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Could This Be Our Most Critical Need?
By A.W. Tozer

When viewing the religious scene today, we are tempted to fix on one or another weakness and say, “This is what is wrong with the church. If this were corrected, we could recapture the glory of the early church and have pentecostal times back with us again.”

This tendency to oversimplification is itself a weakness and should be guarded against always, especially when dealing with anything as complex as religion as it occurs in modern times. It takes a very young man to reduce all our present woes to a single disease and cure the whole thing with one simple remedy. Older and wiser heads will be more cautious, having learned that the prescribed nostrum seldom works for the reason that the diagnosis has not been correct. Nothing is that simple. Few spiritual diseases occur alone. Almost all are complicated by the presence of others and are so vitally interrelated as they spread over the whole religious body that it would take the wisdom of a Solomon to find a single cure.

For this reason, I am hesitant to point to any one defect in present-day Christianity and make all our troubles to stem from it alone. That so-called Bible religion in our times is suffering rapid decline is so evident as to need no proof, but just what has brought about this decline is not so easy to discover.

I can only say that I have observed one significant lack among evangelical Christians which might turn out to be the real cause of most of our spiritual troubles. Of course, if that were true, then the supplying of that lack would be our most critical need.

The great deficiency to which I refer is the lack of spiritual discernment, especially among our leaders. How there can be so much Bible knowledge and so little insight, so little moral penetration, is one of the enigmas of the religious world today.

I think it is altogether accurate to say that there has never before been a time in the history of the church when so many people were engaged in Bible study as are so engaged today. If the knowledge of Bible doctrine were any guarantee of godliness, this would without doubt be known in history as the age of sanctity. Instead, it may well be known as the age of the church’s Babylonish captivity, or the age of worldliness, when the professed Bride of Christ allowed herself to be successfully courted by the fallen sons of men in unbelievable numbers. The body of evangelical believers, under evil influences, has during the last twenty five years gone over to the world in complete and abject surrender, avoiding only a few of the grosser sins such as drunkenness and sexual promiscuity. [Ed. note: Though the actual date when Tozer penned these words is unclear, obviously it was sometime prior to his death in 1963. Sadly, the exception he cites in his day is no longer an exception in ours today. Those “grosser sins” are also occurring in modern churches and among church leaders, maybe even more so in Neo-Pentecostal churches than any other ecclesial branch.]

That this disgraceful betrayal has taken place in broad daylight with full consent of our Bible teachers and evangelists is one of the most terrible affairs in the spiritual history of the world.

Yet I for one cannot believe that the great surrender was negotiated by men of evil heart who set out deliberately to destroy the faith of our fathers. Many good and clean-living people have collaborated with the quislings who betrayed us. Why?

The answer can only be, from lack of spiritual vision. Something like a mist has settled over the church as “the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations” (Isaiah 25:7). Such a veil once descended upon Israel: “For their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:14-15). That was Israel’s tragic hour. God raised up the church and temporarily disfranchised His ancient people. He could not trust His work to blind men.

Surely we need a baptism of clear seeing if we are to escape the fate of Israel (and of every other religious body in history that forsook God). If not the greatest need, then surely one of the greatest is for the appearance of Christian leaders with prophetic vision. We desperately need seers who can see through the mist. Unless they come soon, it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come, we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy. But the cross is always the harbinger of the resurrection.

Mere evangelism is not our present need. Evangelism does no more than extend religion, of whatever kind it may be. It gains acceptance for religion among larger numbers of people without giving much thought to the quality of that religion.

The tragedy is that present-day evangelism accepts the degenerate form of Christianity now current as the very religion of the apostles and busies itself with making converts to it with no questions asked. And all the time we are moving farther and farther from the New Testament pattern.

We must have a new reformation. There must come a violent break with that irresponsible, amusement-mad, paganized pseudo-religion which passes today for the faith of Christ and which is being spread all over the world by unspiritual men employing unscriptural methods to achieve their ends.

When the Roman church apostatized, God brought about the Reformation. When the Reformation declined, God raised up the Moravians and the Wesleys. When these movements began to die, God raised up fundamentalism and the “deeper life” groups.

Now that these have almost without exception sold out to the world—what next?

[Excerpted from the book, We Travel An Appointed Way, by A.W. Tozer]

Read Spirit Life Magazine article about A.W. Tozer, A.W. Tozer – A 20th Century Prophet.


Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was an American, pastor, preacher, magazine editor, Bible conference speaker, spiritual mentor, and author of more than 40 books, including at least two now regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. Though he had no formal theological training, his spiritual acumen and life’s work was recognized by two Christian colleges who bestowed upon him honorary doctorate degrees, but more importantly he was esteemed by many of his contemporaries as a true prophet. Tozer was affiliated with Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) for his entire 44 years of ministry that began with his first pastorate in a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, WV, only five years after his conversion in 1919, and his longest pastorate spanning 30 years Southside Alliance Church in Chicago. His whole life, the father of seven lived a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, never owning an automobile, preferring to travel by bus or train. Tozer gave away most of his substantial book royalties to the poor. The inscription on his grave-marker in Akron, Ohio, reflects the simple life this anything but simple man lived, saying simply: “A.W. Tozer – A Man of God.”

Wiki Bio of A.W. Tozer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._W._Tozer

For three years or so the Lord has been speaking to me out of the prophetic prediction of Malachi 3:1-6 concerning imminent events that He will be orchestrating in the Church that He is building, i.e., the genuine Body of Christ. In the first quarter of this year, the Lord has been continually increasing the intensity and urgency of what he has been showing and telling me in this regard. I cannot possibly convey much at all of those prophetic insights He’s been communicating to me here in this forum and format or at this time because it is far too expansive and extensive and I have only recently begun to attempt to transfer it from my spirit to paper, so to speak, or in reality, to computer. I will, however, be progressively sharing it in some books and study courses I am currently and concurrently working on.

Anyone who has any substantial experience in “prophetic writing” knows how arduous, strenuous, and time-consuming such an endeavor can be, especially when words so often fail when attempting to convey spiritual impressions, concepts, precepts, and insights into human language as the medium of natural – i.e., intellectual – assimilation. I cannot account for the experiences of other prophets, but I know in my own case, what I “see” in my spirit, is so clear, precise, unambiguous, forthright, apparent, but when I attempt to communicate what I’ve seen in the spirit for consumption by others, words/language fail, and communication methodology conventions hinder rather than help. Or maybe in reality its just my own communication capacities that are lacking.

Many times I’ve wished that God would allow at least momentarily a peeling back of the clouds of human carnality overlaying our spiritual senses (hearing and sight) so that pristine spirit-to-spirit communication could transpire, but as idealistic and desirable as that might seem, it is not His plan or desire. Maybe some of those who are called upon by the Lord to communicate prophetically to God’s people understand what I am trying – probably ineptly and inartfully – to say.

Notwithstanding, I rise today through the auspices of this forum to make a sincere and earnest attempt to convey what I believe I received as a prophetic word from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, which He has instructed me to convey to the Church He is building, that is, His Body. A few days ago, I heard Him instructing me in my spirit to sit down at my computer, write what He speaks to me, and title it “A Prophetic Prognosis.” I did; He did; and what He spoke is what this article is about. It is too long and would take up too much space to place the whole message into this post format. So I have summarized what He spoke to me here and provided a link to the PDF document that contains the entire prophetic word. Continue reading “A Prophetic Prognosis” »

17 Signs You’re an “Empire Builder,” Not a “Kingdom Builder”
By Joseph Mattera

Ever since the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity divided in the 11th century, some of the greatest fears of the once united Christendom has been realized—fragmentation and division.

Even in the 16th century when Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation, there was the hope that there would only be a few major expressions of the body of Christ—never in their wildest dreams did the reformers envision all the denominations and now various branches and networks of Christianity that have evolved—which has given opportunity for a spirit of lawlessness, independence and empire building among some insecure but gifted leaders. Whether all these expressions are of God or not is not the purpose of this article. Continue reading “17 Signs Distinguishing Kingdom Builders From Empire Builders” »

By Joseph Mattera

I have served as a senior pastor for 30 years, and I have also worked extensively with political, community and business leaders over the past three decades. As my understanding regarding the Kingdom of God and marketplace ministry has evolved, I see church with a new lens and notice the frustration many young people and professionals have regarding their local churches. Many in these categories feel limited rather than celebrated and released into their callings. Continue reading “How Empire-Building Church Leaders Limit Followers” »

In the previous post, The Outrageous Claims of Mars Hill Church “Investigators”, I indicated my strong disagreement with the conclusions of the group of elders and an overseer who identified themselves as the “investigators” who conducted an investigation into the long train of abuses, misdeeds, and other allegations against the founding senior leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Mark Driscoll. Those men concluded that “While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.”

