Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Noah Webster’s Dictionary defines “Revival” as the following:  (n.) Reanimation from a state of languor or depression; — applied to the health, spirits, and the like.  (n.) Restoration of force, validity, or effect; renewal  (n.) Renewed interest in religion, after indifference and decline; a period of religious awakening; special religious interest.  v. i.) To return to life; to recover life or strength; to live anew; to become reanimated or reinvigorated  (v. i.) Hence, to recover from a state of oblivion, obscurity, neglect, or depression; as, classical learning revived in the fifteenth century. (v. i.) To raise from coma, languor, depression, or discouragement; to bring into action after a suspension.  (v. i.) Hence, to recover from a state of neglect or disuse; as, to revive letters or learning.

If you run in any religious or Christian circles long enough, you will eventually hear someone talking about “needin’ a Revival”.   I’ve heard about Revival for most of my life and never really been able to figure out exactly what they were talking about –

Me:  “Revival?  What’s that mean?”
Preacher dude:  “You know, a time when we get together as a church and get revived!”
Me: “Revived from what?  I thought Christ already revived us on the cross!”
Preacher dude: “Uhhh.  He did but now it’s time to get revived again.”
Me:  “Okay.  How do we do that?”
Preacher dude:  “Well, we set aside a special week on the church calender, hype it up to all 32 members of our esteemed congregation for months, get some “well known” preacher to come in that’ll scare the hell out of everyone so we’ll all repent from our unfaithfulness and disobedience  (with a little grace music thrown in) and set everyone straight so they’ll be good members and ease a lot of headaches on me.”
Me:  “What type of unfaithfulness and disbedience are you talking about?”
Preacher dude:  “You know…not tithing like they’re supposed too (we got salaries to upkeep round here, you know), not coming to Sunday School class regularly, not showing up on our monthly church cleaning and lawn maintenance day.  You know, heathen type living that’s unacceptable around here.”
Me:  “Does it work?  Does everyone get revived?”
Preacher dude:  “Yessir.  Works like a charm.  Lasts at least three or four months, sometimes six if we’re lucky.  You know, helps us meet the budget during that time and gets everyone fired up ’bout God.  For a few months after, I just think to myself, “This must be what it’s like in Heaven!””
Me:  “Sounds good I guess but let me ask you…Does anyone get saved?  Or healed?  Or set free of spiritual bondages?”
Preacher dude:  “What you talking about?  We don’t do that type stuff ’round here!  I hear that Penteecostal church down the street does that type crazy stuff once in a while.  Always wanted to check it out but that stuff just isn’t biblical you know.  Plus it just scares the mess outta me so I just leave it to them.”
Me:  “Well, there are actual passages of scripture that God tells us we’ll still do those type things in the name of Jesus…”
Preacher dude:  “Hold on son,  let me interrupt.  I have several fine degrees on the wall that tells me differently and if you persist in blaspheming with that craziness you talkin’ about, I may have to get my big, bronze cross I keep on the table in front of the pulpit and hit you over the head to knock some sense into ya!:
Me:  “Calm down, calm down.  No need to get violent.  I appreciate your time but I think I’ll just ask God about all this “Revival” stuff and see what He has to say.”

 

Does this sound familiar to anyone reading this?  For years, this was what I thought Revival meant… a time when we got together as a church and had a “Spiritual Pep Rally” that lasted for a week, with lots of yelling, preaching on how disobedience could send you straight to hell and when my time was severely inconvenienced.  Not only did I have to go to church seven more times that week than I cared to, no one got saved (okay…maybe one or two), no one got healed, no one got set free of their spiritual bondages and the church usually went back to the “same ol’, same ol'” after that week.  The main thing that many people gained from that week of “Revival”  was a few more pounds to carry around because all the country women in the church used the Revival as a time to show off their expertise in the kitchen.  The food was ggggooooooooddddddd, and I’d tell ya that the real Revival took place in their kitchens that week and not at church.

So what is Revival and why do we even need it?  I’ll try to tackle these questions in the Part II so come on back soon!

 
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Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He went about healing the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf and those with broken lives.  The New Testament is full of  amazing and awesome testimonies of the healing power of Jesus.  For those of us that profess Christ as Savior, we believe in these healings recorded in the Bible.  After all, it was Jesus right?  But what about today?  Do these same healings still take place?  Do the blind still see, the deaf still hear and the lame still walk? 

