-liners, no matter how serious, doesn’t give me that feeling of personal urgency.  It may be urgent for them (and I certainly don’t want to minimize their need), but it’s hard for me to feel the same sense of drive for a hundred different people every day.  I’m not God.  I’m sure He can do it, but I’m having a hard time keeping up.

Because we have an active website on the Net, we get a lot of prayer requests from people all over the world, and I sincerely try to pray for as many of them as I can.  But sometimes, I just get overwhelmed and try to slide by with a blanket form of, “Lord, you know what their requests are.  Can you just sorta cover them all for me?”

I don’t know if that works or not, but sometimes I wonder what really does work.  Do all our prayer requests go up into some huge database in the sky to get logged in, and then compiled into some report that God reviews for content and quality?  How does He decide which ones to act upon?  How do you get your prayers answered?

Is it a matter of repeating a prayer a certain number of times until it registers?  If that’s the case, maybe we could just sit down looking out the window while a tape player repeats a recorded loop a certain specified number of times until the magic number is reached.  Uh, I don’t think so.

Maybe it’s a matter of getting a certain number of people praying at the same time.  Surely, God will pay attention if the number of signatures on the petition reaches critical mass.  Or maybe it’s a matter of finding the right guy that God pays attention to.  If He won’t listen to Charley, maybe He’ll listen to Gladys.  I don’t think that counts either.  Either He hears you, or He doesn’t.

I’m sure there’s something to be said for the effort to ask huge numbers of people to pray for something, and there’s certainly a lot of charity to be considered with the folks that forward on long lists that are all-inclusive, but I just get lost somewhere in the crowd.  I want something personal; something special; something that will drive me to labor in prayer to reach the Throne of God and fight until I have my answer.

He’s a personal Savior.  I want a personal relationship with Him, and I want a personal answer to my prayers.  I want to know that if I bust my way into the Throne room of God, He will stop what He’s doing, turn to me and hold out that golden scepter.  I’ve got rights to the Throne through the Blood of Jesus Christ, and I’ve got the holy boldness to use them.  I will not be denied.

To reach that level, you’ve got to really mean business in prayer.  The need has to be felt on a personal level that will drive you to get past your flesh, and contend for an answer.  Elijah, the Bible says, was a man just like us, but wow, he knew how to prevail in prayer!

If Elijah could stop the rain, if Joshua could stop the sun, if the Apostles could heal multitudes and raise the dead, then surely we can get an answer to our prayers if we follow their same example.  Somehow, dropping your one-liner on the bottom of some lengthy petition seems more like trying to jump onto a bandwagon in someone else’s parade.

Leonard Ravenhill said something that I’ve never forgotten.  “God doesn’t hear prayer.  He hears desperate prayer!”  If you aren’t cut to the heart, how do you expect your prayers to get past the ceiling?

I guess these forwarded prayer lists are OK, but don’t let them lull you into a presumption that dilutes the potency of your need.  Walmart is great for finding a discount item that you need, but I when I have to have an answer in prayer, I don’t want to wait in the checkout line.

Brother Dale
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The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  (Isaiah 40:3)

If there is anything that is sure to give me the blahs, it is going to a church service that is boring. I have always believed that church was supposed to be exciting.  Maybe that’s just an old fashioned idea that went out with the Brush Arbor Revivals, but church without the Spirit of God burning in it just ain’t church to me.

When I come out of services, I want the message to have lit a fire in my soul that keeps burning, but sadly, too often our services are so dead that, five minutes after we’ve crossed the doorway, we have forgotten the message and are on our way to beat the other churches to the steakhouse.

Is it me?  Am I expecting too much?

Is it our pastors? Have they lost their fire?

Or is it our congregations? Perhaps our preachers have toned down their messages because the match that lights revival is that deep-seated, brokenhearted repentance — and that’s a match that is a bit too hot for many of our churches today.  Wet wood will not catch on fire no matter how many matches you strike.

If you want to start the fires of revival, you need dry tinder and someone to strike the match.  But today, even if John the Baptist were here, he would be hard pressed to find enough dry tinder to start a revival. Our wood is wet, and until it dries out, we will have the same ol’ boring church services that we have always been used to.

Isaiah’s prophet was crying out in the wilderness.  The wilderness is not a lush oasis with well-watered fields and thick vegetation; it is a dry and barren land.  It is the place where revivals start.  We have to be dry, dusty and parched, and dried out to where we are hungry … no, STARVING for a move of God, for the excitement of the Spirit of God in our church services, for the salvation of lost souls, and for a Holy Ghost revival.  Until then, we are just wet wood.

When your prayer meetings hold no attraction for the member of your church, when those who do come only offer lifeless “conversational prayers”, when your first response to any problem is to figure out a program or a solution to it instead of dropping to your knees in desperation, when you look to the doctors first and God later, or (how about this?) when you’re too embarrassed to have someone anoint you with oil and pray over you out in the lobby of the church, maybe, just maybe, your wood is too wet to burn.  Everybody says they believe in prayer. There’s just one problem – they just don’t pray!