I ended that post by saying that abuse of spiritual authority is one of the most, possibly the most, egregious affronts in existence to the One who is the Source of all legitimate authority, and that in a follow-up post I would offer 25 reasons why that is so that immediately come to my mind. This post consists of those 25 reasons. Continue reading “25 Reasons Hyper-Authoritarian Church Leadership IS Disqualifying” »

The Divine Perspective

By Dr. C.R. Oliver

Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD who made it, the LORD who formed it to establish it (the LORD is His name): “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”‘ Jeremiah 33:1-3

The prophet viewed everything through the eyes of the Lord God, not determining his reality by his surroundings or his circumstances or his times. Jeremiah was not blinded by the opinions of others, the ruling courts of his day or his rejection by the established clergy. He had been to God’s Holy Mountain and knew things are “not as they seem.” Not trusting his own reason or guiding his own pathway, he sought wisdom from only one source. Deep within him burned the fire of God and part of his being was the Word ingested. Self-evident was the truth of his declaration, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

My God, that is what we must have in these days! Continue reading “Acquiring A Divine Perspective” »

This article is part 3 of 5 in the series Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Why the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is Needed
By David Servant

How desperately we need the help of the Holy Spirit to minister to others! Without His help, we can never hope to make disciples of all nations. That is, in fact, the very reason Jesus promised to baptize believers in the Holy Spirit—so the world would hear the gospel. He said to His disciples:

Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, emphasis added).

Luke also records Jesus as saying:

It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:7-8, emphasis added).

Jesus told His disciples not even to leave Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.” He knew they would be essentially powerless otherwise, sure to fail at the task He had given them. We note that once they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, however, God began to use them supernaturally to spread the gospel. Continue reading “Why The Baptism In The Holy Spirit” »

By Dr. Steven Lambert

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)

God has plans for you and your life! The question is do YOU have a plan for your life — as a whole, and broken down into smaller increments — this year, next year, a 3-year plan, a 5-year plan?

The Hebrew word rendered “welfare” in the above verse is “shalom,” which is a very interesting word, that includes in it health, prosperity, and peace. Any plan that contains those things is a GREAT plan!

There’s an adage with numerous variations that goes something like this: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Continue reading “What’s Your Plan?” »


By David Ravenhill

Every year the prophetic community releases their plethora of prognostications for the coming year. If taken seriously, you’d have to believe that around November or December, God looks over His Gregorian Calendar, and begins to draw up His list of resolutions for the year ahead.

Having spent the last forty eight years around the prophetic community, I can be guaranteed that God will release some new type of anointing in the coming year. Continue reading “Prophetic Predictions for the Coming Year” »

There is a disease sweeping through the body of Christ. It’s an infectious sickness I call “the man of God syndrome” or “the celebrity syndrome.” It rears its ugly head in the form of self-adulation and self-promotion. Thankfully, the Bible offers the antidote.

In our politically minded, vote-conscious world, we think we are in control of who gets raised up. But the Bible says the opposite: “Exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another” (Ps. 75:6-7, NKJV).

In Daniel 2:21 we read, “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings.” God is plainly telling us we are not in charge!

What does this have to do with the man-of-God syndrome? Everything.

A “syndrome” is a group of symptoms that characterize a particular abnormality. The man-of-God syndrome describes people who “think more highly than they ought” of their positions in the body of Christ.

These arrogant individuals are enamored by their perceived value. Unlike Jesus who made Himself of no reputation, they spend their lives making sure everyone knows their reputation.

This deadly disease affects the body of Christ worldwide. It’s in every congregation, denomination and church movement around the planet. Leaders are stuck on themselves.

Here’s a word of caution to my fellow clergy. If you’re a minister who’s rising in prominence and you begin to feel as if you’re somebody, get on your face before the Lord. Weep tears of repentance and say to the Lord: “Naked I came into this world and naked I will return. Anything I have or have accomplished is because You have given me breath” (see Job 1:21).

Remember Herod’s fate when he began believing the praise of the crowd? He died and was eaten by worms (see Acts 12:20-23). I’d rather be a worm than be eaten by them.

