Category Archives: American Church

-Some Revival Implications For The Church

26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. –Heb. 12:26-29

While I was reading the 12th chapter of Hebrews this morning the 26-29 verses leaped off the page and the Following came to me:

This is the revival you have been praying for. 

As I read the verses again some of the implications and dangers for the church in midst of revival and afterwards began to come to mind. It may not be as rosy and cozy as most of us expect. For sure the church will be changed in ways we do not  see now. We have been praying for the Kingdom to come down in our midst and have not fully comprehended how that will change the church as we know it.

The church and the leaders will be refined by God’s own fire and that which can be shaken will. It will be glorious but also painful. The church that remains will stand up and more accurately represent the Kingdom of God on earth, fulfill its calling, and finally become the worthy Body and Bride of Christ.

Unfortunately part of the church as we know it will not endure. Look for whole denominations and movements to go into apostasy afterwards. We can already see it happening as some of the mainline churches are turning their backs upon the Word of God. Look for some to turn their backs upon the Word himself and deny his divinity for the sake of world peace.

Revival will come to every church and signs and wonders will follow and many will be saved but the response of the leaders and the aftermath will not be the same.                 *Top

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-It is Time to Leave Nazareth

He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith. –Mark 6: 5-6

I am really tired of living in Nazareth where only a few folks are healed, as wonderful as that is.

I have friends who have gone on mission trips to India, Africa, and South America, and have come back with incredible testimonies of how God healed everyone they prayed for. Opening blind eyes, healing the deaf, and seeing all kinds of miracles including folks who could not even stand on their own two feet running laps. Some have even seen the dead raised. Then when they come back home to America it is just like it was before- they see a few folks healed once in a while and are glad for it.

At the beginning of the year it was impressed upon me that faith and belief were  THE issues that the American and Western church needed to deal with this year. First of all the scripture that came to me on New Years Eve was Mark 9:24-

I believe; help my unbelief.

I have been praying that one everyday since.

Then reading on in Mark, I came across the passage in 11:22-24 where Jesus talks about having a strong enough faith and belief to move a mountain. I never really considered literally or physically moving mountains as something I might want to do. Maybe figuratively.

However, once when I was on a long hike with my family years ago and realized when we got to the top of one mountain peak that the lake we were going to was on the other side of another mountain. I would have like to have moved a mountain if I could. Then on another vacation I went fishing with a friend on the east side of the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite. We hiked down a mountain side to a pristine lake and had a wonderful day catching fish. Then we literally thought we were going to die going back up that mountain with 10 big fish and all of our equipment including an ice chest and chairs. Moving a mountain would have come in handy that day. However, it never occurred to me to pray it away and I still do not believe that it would have been justified under those circumstances. When would one actually need to move a mountain into the sea? Something I  have always wondered. I guess when God tells you to.

Nevertheless, while reading this passage in Mark, I received a strong word to read it in the Greek. I was in my comfy chair but the Lord knows me well and it came in a way that I could not ignore. It was the first three words of Jesus that changed it all and gave me a different perspective. Maybe I  have heard someone preach on verse 22 in the past but it was rhema for me that day and ever since:

Ekete pistin Theou  (a transliteration-my site will not print out the actual Greek) 

All of the English translations (12) that I have in my library have it as- “Have faith in God.” So that is obviously the best translation.  But there is a couple of things in the Greek which give it a fuller meaning. First of all, ‘ekete’ calls for continuing action- not just ‘have’ but continue to have. ‘Faith’ (pistin) is the subject but God (Theou) is not only the object of it but is the possessor (genitive or possessive in the Greek). It is God’s faith.

So how do you get the kind of faith that can move mountains? My conclusion is that we can only get it from God- we have to ask him for it and we have to completely believe that God’s wants us to do it in the first place and has given us the power to  accomplish the task.

We have faith but Holy Spirit help our faith.

If we want to leave behind the environment of Nazareth where we only see a few wonderful healings then we need to see an exponential increase in our faith and belief. We have to seek it and ask for it.

It is time for the American and Western church to live in a Kingdom environment where signs and wonders, and the miracles and healings of Jesus are demonstrated in our midst. They need to be commonplace and not just fortuitous exceptions but a part of the norm. Then church will become relevant once more and offer a viable and attractive alternative world view in the midst of an unbelieving secular culture.               *Top

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-We Believe; Help Our Unbelief!

This week while reading in Mark I came across the story of the boy with an unclean spirit that the disciples could not cast out while Jesus was in the mountains praying (Mark 9:14-29). What really leaped out at me was the response of the Father after Jesus says- “All things are possible for one who believes”:

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

It was like trumpets were sounding and God was obviously trying to get my attention. Then the thought clearly came to me that this should be one of the key scriptures that I remember and repeat during my prayers this coming year.

I do believe everything in the bible and I have experienced and participated in numerous healings and miracles in my life but they are still the exceptions rather than the rule. When I pray for someone and they receive healing I am still surprised. Thankful but pleasantly surprised. Sort of like the folks praying for Peter to be released from prison and then when he actually knocked on the door they were shocked.

