Friday, January 31, 2014


Moses could worship even though he wasn’t full of hope for Israel. He knew the people were bent on backsliding—that they were hiding the golden idols they had brought from Egypt. Even though Moses had persuaded God to spare them after their idolatry of the golden calf, now he must have thought, “How much longer will God put up with their secret lust and murmuring? When is His patience going to run out?”

It could seem here that Moses’ pleading on Israel’s behalf was more compassionate than God’s feeling for the people. But the truth is, God had no intention of destroying these people. He already had all His promises for them in His mind.

No, this was a “mercy test” for Moses. The Lord was asking His servant, “How are you going to represent Me to the people? Will it be as a vengeful God who is full of judgment only? No—I am merciful, long-suffering, always ready to forgive My people.”

Here was the revelation! And it set Moses’ heart at ease. Indeed, while he was still worshiping, he began claiming and appropriating the glory God had revealed to him: “God’s mercy will see us through! He is long-suffering, and He will forgive us. What a glory this is! What comfort, what hope!”

Immediately, Moses began praying, “And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance” ( Exodus 34:9).

This passage proves unmistakably that the revelation of God’s glory is an integral part of worship!

The revelation of God’s glory should be the wellspring of all our worship. We ought to regularly lay claim to His glory, testifying, “Lord, I know You’re holy and just, and You won’t wink at sin. But I’ve also seen Your glory and I know You’re not out to destroy me.

"You don’t condemn me in my struggles. On the contrary, You show me how loving and long-suffering You are toward me. I know I deserve rejection. I’ve failed so often, I should be cast aside completely. But You reveal to me that You are merciful, gracious, tenderhearted!”

Thursday, January 30, 2014


God allowed Moses to see His glory so that he might be changed by the sight of it—and the same is true for us today. God reveals His glory to us so that by seeing it, we might be changed into His very own image!

Today, Jesus Christ is the express image of who God is. When our Lord became flesh, it was as a full revelation of the heavenly Father's mercy, grace, goodness and readiness to forgive. God wrapped up everything of His nature and character in Jesus. And any revelation of His glory to us now is meant to change us into an expression of Christ.

The apostle Paul understood well the purpose and effect of seeing the glory of God. He saw it as power to change the beholder, to revolutionize the life of every follower of Christ. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Paul is telling us, “Once you get this revelation of God’s glory—of His love, mercy, grace, long-suffering and readiness to forgive—the Holy Spirit will continually open your eyes to more of these aspects of His nature and character. You’ll have an ever-increasing revelation of God, in the way He wants to be known to you.”

Paul then says in an even stronger tone: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

Beloved, God wants to tell us, “Moses understood My glory, and now I want you to understand it. I want to open your eyes by My Spirit to show you who I am. I’m not just a God of wrath and judgment. My nature is love!”

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (3:17-19).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


When Moses saw the revelation of God’s glory—that He is good, loving, caring, gracious, forgiving—he quickly fell to his knees and worshiped. “Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped” (Exodus 34:8).

The revelation of God's nature overwhelmed this man. He saw how merciful, long-suffering and patient God is with His children, including stiff-necked people, idolaters and those who grieve him. Moses was so stirred by this revelation that he ran out from behind the rock, fell down and worshiped Him!

It is important to note that this is the first mention ever of Moses worshiping. Prior to this revelation of God’s glory, we find Moses praying and interceding, weeping and pleading with God for Israel, talking with Him face to face. We hear him singing the Lord’s praises on the victory side of the Red Sea and calling on the Lord at the bitter waters of Marah. And we hear his desperate cry to God at Rephidim, when the people were ready to stone him for not providing water. But this is the first time we read the words, “Moses worshiped.”

I believe this one verse tells us much about the church today. It says a Christian can pray diligently without ever really worshiping. Indeed, it’s possible to be a prayer warrior and intercessor and still not be a worshiper of God. You can plead for your unsaved children, pray for the needs of an entire church, be holy and meek in seeking God's burden—and yet never truly worship Him!

I don't want to add to the multitude of definitions of what it means to worship. There are already too many books published on the various techniques of worship. But, in short, I will say this: worship cannot be learned! It is a spontaneous outbreak, the act of a heart overwhelmed by a revelation of God’s glory and His incredible love.