Unfortunately, I guess it depends on what denominational doctrine you cling too!  There are many that hold to an erroneous doctrine that healings (along with the Gifts of the Spirit) ended when the apostles died off, and barring a Sovereign touch from God, you’re just outta luck if you are needing a healing, while others believe (and KNOW) that God still heals today just as He did in Jesus’ time.  But instead of it being through Christ, He heals through His body of believers who are crazy enough to actually believe the Bible when Jesus said we’d do all the things that He did but in an even greater way.  We belong to the “crazy enough” group.

Let me give some examples why:

1.)  Simply, I was healed of allergies three years ago in Brazil when the Holy Spirit healed me through Audrey laying hands on me.  Haven’t taken an allergy medication since.  The night I was healed, I put down my prescription and haven’t looked back. 

2.)  This past week at a Healing and Impartation Ministry School, a  lady that was in her last days and ready to have Hospice called in was totatally healed.  Her intestines burst a year ago and she was in septic shock for 45 mins. before the medical team got to her.  She shouldn’t have made it but she did.  Since, it’s been constant diarrhea, medications, pain and her autonomic system (controls all the involuntary stuff like breathing) was fried and on the verge of shutting down.  It took her hours in the morning to get going because her body didn’t want to work and only the medications would start them up.  Rodney Hogue and a team of ‘crazy enoughs” laid hands on her and she is now free of her sickness.  She could eat foods she hasn’t been able to eat in a long time.  She gets right up from bed and is actually constipated now.  And no more medications. 

3.)  A lady came for healing that has been suffering from depression for years with suicidal thoughts.  She could feel the darkness over her.  A  team of “crazy enoughs”  laid hands on her and  that darkness was released and she was filled with the Love and Peace that comes only from God and His precious Son, Jesus Christ.  She said he felt the darkness leave and a beautiful white light came and moved from one side of her head to the other.  She was healed and touched by the Love of God.

4.)  A lady that has major issues with her lower vertebrae that extend down into her behind was in constant pain.  It hurt to stand up, sit down and just sit.  She was touched and healed.  It was beautiful to see her jumping about in the Spirit.

5.)  People with metal screws and rods in their bodies were able to move and do things they hadn’t been able to do in years, free of pain.  No one laid hands on them.  Just a simple man that understands who He is in Christ had the faith to speak healing over them.

6.)  A guy that has had issues with a hernia in his abdominal area and stomach issues came to learn more about healing and to be touched by God.  The hernia would get sore and tender and give him problems.  The stomach issues weren’t even diagnosed but  was getting worse and affecting what he could eat because he didn’t want his stomach getting upset and hurting.  He was being touched by the Spirit when a healing rain feel on his stomach area.  It got soothingly warm, like a heating pad had been placed on it.  He was standing, just being touched.  No one was touching him and he wasn’t touching his stomach area or talking about the wonderful sensation he was feeling when the  young man speaking, who is hungry for God and has traveled the world reaching lost souls, spoke up and told Patrick Loyd that he was being touched and healed in that exact spot where the soothing warmth was.    It was a sovereign touch from God.  What an awesome experience.  Not only has God healed me once but twice.  What an awesome daddy I have that stands over all creation as the Almighty I Am.

I can’t make you believe any of these testimonies.  I don’t think even Jesus can because He’s already told us that this would happen, and many still don’t believe.  You either believe or you don’t.  But Truth is Truth.  Yea, it’s still hard for my simple mind to conceive but my mind doesn’t need to conceive because my spirit does.  I know what I know and it’s the Truth because not only has Jesus told me so, He’s shown Himself faithful to His Word. 

It’s time for the church to awake, and to embrace who we are in Christ and the authority and power we have been given to carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Healings are still for today and God wants to use each of us to heal the sick, the broken, the addicted, the depressed and the mentally ill.  It’s time to let go of your tired (and just plain wrong) doctrines and walk in authority.  There’s too many people needing the healing rain of God to shower them in healing blessings. 

Important question, right?  Anyone with a significant other or with children has asked themselves this question numerous times.  Many devote a large portion of their lives putting a plan in place to answer this question.  No one wants to die and leave their families burdened financially because they didn’t have life insurance to cover all the expenses of taking care of their deceased loved one, and the loss of their income.  It is an important question that needs to be asked, and then answered by the proper, proactive planning on the part of the person asking that question.