You see, it’s not by heredity. It’s not by the orders of men. It’s not by politics and elections. It’s not by natural succession. Nor is it by conquest and war that we get elevated in life. It’s by God.

Celebrity Mind-Set

When individuals infected with the deadly celebrity syndrome enter a room, they expect others to recognize their presence and pay homage. They desire front-row or platform seats and are visibly disturbed when not given the red-carpet treatment they desire.

They feel they must speak even when not called upon simply because they believe everyone present will live in the dark without their superior knowledge. These individuals have risen above doing menial tasks around the church such as cleaning toilets, picking up garbage and tending infants in the nursery. They no longer stoop that low because now they are “somebody.”

They even find it beneath themselves to spend time with a church member who is not at their socio-economic or spiritual level. The sad truth is, they avoid the very people who have elevated them to their position in the ministry.

Leaders who have been infected with this disease no longer associate with common, ordinary people. They claim: “Time just doesn’t permit me to spend time with you. I’m so busy.” But they seem to have plenty of time to rub shoulders, play golf and sip tea with a more prestigious crowd.

Ministers with this syndrome no longer spend time in the foyer shaking hands with congregants. They claim the church has gotten too large. Yet they have time to shake hands and dine with the elite. I call these people “white-collar clergy.”

I’m not attempting to sway the mass of ministers who, in their own minds, have risen to such high levels. They would attack me with Scripture and vilify me for speaking against their “well-deserved” positions. I’d rather spend my time preventing the present generation from going down that path.

Young men and women who desire to enter the ministry are witnessing a warped concept of true ministry. And many outside the church have become repulsed by today’s Christian leaders.

Stuck on Self

The world is waiting for men and women of God who are more concerned about how they appear to Christ than how they appear to the crowd. People are longing to find leaders who are stuck on helping sinners rather than stuck on helping self. They are fed up with our slick self-promotion; glitzy, eye-popping Internet, TV and radio spots; and high-gloss, self-exalting magazine, newspaper and poster ads that elevate man rather than exalt Jesus.

Some leaders have gone so far as to hire Hollywood ad agencies and secular image consultants so they’ll appear one notch above other ministers. Of course there’s nothing wrong with advertising an evangelistic meeting, a ministry or a church. But many have gone too far.

The church of Jesus Christ needs to send this self-promotion back to where it was birthed—in the cesspool of hell. Wasn’t Lucifer the first being who became full of himself and decided he should be promoted?

The next generation of believers needs shepherds who have a “servant syndrome” not a “serve-me syndrome.”

I’m not speaking only of clergy. If you serve in the church in any way—as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, choir member or children’s worker—then this message should speak volumes to you.

Why? Because the same self-promoting spirit that grips those in ministry can put a stranglehold on good, God-fearing churchgoers. The same idolizing, self-adulating spirit that has invaded the lives of so many who make ministry their career can find its way into your life too.

What can you do to avoid this deception? Here’s what Jesus had to say on the subject.

The higher you rise in popularity, the greater your position as a servant. We’re all familiar with the story found in Mark 9:35-37: “And He [Jesus] sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’ Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.'”

Before Jesus humbly blessed this child, He had already performed incredible miracles. He healed the woman with the issue of blood, experienced the transfiguration, raised Lazarus from the dead and fed the 5,000. Yet after all that, what did He tell His disciples? “If you want to be first, you’ve got to be last. You must be a servant of all.”

The higher you rise in popularity, the greater your position as a servant. That concept is hard to grasp in our Western culture because we’re known for climbing the ladder of success. Secular bookstores are flooded with manuals on how to rise above the person in front of you, which is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught.

Jesus’ prescription for this deadly syndrome is, “Whatever great things you do, always remember you’re a servant.” Let’s keep in mind that one of the last acts of this miracle worker was washing the disciples’ feet. The higher He rose in popularity, the greater His position as a servant.

A person who wants to be involved in the lives of men must first become intimate with God. We do that by spending time in our prayer closets repenting of our sins and getting to know Him.

Psalm 51 shows us the way. “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.

“Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (vv. 7-12).

Hyssop was a plant used for medicinal purposes and for cleansing. Here’s the clincher. After you get right with God and are cleansed, after you become intimate with the Lord, something happens:

“Then I will teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners shall be converted to You” (v. 13). This is so clear. But too often people get the cart before the horse. If you want to be positioned in the ministry, if you want to be useful on earth, let me tell you how: Get in a place of intimacy with God.

