The last month has been so fast. I got home from Africa and had two weeks home and started traveling again. After being gone one month overseas there were a few things to be done here at 3 Springs to prepare for winter. Phillip, Iris and Dana had most done but there were a few things that they did not know how to do that I needed to complete. It was busy times at home and then I went to Mississippi for 5 days. I got home the 23rd of Nov. from Miss., We celebrated thanksgiving on Weds. Night and left Thanksgiving morning at 5:45 am. Dana and I went to Toronto. We came home for two days Dec. 2-3 and left on the 4th at 5:45 am for Texas for 7 days. We have been home 3 days now. Not sure I know how to be home. Lol
I find it interesting to do trainings in North America. It is such a different culture from overseas. There is a greater hunger it seems overseas and more openness to what scripture says as opposed to what we want it to say here. Most are hungry for the Truth, Jesus presence and power. His naturally supernatural love makes an open door in most places. Here in America we tend to be so religious that we hold our inherited traditions about the Word above the Word. Tradition is so strong and taught beliefs, that do not actually line up with Scripture, are more powerful in our society than the actual Word. We are much more concerned about “the Glory of God in our midst” than the lost or the commission and commands of Jesus. We feel that it is more important to sing and “have a good time” than to be about bringing His kingdom to bear on earth. We want His presence, power, and miracles in our midst for us. If a few people come to Jesus each year we are overjoyed and feel we have fulfilled our duties. Jesus wants ALL to hear and have a chance to know Him. We, the Church, seem to believe that if people do not “come” to church it is their fault they die without Jesus. I am not sure how we came to that place but it is not biblical. My bible says “GO”.
What I am finding this last few months is that the power of these strong Christian traditions seems to be cracking. On my last 3 journeys around America there is a fresh hunger and openness to what scripture says. It is fascinating for me to have people accept and want to change. It is like a revelation has happened that is preempting traditions with truth! Everywhere we have been what we are sharing about intimacy/discipleship and prayer is being not only accepted but devoured with a hunger for more. The simplicity of the Gospel is being grasped and walked out! People are tired of sitting and not feeling significant. They want a living Jesus! The difference in how what we teach is received has been so encouraging and the thought of always being rejected here has faded away. The elementary principles of Christ and the resurrection commands are being received as a foundation for living out Christ’s presence. Whether it is Baptist, Presbyterian, Assembly’s of God or any other group there is a fresh hunger for all that God has to offer, including the baptism of the Spirit, and a desire to know how to live out obedience to His commands out of our love for Him.
The first two trips last month actually had different agendas. That is, the people who wanted me to come wanted different subjects taught on. On my last two trips overseas I have had the same kind of thing happen. What I thought the trainings were to be was not what God had planned. Although intimacy with Father is a foundational teaching I share in all I do, these trips have all ended up being about the Prophetic, Jesus’ presence, and the power of Holy Spirit “upon” us. I have not taught on the “baptism of the Spirit” as a sole focus of a meeting as much ever as since Sept. of this year. There seems to be a hunger for the book of Acts to be alive today. People with a relationship to Jesus are becoming aware that no matter what anyone has taught them, they need to receive the power of God upon them to do what Jesus and the early church did. The Spirit of God seems to be quickening people to re-look at scripture and who we should be today. There seems to be a realization that in this dark world of today we cannot fight the good fight without at least the same anointing and power of the Spirit Jesus and the Church started with. Because of the amount of muddled teachings on Holy Spirit out there, I do not give my opinions about HS but lay out a whole lot of scripture covering the subject and ask people “what do these say” – not “what do you interpret them to say”.?
I felt quite honored to be in Mississippi and humbled to have father send me there. The place I went to is the poorest town, in the poorest county, in the poorest state in the Union. The Christians there are so hungry that they are willing to sit together and share their love for Jesus together. They want truth and they want power. They are tired of being poor and irrelevant. They want a real Jesus to show up! They are willing to recognize what they have been doing for a lot of years is not changing the people or the region and that they might need to do something different. So we went back to the bible and began a new direction founded on Intimacy and God’s presence. It is amazing to see hope amongst the hopeless… God will break the cycle of poverty there and it will not be a “name it and claim it prosperity message” that does it. It will be an obedience to Go make disciples, walking in God’s naturally supernatural love and in the power of Holy Spirit that will change the area. As they seek to save the lost and destroy the works of the enemy change will come!
In Mississippi at a Presbyterian assembly I taught on intimacy with God and ended up in the adult Sunday school Sunday morning teaching on “baptism of the Spirit” as the results of a question asked at the beginning of the class. As a result of that, during the morning service where I brought the message, the Rev. stopped the meeting and order of service to ask anyone who wanted to be baptized in the Spirit to come forward and have me pray over them. Many came forward to be receivers.. It seems God is knocking down dividing barriers and bringing us back to basic Christianity, His Love, presence and Power.