Elijah walked across the lush, green valleys of Israel to tell the king that there would be no more rain.  It would take 3½ years to dry them out, but that is what it took to bring Israel to repentance.

John the Baptist, who had the spirit of Elijah, stood in the wilderness of Jordan and he also called Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.  Although the churches rejected him like they rejected Jesus Christ later on, the common people heard him gladly and came in droves to be baptized for the remission of sins. It took 430 years from the last prophet to bring them to that point.

It will happen again.  The spirit of Elijah is scheduled to return just before the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5).  It will be a voice crying out in the wilderness to forsake the green lush landscape of a sedate, comfortable church, and come to a place of thirst and desperate need.

Although the wet wood of our dead churches will reject any move of God that calls them away from the comfort of their religious oasis, the spirit of Elijah will stand in the wilderness calling to those who want the fire of God burning in them.

That is always where the Spirit of God burns brightest – in the wilderness.

Brother Dale

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“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17)

I was dealing with some mistakes that I had made, thankful for God’s conviction that caused me to stop and consider my impetuousness and impatience. I just really want to do what is right and not fall prey to my own lusts, pride, and selfish desires. Thank God that we have the Holy Spirit to keep us in line.

And then I thought about how that much of humanity probably feels exactly the same – we want to do what is right and pleasing to God (or our idea of some higher power). Everybody thinks that his or her view on reality is correct, while everyone else is slightly out of step. Some a bit more than others.

So what separates truth from fallacy? How do we determine which one of us is actually correct? Church of Christ members won’t associate with the Baptists across the street, Pentecostals feel sorry for everybody because they aren’t as enlightened as they are, the Methodists are clueless of whoever is around them, the Episcopalians are buried in their liturgies, and lets not even talk about the Mormons, Catholics, and Jehovah Witnesses. We call Muslim extremists radical, but to themselves, they are just on fire for their God and are trying to do the extreme righteous thing, even if it means breaking the commandments of God to do it. How crazy is that?

Where does it end? It doesn’t, because we are determined to grip onto our designated belief system in the face of all others. Why? Because we believe that is the one way for us to get to Heaven.

So how do we figure out who’s right? Surely everyone cannot be right, otherwise there would be no wrong, and by extension, no truth, no reality, and no great underlying meaning for life. As Einstein once quipped, “God does not play dice with the Universe”. There has to be something that shows us what the right way is.

There is. It is the power of God.

Paul wrote that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation – not the theory, doctrine, theology, idea, or calculated reasoning, but the power.

Is there the evident, palpable presence of the power of God in your church? Can you feel it, or do you just hypothesize that it is there? I am so tired of hearing that Jesus must be in the midst of us, “because the Bibles says that where two or three are gathered together in His name …” Pul-lease! Is that all you got? I want to FEEL the presence of God, not make believe!

Whatever happened to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on your services? Do you even know what that feels like, or do you just talk about it as something that you imagine? When you step inside the front door of your church, can you feel that electric feeling of the power of God? Do you feel like you are stepping into a cloud of holiness, and the chilling fear of God comes over you because you feel like you are right in the presence of God?

No, I didn’t think so. If there were, there’d be a whole lot more going on at your church. You wouldn’t be able to keep the crowds out.

What about the miracles? Gideon’s response to the angel in Judges 6, when he was being told that God has chosen him to deliver Israel, was that talk is cheap. If everything the angel was saying was so true, THEN WHERE ARE THE MIRACLES OUR FATHERS TOLD US ABOUT?

When is the last time you saw the blind receive their sight, the cripple walk, and the deaf to hear? Please don’t hand me that weak response about how God is going to guide the surgeon’s hands. C’mon, if God is so powerful that He can stop the sun, why can’t He heal the sick anymore? I’m not talking about gradual, osmotic healing – I’m talking about immediate, miraculous, in-your-face, supernatural power right now. What’s the matter? Don’t you believe in that anymore?

Something is missing, and it is the power of God. “These signs shall follow them that believe.” You are supposed to have real, tangible Holy Ghost power, and when you don’t, you are no better than anyone else out there. Actually, you’re worse, because you’ve been given this gift to distinguish you from the rest of the world, but you have squandered the grace of God and let it slip through your fingers.

So how do we figure out who is right and who is wrong? Through the power of God. It is the one thing that we have that no one else does, and God gives it to us to show the world that He is God. (Isaiah 43:10) But it is not free; neither is it cheap. If you are not wiling to crucify your flesh, break your spirit and dive into the Spirit of God, then you will come up empty-handed.

Talk is cheap.  When the real power of God is working in your church, there is no question.

And when it is not, there is no answer.

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?”  (Joel 2:17)

Brother Dale

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The Plague Has Begun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Brother Dale, dale@revivalfire.org

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