Jesus, in the middle of His glorious, crowd-mesmerizing ministry, maintained intimacy with God.

What does this have to do with church life? Everything. Church members, singers, musicians, altar workers, children’s workers, future staff members—whatever you’re after, this is the road you must travel.

The amount of anointing you possess should never dictate how approachable you are. I’ve chosen not to model my life on the lives of modern-day pastors or evangelists. Although there have been great men and women of God in the past and there are many alive today, it is safer for us to pattern ourselves after Jesus. Jesus was mightily anointed, yet He allowed everyone to approach Him: children, people who had questions, people who had given up hope, people who made emotional pleas for help, people who wanted to follow Him. And He didn’t send His thugs to get rid of them.

You know the story of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10. He wanted a touch from God and screamed out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” What did Jesus do? Did He say: “Get rid of him. Get him out of here”? No! He said, “Call him here.” My friend, that’s how Jesus operated. With His great anointing He was still approachable.

A person who is positioned in the ministry by God will be persecuted by others. You might as well accept it. If you’re positioned by God, you will go through persecution. In fact, if you’re not being persecuted, something is wrong.

Throughout the Word you will see this pattern. The Bible says they will revile or defame you. They’ll speak evil of you, hate you and persecute you for righteousness’ sake. Perhaps the reason we are not persecuted today is because we’re not preaching the Word.

Are you standing for truth? Jesus sent His disciples into homes and said, “If they reject My Word, leave and wipe the dust from your feet” (see Matt. 10:14).

Ministers today go into the homes of millions through television. Rather than being rejected they are received. Rather than removing the dust from their feet, they are raking in donations from their followings.

I wonder what would happen if our words carried a little more weight! The Bible says all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (see 2 Tim. 3:12).

A person who is popular with the crowd should never pollute his message. This is another antidote to the celebrity syndrome. You never compromise the message, no matter how large the crowd.

Jesus was popular with the crowd. But when He told them to eat His flesh and drink His blood, many said, “This is too difficult for us,” and they turned and walked away (see John 6).

What was Jesus’ response? He didn’t flinch, change His message or run after the offended crowd. Instead, He turned to His disciples and said, “How about you, boys?” They responded, “You have the words of eternal life.”

So He told them: “All right. If you’re with Me, you’re with Me. Now follow Me.” Jesus is not going to change His message for anybody. We must live—and preach—to please God rather than man.

According to Jesus, a person who wants a ministry of mighty things must be willing to do menial things. Menial things are insignificant things that are done in secret when no one is shining a spotlight on you. You’re just busy doing something for the Lord.

Jesus spent His life serving. He washed His disciples’ feet. He cooked them breakfast after the resurrection. Jesus served.

If you want to achieve success and climb to a place of great elevation in the Lord, then look down. Don’t pass up the insignificant tasks, especially those that nobody but God can see.

There’s a new generation coming up, and I’m going after them. I want to raise up men and women who will get their model for life and ministry from the Word of God and the life of Jesus.

Their modus operandi will be to serve rather than be served, and their lives and ministries will be characterized by holiness, humility and a heartfelt love for people. I pray that God uses them in greater ways than He has used any other minister who has graced this planet—and that He preserves them from the deadly man-of-God syndrome.

Evangelist Steve Hill preached the Brownsville Revival for five years, is pastor emeritus of Heartland World Ministries Church and has authored 13 books, including Spiritual Avalanche.
Source: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/from-the-frontlines/39925-steve-hill-end-the-celebrity-syndrome-in-the-church; accessed 6/20/13. Republished with permission from Charisma, June 2013. Copyright Charisma Media, USA. All rights reserved. www.charismamag.com.

By Pastor Stephan Nash

It is strange to today’s generation to think that the rights listed in the Declaration of Independence were nothing more than a listing of sermon topics that had been preached from the pulpits in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution, but such was the case.