At the first meeting in Toronto, (we arrived about 4pm and at 7pm were meeting with a small group), I was pretty much wore out. We talked a bit about hearing the voice of God and prayer. I then proceeded to have them pray over me as I had a cough and was miserable. As they began to pray over me after listening and asking God what to pray, one young man (a fairly new believer) began to say that he thought that his ADHD was keeping him from being able to say complete words over me because when he began to speak many of the sounds were incomplete words in English. He was really struggling to say what he heard God tell him to pray but felt his mind was racing so fast that he was missing part of the words. The sounds were making no sense and were not complete. I laughed as I realized that while he was praying for me, Father was baptizing him with the Spirit. After I told him what I thought was happening and encouraged him to just let go of his tongue and speak the sounds, he began to cry and pray in tongues as a result of Holy Spirit coming upon him. He was radically changed because the Spirit knows what we need to pray when we don’t.
At home and traveling here in America I am finding a new hunger – a hunger for the reality of Jesus presence and promises. It takes a paradigm shift to receive what God is calling leaders and His bride to and it will take a new courage to go, but this hunger is real and will change much. Persecution is coming to America and much of our traditional thinking will be destroyed. God is coming to take back His Church. It was and is humbling to be a part of what God is doing. Dana and I are still saying, “Yes Lord, no matter the cost let us be about your kingdom”. We are so eager to finish this race well and not falter..
Long ago I prayed a prayer while in the midst of a vision I was having of being a powerless voice crying to the lost, I was so mad because no one would hear my words calling people to seek Jesus and repent. Finally I turned my head skyward and shouted, “Don’t send me like this to do your bidding without the power and presence of your Spirit Lord! I will not Go without You! I will not do this anymore! I am not willing to be a voice without Your presence, your naturally supernatural love, and signs following. If you do not send Your Spirit upon me and endue me with power, don’t send me! God spoke to me in the midst of that vision. He solemnly spoke in undeniable authority one simple word, “GO”! I have been going every since. His signs do follow!
NOTE: Mt.28:18-20 is not the only resurrection command. There are 4, one at the end of each Gospel. The other 3 are not suggestions. They are commands also. Lu.24:45-49, Mk.16:15-20, and Jn.20:21-23.
Here are some things to ponder in this day we live in. the following is a statement we use in most discipleship/leadership trainings we do as a result of the things we have seen and experienced in the last 15 years of traveling teaching discipleship and intimacy to church leaders and the Church at large…The key to the direction of the Church is the leaders. They must make a shift first. The flock will follow.
Most pastors/leaders of traditional churches do not know the population of their area of influence, nor the population growth rate nor the amount of churches in the area – and most do not look at the reality of how long it will take to reach our areas doing what we are doing. Most do not know the percentage of people in their church who are actively doing ministry. In the last 15 years of traveling the world and teaching discipleship (Mt.28:18-20) to traditional church leaders and churches we have found (through our experience) the following statistics to be true most places in the world.
Traditional church all over the world has pretty much the same statistics. 3-7% of the people in the church do almost all of the ministry. That percentage is doing almost all of the evangelism, bible studies and discipleship in any given body. There are exceptions. For the most part, in spite of what leaders and pastors think they have been teaching the people in their congregation, 93% of the body of Christ believes that sitting is the acceptable way to practice Christianity! I know this because that is what they are doing. Regardless of what we are saying, we must realize that what the congregation does tells what they are learning.
If you take all the churches in a given area with 3-7% of those attending services doing all the ministry and find out how many new believers they baptized each year (for each of the preceding 3 years) then average it out over all the churches in the area and project that into the population and growth rate of any given area, what you find is that it will take between 250 years and infinity to reach all the people living in their area. In other words, the present clergy/laity system does not work. We cannot complete the Commands of Christ doing what we have been doing. Leaders must become servants and the church must become those who do the work of the ministry.
This being said, there is hope. The body of Christ is no longer content to sit. They are leaving the “system” (not to leave Christ), to find relevance in the reality of relationship with Him. They are hungry to be needed and used by Christ. They are not going to tolerate leaders dominating them and telling them that their tithing, serving leadership and sitting in the congregations is their calling. Showmanship and charisma will not suffice for them any more. The Church at large is becoming dissatisfied with “the traditions of men” and are looking for the real deal. GOD IS RESPONDING, HE IS LOOSING HIS SPIRIT AFRESH ! He is coming!
I was asked in South Africa by a congregation what would John the Baptist say to the Church today. My response was, “REPENT, for the Kingdom of God is at hand! Then I said, “asking forgiveness is not repenting”. WE must change!