But how many ask themselves this question – “If I died today, where would I spend eternity?  Would I spend it with Christ in heaven or would I spend it in hell with satan?”  How many concern themselves with what type of spiritual life insurance they have?

Well, I’m no life insurance salesman but have a got a plan for you!  For a great quote on your spiritual life insurance plan,  read here:

Romans 3:22-26

Not sure if this plan is for you?  Then read here:

Romans 6:23

Still not sure?  Then read a little further:

Romans 5:8-11

Decisions right?  So what’s your spiritual life insurance plan going to be?  Read here and make the most important decision of your life:

Romans 10:8-10 and John 3:16-21

Jesus loves you!  He died just for you!  Just so you can know Him and have a relationship with Him!  He came to offer you His divine Mercy and Grace, and forgive you for your sins!  He came to offer you redemption and a new life in Christ Jesus! 

No one is guaranteed one more second of life!  Take this opportunity to  be covered under the most important life insurance policy you’ll ever need – Jesus Christ.

“(1) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  (2) Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”  1 Timothy 4: 1-2 (NIV)

I think this passage from First Timothy sums up perfectly the following article titled, ” ‘Faith Leaders’ Undermine God’s Plans for Marriage”,  from Allie Martin from OneNewsNow:

“An official with the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) says it’s a sad sign of the times that a group of “faith leaders” in Iowa signed a document declaring their support for same-sex “marriage.”

The letter, dated and made public on Tuesday, was signed by more than 160 faith leaders and was presented to lawmakers during a news conference held by the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. It says many faith traditions affirm that “where there is love, the sacred is in our midst” — and goes on to say: “This belief is the same for couples comprised of a man and a woman, two women, or two men.”

…….(commentary by Ms. Martin) –Wisdom says it also damages the church when pastors, who are charged with defending God’s Holy Word, promote unscriptural practices.”

God’s Word is absolute Truth.  It is Living.  It is Divinely Inspired and it is Infallible.  As much as we may want to twist it, misinterpret it and or deny it in order to rationalize our ignorant and sinful desires and lifestyles,  we can’t.   Homosexuality is an abomination against God.  He plainly states this in His Word.  God has an extreme hatred and disgust for it (as for all sin) and He will not change because we have confused worldly, carnal love as God’s love.  

As “little Christs”, we have to recognize the schemes of Satan, and not allow ourselves to be deceived by these false teachers.   Open your spirits and ask God to show you the Truth revealed in His Word.  He will show it to you, He will teach you, giving you knowledge and wisdom that isn’t of this world. 

This spiritual slop is of Satan.  Let’s call it for what it is – an all-out assault on God’s institution of marriage by satan and his posse.  Remember, satan has already been defeated.  Let’s stop giving him power that he is no longer justified and entitled to have.  The Church has got to rise and be the voice of God in this evil generation, speaking the Truth of Christ, no matter what.  God’s already won this battle.  Let’s remind satan and this world of this truth.

What would happen if the church, the Bridegroom of Jesus Christ, put aside all of our programs, our preaching, our teaching, our planned interruptions and just spent our time together seeking Him, hungry for the Kingdom of God to rain down onto us, engulfing us in His supernatural presence?  What if we took the radical step of just being in the presence of God, wanting Him so much that all we do is worship Him, praise Him, pray to Him, praise Him, worship Him, pray to Him during our time together as His Church?   No preaching, no teaching, no programs.

Would He show up?  Would He crash our spiritual party thrown in His honor?…….

Without a doubt, without question….He would show up!  He would be forced to!  He would not be able to resist a group of believers so hungry for Him that they would be willing to get radical in their pursuit of Him, putting aside the Americian way of “doing church”.   God would show up in all of His Mercy, His Grace, His Power, His Glory and His Love to be with His children who are tired of the brand of Christianity that we have sold to this country and to this world for far too long.

Lives would begin to be transformed.  Spiritual captives would be set free, and the chains of spiritual bondage would be broken.  Lives would be healed and sickness would be overcome.  People would be anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit.  God would be drawn to us and we would be drawn to Him.  A Holy Fire would consume all who dared come into His Presence, and it would spread into our communities, into our country and into our world. 