Worship is a response of gratitude. It recognizes how we should have been destroyed by our sin long ago, incurring the full wrath of God for all our failures and faults but, instead, God came to us with the powerful revelation, “I still love you!”

At this point, Moses was no longer pleading for sinful Israel and he was not asking the Lord for guidance. He was not crying out for a miracle of deliverance, or for power, or for wisdom. He was marveling at the revelation of the glory of God!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Scripture makes clear that it is possible for every true follower of Jesus to see and understand the glory of God. Indeed, our Lord reveals His glory to all who ask and seek for it diligently. I believe the revelation of God’s glory will equip His people for the perilous days ahead. Paul states that this revelation “is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Contrary to some Christians’ thinking, the glory of God is not a physical manifestation of some kind. It’s not an ecstatic feeling that overcomes you nor is it a kind of supernatural aura or angelic light that bursts forth. Simply put, God’s glory is a revelation of His nature and attributes!

When we pray, “Lord, show me Your glory,” we are actually praying, “Father, reveal to me who You are.” And if the Lord does give us a revelation of His glory, it is of how He wants to be known by us.

Moses’ experience with the glory of God demonstrates this truth. The Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel without giving him a full revelation of who the God of Israel was. The Lord merely told him, “Go, and say I AM sent you” (see Exodus 3:14). But He gave no explanation of who "I AM" was.

I believe this is why Moses cried, “I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). Moses had a gnawing hunger and thirst to know who the great I AM was—to know what His nature and character were all about.

The Lord answered Moses’ prayer. First, He instructed Moses to hide himself in the cleft of a rock. Yet, as Moses waited for the glory of God to appear, he heard no thunder, saw no lightning, felt no shaking of the earth. Rather, God’s glory came to him in a simple revelation: “The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression” (Exodus 34:6-7).

Monday, January 27, 2014


I am a pastor, and my hours are filled with the work of my calling. But lately my heart has been stirred to do the work of an evangelist. Recently I asked God to open doors to five people during the coming week so that I could witness to them about Jesus. That very day I was sitting with my family in a restaurant when an elderly man walked by and placed his hand on each of our shoulders as he passed. It was a tender gesture and I reached out to talk to him.

The man’s name was Skip and he was eighty-five years old. He told us his wife had just been disabled by a stroke. “We’ve been married all these years, and now she’s lying in bed at home,” Skip said. “I’m overwhelmed with the work of caring of her. I just came out to get a little break.” When I asked if we could pray for him, Skip’s eyes welled up. He had been waiting to hear someone tell him that God cared.

Later that week, I shared the love of Jesus with a homeless teenager. Within days I had had meaningful, powerful encounters with others. Prayer not only opens doors powerfully but it opens our eyes to the needs at our very doorstep—and to God’s desire to meet those needs.

In each of our communities, people are ready to see a faithful church act on its belief that God desires to free people from every prison. They want to know there is hope for their despair. The Lord is ready to move as a result of our prayers; now He needs us to move forward in faith to see His power transform lives.

I urge you: Keep praying earnestly—for your loved ones and for everyone you meet. God may have already moved in their lives, even though you don’t realize it. So when you hear a knock at your door, be faithful to open it. Jesus is ready to amaze us all with His saving, delivering, transforming love.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

IN YOUR ARMS OF LOVE by Claude Houde

My last memory of my dear friend Pastor Bernard Sigouin here on earth is this magnificent moment as he stood with his hands lifted to the heavens singing:

I sing a simple song of love
To my Savior, to my Jesus.
I’m grateful for the things You’ve done,
My loving Savior, my precious Jesus.

My heart is glad that You’ve called me Your own.
There’s no place I’d rather be than

In Your arms of love,
In Your arms of love.
Holding me still, holding me near,
In Your arms of love.

This is how Pastor Bernard left this earth to join his Father. With words of praise on his lips and the joy of having faithfully served God until the end, he found himself in the loving arms of the One to whom he had entrusted his entire life with unshakable faith. As he fell to the floor, right there in the church to which he had dedicated his entire life, I was reminded of the verse, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord” (see 2 Corinthians 5:8).

It was a privilege for me to share the Word at his funeral. Loved ones, family, pastors, leaders and Bible school students gathered to honor his memory and to celebrate his faith and his life. I shared a Bible text with the packed audience, a passage of Scripture calling us to this faith that never quits: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. . . . So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” (Hebrews 10:23, 35-39).