I also believe that I am not alone; that this is where the American church is right now at the close of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We believe in the miracles of the Bible and all of the healings that Jesus performed. Most of us believe that God can still do those things today but we call them ‘supernatural’ and view them as exceptions in the ‘normal’ life of the American Christian and the church. There are even some of our brothers and sisters who believe that God stopped doing that stuff once the Bible was completed.

That’s why I believe that we should be praying this year for the entire America church (every faithful part of it) and pray for a new awakening, a new sovereign work of God, a new reformation of the church, and revival:

“We believe; help our unbelief!” 

I do believe that it is already here and coming to a church near you. We just need help to dial up our faith and receive. 

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-Core Values for Culture Changing Revival?

                         (Mercy Warehouse: Vineyard Community Church- Laguna Niguel)

Kris Vallotton,of Bethel Church in Redding CA, in a Charisma article lists 2 core values that are necessary for a culture changing revival:

1. Extreme Giving

2. Trust and Honoring Leadership

<Read the whole article>

Response: I can imagine that not all of you will be all that positive to what Kris Vallotton has to say.  Some will probably protest that it sounds too much like ‘religion’ rather than grace.

This I can affirm for sure- the Lord has called the church in the past to take care of the poor, the orphans, and widows; still calls us to do so, and will in the future right up until the end. Unfortunately the church in America has surrendered most of that task in the last 50 years or so to the government. Now the federal government and some state and local authorities are even trying to stop or restrict what the church is still trying to do through onerous regulations and forced obedience to the new LGBT sexual orthodoxy.

Nevertheless, I can confirm by experience that churches involved in ministry to the poor are being blessed on many different levels. Plus they actually become part of the community and part of the answer to the problems faced in that community. I have even seen a revival environment that has brought hundreds of miraculous healings and conversions to Christ all housed in a building where the poor are being fed and clothed (See the video above).

Extreme giving can also help in taking the gospel to the far corners of the world by supporting missions, ministers, and organizations involved in the ongoing world harvest.

But what about leaders? The enemy continues to divide America churches through leadership divisions, jealousy, and direct attacks by a Jezebel spirit. Also note that past revivals have been stalled and stopped over attacks against the leaders by the enemy. We really do need to support our leaders any way we can, particularly through prayer.

I would add 2 more core values that are essential for culture transforming revival:

1. Extreme Trust in God

2. Thankfulness for Everything

We are living in times when our nation desperately needs a new awakening that brings change to our culture. So many of us have placed our hopes in the political process to make some of the changes we long for in our country. The 2016 election season seems to have dampened that expectation for most evangelical Christians. I see so many grasping for reasons to vote for one candidate or another. We should all vote but our real hopes should be elsewhere- in God.

So many of our leaders have betrayed us. Just last year the highest court of our land declared in no uncertain terms that the Bible and Word of God is wrong and actually discriminatory. How does our nation come back from that without a culture changing revival? Continue to pray for Revival.               *Top

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-Revival Implications: The Kingdom and The Church

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We continually pray for the Kingdom to come and yet many of us ignore the implications. Jesus did not come to build a mega church or start another religious system nor will he be coming again to establish a new one on the earth. The Kingdom of God is already established.

During his life on earth he was constantly bucking up against and challenging the religious organizations, leaders, and the latest theologies of his day. I believe that one of the major characteristics and goals of the current and coming world revival is the shaking and realignment of the church and leaders toward actually reflecting the Kingdom rather than religious traditions of the past and the current popular thinking of the day.

Many of us who are looking for revival and a new awakening are trying to relive the glory of past revivals wanting God to do the same thing to us all over again. Those are actually lessons that the church should have already gotten and incorporated in our DNA along the way and should have prepared us for the coming Kingdom on earth.

There is nothing wrong with drinking from the wells of past revivals and we should incorporate and take serious every past move of God. But they are suppose to be like an oasis that supports us and helps us on our current journey. We are called to move on. When we stay at those wells and glory in the past we may end up limiting what God can do in our midst today. Some have actually camped out at one well and have established churches and religious systems and theologies that reflect that particular move of God and refuse to move on and question anything different.

The Reformation was a major move of God that brought major changes to the church. A major emphasis of that move was on the logos Word of God, the Bible and true theology. There are many churches and denominations today that have refused to move on from that major well.  When it comes to Azusa Street, there are many Pentecostals camped out at that oasis questioning the water everywhere else. One of the major problems of the Charismatic movement is a tendency among many to seek out only the rhema and the newest ever more radical ‘spiritual’ thing while ignoring what God did when he inspired Luther and Calvin and others to seek and nail down the foundational teachings of the Bible.

We continue to pray- “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What if we really got what we prayed for? What would happen? Any move of God that brought the Kingdom into the midst of our churches today would bring radical changes. The church is called the ‘Body of Christ’ and is called to do what he did. Now that would be radical and that is what we are facing in the move ahead. It will not be about building mega churches or organizations or making new religious systems or establishing theocratic political powers. It will be all about bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to all of the world before the coming of the Lord.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  -Matthew 24:14 (ESV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,…Isaiah 61:1-2 (ESV)

Here’s a link to a great article that got me thinking about this issue in Ministry Today:  “16 Contrasts Between Kingdom Age and Religious Systems

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