The land would no longer be just a piece of property with a bunch of buildings built on it that we call a church.  The land would be anointed as His Holy Land.  People would fall in repentance when they stepped foot on it. People would be healed and people would be delivered from spiritual oppressions by just touching the land. 

We often talk about wanting God and wanting His Kingdom to be poured out onto us and this world but do we really want that?  And are we willing to do whatever it takes to force Him, through our humble, hungry seeking of Him, to come into our midst and bring the fullness of His Kingdom to us?

Leaders, are you listening?  Believers, are we listening?  Leaders, are you willing to lay down your comfort, your status, your programs, your way of doing church in order to be brought into the presence of our Lord in an all-encompassing, supernatural way and the Kingdom of God to fall on your church?  Believers, are we willing to crucify our flesh daily and come before Him, stripped of our carnal ways, stripped of our intellectualism and comfortable doctrines, wanting nothing  but to experience the fullness of God’s Kindgom?

So…what’s the answer?  What are we, as the Body of Christ, really willing to do to bring God and His Kingdom to our church, our community, our country and our world?

“The Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  John 1:5

The older I get, and the more I grow spiritually, the more I realize that there are no gray areas in the Kingdom of God, or the supernatural realm.  It is either white or black.  The white represents light and everything of God (good).  The black, of course, represents darkness and everything of satan (evil).

The people who are not followers of Christ do not understand this simple, but true, reality.  They talk about darkness and evil  as if it’s just another philosophical debate that is open-ended and leads to no right or wrong conclusion.  Some even take the stance that “Satan isn’t really the bad dude everyone makes him out to be.  He’s been given a bad rap.”  Of coures, this is utterly false, ignorant and  ridiculous talk. 

That’s concerning the bad, the evil.  Regarding good and light, many of these same people point to God as being the “bad guy”, the one who is mean-spirited and wrath-centered.  All this is understandable coming from the source.  Satan and the world has blinded them to the Light and ways of God.

But when people profess Christ as Savior and still hold to these same false and ignorant beliefs (really just opinions), then that’s when we blur the lines and cross a dangerous threshold.  Suddenly, the gray (which is still really dark or black) comes into the equation and acts as a spiritual black hole, sucking in innocent victims that are forever separated from God because they’ve bought into a well-disguised false religion, false doctrine.  Then they get hyped up and passionately spread the “Good News” they’ve embraced, spreading a false truth that they are convinced is a real, ol’ fashioned revelation from God.  Some new wisdom that God has given to them to teach others about so that all the “confusion” of God’s Word can finally be cleared up. 

Take this Associated Press article (excerpts below) entitled, Evangelical Church Opens Doors Fully to Gays:  Renegade Pastor in Denver Finds New Followers But Makes Enemies Too, as prime Exhibit A:

Then the 55-year-old pastor with spiked gray hair and blue jeans launches into his weekly welcome, a poem-like litany that includes the line “queer or straight here, there’s no hate here.”

The Rev. Mark Tidd initially used the word “gay.” But he changed it to “queer” because it’s the preferred term of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people invited to participate fully at Highlands Church.

Tidd is an outlaw pastor of sorts. His community, less than a year old, is an evangelical Christian church guided both by the Apostle’s Creed and the belief that gay people can embrace their sexual orientation as God-given and seek fulfillment in committed same-sex relationships.

“…..Highlands Church represents a breakout position, where you have a gay-affirming stance that moves beyond the traditional kind of liberal-conservative divide,” said Mark Achtemeier, an associate professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “I’m finding lots of moderate conservatives just think there’s something wrong with a default position of excluding gays from the life of the church.”

……Tidd said Highlands is not a one-issue church but one committed to social justice. He describes it as “radically inclusive but still rooted in the essentials of the Gospel.” The church discourages promiscuity and encourages healthy lifelong relationships.

Tidd said he supports gay marriage and would perform same-sex blessings if asked. A gay man in a committed relationship sits on the church’s board of trustees.

“Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice,” said Tidd, a married father of five. “It’s not that we don’t acknowledge the reality of sin. It’s not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.”

Tidd was raised a nominal Catholic in Boulder, Colo. He had a born-again Christian experience and joined the Jesus movement of the 1960s, which blended hippie culture and Christianity. Eventually Tidd was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and shared its conservative position of homosexuality.