But it was not just the British who saw the American pulpit as largely responsible for American independence and government. Continue reading “Where Have All the Preachers Gone?” »

Charles Carrin is my dear friend. I know him personally, albeit far too briefly, having met him initially in the first part of the ’90s. Charles Carrin is the real deal, a genuine, Spirit-infused, Spirit/Fire-baptized, yet thoroughly humble “man of God!” Now an octogenarian for two years, he is a Spirit-ignited prophetic patriarch and elder-statesman to the Church Jesus is building, hailing from a by-gone and vastly under-appreciated era and personal wilderness experience but bringing forth with him a quality and quantity of wisdom manufactured and tempered in the crucible of trial, trouble, and tribulation that is not only rare, but genuinely rarefied. Words fail in attempting to describe the value and worth of “old soldiers,” in the words of General Douglas MacArthur, such as Charles Carrin, but perhaps the most fitting words are that he exemplifies the Scriptural phrase, “treasure in earthen vessels.” I regard him as one on the same plane as the likes of Tozer and Ravenhill to their generation. In this open-letter, Charles trumpets a profound, poignant, piercing, and powerful prophetic message to former fellows of a denomination he still cherishes that gave him the “left foot of fellowship” when he finally eschewed its warnings and teachings, accepted and obeyed God’s Word, and received the Father’s Promise of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, after nearly 30 years of dedication to and ministry in that denomination. But, we publish this heartfelt cry because of its applicability not only to the constituency of that particular rapidly declining denomination, but also to many other denominations and sects of believers, as well as whole “movements,” who claim the name of “Christian” and a “name” of being alive, but are really spiritually dead (Rev. 3:1). I highly commend this letter to you for your reading and meditation—and then your weeping, mourning, repentance, and praying—as it pierces your heart. “If anyone has an ear, let him hear” (Rev 13:9). [Steven Lambert, Publisher] Continue reading “An “Open-Heart-Letter” to Primitive Baptists (and others)” »

By Joseph Mattera

In my reading of the word of God over the past 34 years I have noticed a keen difference between the biblical measure of success and the way many American churches seem to measure success.

Many of the ways American churches measures success are in fact direct violations of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 23. In this passage Jesus speaks against people loving titles, celebrity status, and desiring prominent places in public events. Through the centuries theology and church practice have been greatly influenced by the surrounding cultures. The following are my opinions regarding five myths for success that have crept into the church from American culture. Continue reading “Five American Myths of Successful Churches and Ministries” »

By Phil Cooke

The Crystal Cathedral has officially closed escrow and the iconic glass sanctuary designed by architect Philip Johnson is now a Catholic church. But the sale represents much more than how one media ministry lost it’s way.

Looking at many of the classic and pioneering media ministries of the last 50 years, very few are recognizable anymore, and as a result, I believe that era is definitely over. Oral Roberts built the most successful media ministry of his time, and the massive financial response built a university. But it became apparent that a second generation of leadership couldn’t sustain it. Continue reading “Is the Pioneering Age of Religious Media Over?” »

Solemnly and slowly, with his index finger extended, Napoleon Bonaparte outlined a great stretch of country on a map of the world. “There,” he growled, “is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.” That sleeping giant was China. Today, Bonaparte’s prophecy of some one hundred and fifty years ago makes sense.

Today Lucifer is probably surveying the church just as Bonaparte did China. One can almost behold the fear in his eyes as he thinks of the Church’s unmeasured potential and growls, “Let the Church sleep! If she wakes, she will shake the world.” Is not the Church the sleeping giant of today? Continue reading “Today’s Sleeping Giant” »

Editor’s Note: Art Katz, a Jewish-born, modern-day prophet,  graduated to Glory in 2007, but shortly after the felling of the World Trade Center Twin Towers by Muslim extremists on September 11, 2001, he authored this prescient prophetic essay concerning the effects and prospective symbolic meaning represented in this dastardly and devil-inspired attack on the financial and military epicenters of the world.

There has been a great fall. More has come down than the great towers of the world’s financial center; it is the world itself that can never again be the same.

What security, confidence or trust can mankind be assured when even its impenetrable symbol of defense, the Pentagon, is itself penetrated? It is not that systems of security have momentarily failed and can henceforth be remedied and strengthened, but system itself; that is, what is wrought by man and constitutes the assured, assumed verities of life and safety—the taken-for-granted foundations of being itself—are themselves forever shaken! Continue reading “The Shaking of All Things That Can Be Shaken” »

