Category Archives: -Revival Culture

-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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-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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-False Prophets and Strange Fire?

Moses and the Burning Bush

                                 (Moses and the Burning Bush: Wikipedia)

From: Bethel Church, Redding

“Jesus didn’t warn us of prophets. He warned of false prophets.

He didn’t warn of signs and wonders. He warned of false signs and wonders.

Knowing the real helps us to recognize the false. For this reason those with little to no fire think all fire is strange fire.” – Bill Johnson

*Top

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-Doctor Shocked After Prayer Heals Woman’s Cancerous Tumor

Symbol of Christianity, white version.

          (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a report of a documented healing that has left the doctor rather shocked and without explanation. This story is from Israel and the woman is a Christian who was told that part of her leg had to be amputated because of a large cancerous tumor. She went home and prayed instead. Later the tumor was found to have completely disappeared with no trace.  Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

An Israeli woman and her doctor expressed shock and amazement when the woman’s massive malignant tumor, initially found in her leg, vanished almost completely after five months of no treatment, only intensive prayer.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This healing was actually presented on TV in Israel. When healings and miracles are referenced in the major media it helps to create an environment where revival hope and faith can expand into the dominant culture. 

The major revivals in our past were all witnessed and referenced by the major media of that day- mostly in newspaper articles. One of the more difficult factors to overcome in America today in order for a new awakening to actually get into the dominate culture is the fact the major mainstream media is overwhelmingly secular with very little regard for religion and particularly Christianity.

Healings are taking place all across the country right now but you would never know it except through blogs and the social media. A breakthrough into the major media like this story could bring the necessary hope, faith , and expectation that would take revival out of a few local churches into the cultural mainstream.             *Top

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-Outside the Walls: The Kingdom Breaking Through

English: Ziggerat in Laguna Niguel, California

     ( Ziggerat in Laguna Niguel, CA: Wikipedia)

Last February VCC Laguna Niguel sent a team to India and had incredible results during the 2 weeks or so that they were there with 10’s of thousands coming to Christ, along with hundreds of healings including a number of miracles which featured lame folks that now walk and blind who now see.

On the plane on way back, Pastor Mike pleaded to the Lord for similar results back home in South Orange County, California. At the time we were hopeful for revival to break out in our church. While our services at VCC seemed to dial up considerably in 2012 most of the healings, miracles, and salvations that one would associate with revival actually began to happen among our people ‘outside the walls’ of the church at Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, at the malls and at high school games. Even at the federal ‘Ziggerat’ building across the street but particularly at our Mercy Warehouse Ministry just across the parking lot.

The Kingdom started breaking though in the food warehouse in March. Since then as far as we can tell over 403 people have come to Christ along with several hundred healings and miracles which continue to happen nearly every time we open the doors of the 24,000 square-foot facility. Meanwhile the faith of the warehouse volunteers for talking to folks about Christ and praying for healing in that ministry has risen to another level entirely. It is no longer Nazareth in that place but far closer to India.

It wasn’t until the last few months of the year after numerous accounts and testimonies that it began to dawn on us that the Kingdom was breaking through and God was doing some extraordinary things among our people ‘outside the walls’ of our church.            *Top

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