His change of heart began when, as a pastor in Boulder, a distraught couple sought his counsel when their young daughter began identifying as a boy — introducing Tidd to the transgender issue.

He began to question applying the “plain meaning” of ancient Biblical text to here-and-now homosexuality. The Bible, read literally, suggests the earth is flat and could be used to justify slavery, he said.

He accepted the Biblical interpretation of other gay-affirming Christians: that verses condemning homosexual behavior refer to idolatrous pagan worship or violence.

“We reach an understanding of the Bible not just by studying God’s word, but by studying his world,” Tidd said. “If you think he’s the author of both, they both inform each other.”

“…..We have no real reason to champion this thing, other than we think it’s right,” said DiPrince, a 34-year-old Web developer and artist. “I just didn’t feel God would tell a person to deny a big part of who they are and to keep it a secret.”

“I think people are going to reopen their Bible and look at it and not assume anymore,” Briscoe said, adding that he thinks the Highlands position can be held by “mature, faithful, Bible-believing people.”  full article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34493087/ns/us_news-faith//

And we wonder why the American-brand of Christianity isn’t winning souls, setting the spiritual captives free and transforming lives!  God is Light.  God is Good.  Satan is Darkness.  Satan is Evil.  It’s either Light or Dark, white or black.  In the supernatural realm, there is no gray, no middle ground.  Pastor Tidd is wallowing in the gray (really….the darkness) like a pig wallows in the muck and mire.  And sadly, taking too many people with him to the pig pen. 

In closing, we, as “Little Christs” have to continue to love people as God loves them and to show grace to those that continue living in sin and in direct opposition, defiance of what God clearly states in His Word but we can’t fall into this worldly web that satan has masterfully crafted to ensnare the weak and spiritual fence-walkers so he can devour them.  It’s time for the real Church,  the Body of Christ to rise up and place this type of spiritual slop under the feet of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Then, give them the real Jesus and the real Truth found in the geniune Light of God.

 

“(15)  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  (16) Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  (17)  And these signs will accompany those who believe:  In my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues; (18)  They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;  they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”  Mark 16:  15-18

Jesus gave this command, the Great Commission, just before He was taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God (v.19).  Makes me think that this statement by Jesus was kinda important…even vital to our understanding of what real belief and faith consists of and what was now expected of us as believers of the Risen Lord. 

“Now that you believe, this is what is expected of all who call me Lord – you will go and tell others of who I am and what I have done for them because of my Father’s great love for them, you will baptize them in my name and with my Holy Spirit and you will take authority over satan and his dominions, driving them out of people’s lives, freeing them of their spiritual bondages and oppressions.  You will speak in a new, heavenly language that comes only from my Spirit so that you may gain spiritual insight and understanding of my Father’s Kingdom, and you will be surrounded by His holy angels and the fire of My Spirit so that you will not be harmed by the attacks of your enemy.  And you will touch the sick, praying for them and taking authority over their sickness in my name so that they will be healed of their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional sicknesses and hurts.  People will see these signs and miracles and they will also believe because of your faith and obedience to my command.  My authority and power are yours to take and to use in accordance with My Word and My direction.  Now….get busy doing my work!  The Kingdom of God has come, and has been placed in your hands…..the world needs it – give it to them in My name!!!”  (my paraphrase)

So…did Jesus not understand the command to which He gave to ALL who believe in Him  or is it us that doesn’t understand the command that He gave as His last instructions to his believers before taking His rightful place in heaven beside His Father?  Did Jesus not believe the command that He gave to us, hoping wistfully that these things might be done through His believers or is it us that doesn’t believe the words that Jesus spoke as His last words to us?

Another question – can we pick and choose what we believe as Christians, and still be called believers, followers of the Risen Lord or is it an all or nothing deal? 

Faith isn’t believing in Jesus!  It is believing in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is a part of that Kingdom!  Healing is a part of that Kingdom!  Casting out demons is part of that Kingdom!  Speaking in tongues is part of that Kingdom!  Signs and wonders are part of that Kingdom!  The Gifts of the Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit are part of that Kingdom!  Take anything…..anything, from God’s Kingdom and what are you left with – yep, you guessed it….nothing!

Still a believer?  You might want to seek some spiritual insight from the Spirit himself before answering that question?  Your answer will determine your eternal fate and whether you will ever make a difference for the Kingdom of God.