The centerpiece of this post is a prophetic message I delivered in December, 1989. The date of the delivery of the message is significant because the message predicted major governmental debacle and dismantling that would be occurring in many nations of the world, beginning with the U.S.S.R., and it was in November, 1989, that East Germany issued a decree for the Berlin Wall dividing free Berlin from Communist Berlin that had stood for 28 years to be opened to allow free ingress and egress between the East and West factions of the city. By the end of 1990 the wall was completely disassembled contemporaneously with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and in U.S.S.R., marking the end of the Cold War era. The historic opening of the Berlin Wall came only a little more than two years after President Ronald Reagan, who I believe was a political prophet anointed and appointed by God, “In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin, by the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987,”1 trumpeted the now infamous divinely-inspired prophetic decree, “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall!” Continue reading “God’s Perestroika!” »

Hear this and hear it well, America! God’s anointed and appointed prophets, not politicians, are and have always been God’s change agents whose divinely inspired announcements and pronouncements are what bring change on earth and in the affairs of men! God’s prophets are His Watchmen and Warriors operating in the unseen Spirit realm, where all things are upheld by the Word of His power, who by their unveiling and revealing, decreeing and declaring, of the Secret Counsel of God establishes and sets into motion all that God is doing and establishing upon the earth at any given moment and season in time! “Change” is their middle name and “new things” is their game!

This article is Part 2 of a series regarding the “new things” God is decreeing for the days ahead. I believe the topic of this series is both prophetic and timely, in that God is right now decreeing and effecting major and in some cases paradigmatic changes both in the world and the church, and causing particular events to transpire that have never happened before; i.e., “new things.” God is “suddenly” releasing and launching much that has been held in abeyance for many years. He is also bringing a sudden end to much that has been for a many years as well. Continue reading “Prophets–God’s Change Agents” »

Oh, how desperately the Church, including the Neo-Pentecostal Church, in this last hour needs a full-color picture of a genuine black-and-white prophet, to portray to its constituency what one looks like, to allow them to fully receive “the reward” or benefits of a genuine prophet, instead of the cheap thrills dispensed by diluted and often deluded imitations circulating around the church scene these days. To accurately differentiate the genuine from the counterfeit, chances are its going to “take one to know one.” The late Leonard Ravenhill certainly was one, and before his death, fortunately for us, he snapped “the picture of a prophet” for us all to see and contemplate. Continue reading “The Picture Of A Prophet” »

“The Glory of the Latter House shall be greater than the Former!” (Hag. 2:9)

The hour we live in without equivocation is the most spiritually profound of all of history, and certainly of all “His-story.” Indeed, it can be no less when we are told that all of the historical Biblical events comprising His-story—i.e., the history of Israel—“happened to them as an example (illustration) and they were written for OUR instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11; cf., Rom. 15:4). God is therein declaring that the entire content of the Old Testament—the events it chronicles and the wisdom and instruction those events illustrate—are and always were intended for the true end-time believers comprising the end-times Church that Jesus is building!

Moreover, our spiritual assimilation of the morals illustrated and reflected in those Old Testament events and examples coupled with those given us in the New Testament will play a major role in producing the outcome that the Glory (tangible manifested presence of God) that abides upon those comprising the “Latter House”—the house of the faithful High Priest, who was faithful over His house as a SON (Heb. 3:1-6), that is, the Church Jesus is building—will far exceed any Glory that was ever upon the Former House—the house of Moses, who was faithful over his house as a SERVANT.

While the faithfulness of God’s SERVANT Moses produced per the Law of Reproduction a succession, intermittent as it was, of SERVANTS, the faithfulness of the SON over His House produces the surpassing results of “bringing many SONS unto Glory” (Heb. 2:10). By virtue of the fact that the House Jesus is building is a House of SONS, versus SERVANTS, the Glory of the Latter House MUST indeed be GREATER than the Former, for the Glory of SONS of God versus SERVANTS of God is like unto the glory of the sun compared to the glory of the moon (a non-illuminary planet). Continue reading “The Church’s Greatest Need” »

In the mid 1980s God began restoring the office of the prophet back into its rightful and proper place of function in the Church that Jesus is building. Today, thousands of churches and ministers accept and themselves advocate this premise. But is there such a thing as “judgment prophets” today in the New Testament era? Even within Charismatic and Neo-Pentecostal churches espousing the validity of the prophetic and apostolic offices in today’s ecclesia, the issue of the prospect of judgment prophets being anointed, appointed, and sent by God with a special message from Him and equipped with supernatural powers such as what Moses was given by God produces sharp and sometime contentiousness debate. So, do judgment prophets exist today? Here’s one perspective. Continue reading “Judgment Prophets” »

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