May a new generation be inspired to lay hold of this flaming torch, the absolute conviction that without faith it is impossible to possess! May the light of your faith illuminate the cold and dark night of unbelief, giving hope and direction to all those around you who have lost their way, for whom to believe again is a matter of life and death!


Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Today, the heat of temptation and compromise is many times hotter than it was a generation ago. For example, Satan has rigged the entire technology of our age—corrupting it with seduction, sensuality, lust and temptation. Why do we face such a white-hot furnace of temptation today? Why are lust and sex being used to sell every conceivable kind of product? Why are there hundreds of porno websites on the Internet? Who is the target of this flood of filth?

It isn’t the secular world, which has already been seduced. No, Satan’s target is none of these. Rather, he has manipulated the media to snare the hearts of overcoming Christians. He wants to weaken and destroy the testimony of the gospel.

Right now the furnace is being heated seven times over in the lives of many believers. Satan has created situations in their homes, on their jobs and in their relationships that are more intense than ever. And many once-strong Christians are giving up, quitting on God. They no longer pray for help. Instead, they think, “My trial is too intense for me to survive!”

In Daniel 3, God turned the devil’s scheme into an opportunity to expose the whole nation of Babylon to His testimony. Because the three young men would not bow, the Lord delivered them. And they brought to the nation a clear manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The king of Babylon testified, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? . . . Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:24-25).

Quickly the king nullified his first decree of idol worship and issued this new decree: “Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (verse 29).

Beloved, it all happened because of the testimony of three men—righteous lovers of God who were willing to lay down their lives in faith.

Yes, things are going to get hot economically, physically, mentally, spiritually and in every other way. But God has already put His hand on separated, godly men and women in every place. And His gospel will be preached as a testimony.

Then the Lord will come!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


If you hunger and thirst for the fullness of Christ, Satan will declare outright war on you. When he sees evidence that your commitment is real—your diligence in prayer, your denial of self—he will use every weapon in hell to try to destroy your testimony. Why? Because your testimony is God’s answer to apostasy and ruin!

This is what the fiery furnace in the book of Daniel is all about. Satan devised an elaborate plan to destroy the only testimony of God’s power left in Babylon. It culminated in a white-hot oven, meant to kill all living proof of God’s gospel truth (see Daniel 3).

Three godly young Israelites served in high government offices in Babylon, men who were visible testimonies of the gospel they preached. They had separated themselves from the sensuous lifestyle of Babylon, committing their lives instead to prayer. These three men were not prophets or priests, but laymen who remained faithful to God and were pure in heart in the midst of the idolatrous masses.

Of course, this stirred Satan’s rage, and he entered the heart of Babylon’s evil king. The king erected a huge golden statue and declared it the official national god, an object to be worshiped. Then he summoned all officials and servants from every nation under Babylon’s thumb so he could introduce the new religion. When the ceremonial music began, everyone was to bow to this new god.

Satan also prompted the king to erect a huge brick furnace and stoke it so the white-hot flames were visible to everyone. Why did Satan do this? Surely he knew there wasn’t a governor, judge or sheriff anywhere in Babylon who would resist the new decree. They did not need to be seduced or threatened.

In fact, they all must have been dumbfounded, wondering, “Hey, who wants to rock the boat? We’re doing just fine—we have prosperity, food and drink, the good life. And this new religion is easy on the soul. Who would want to give up all this?”

So, what was the fiery furnace all about? It was totally the work of Satan—a manipulation rigged by him to destroy the three young men. He wanted to kill off the only remaining testimony of God in Babylon!

The three young men answered the king’s command: “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Israel in the prophet Ezekiel’s day was lewd and proud. Men committed abominations with their neighbors’ wives and even defiled their daughters-in-law. Prophets who had once been holy became backslidden and no longer discerned between the holy and the profane. The nation’s leaders became as ravening wolves, seeking after dishonest gain, shedding blood, speaking lies and burdening the poor.

Israel forgot God’s ways and the nation grew so weak, worldly and powerless that God made them a laughingstock to the secular world. He said, “Therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries” (Ezekiel 22:4).

What a searing indictment! God was saying to Israel, “You’ve so despised holy things, giving yourselves completely over to lust, that I’m going to take away your witness!”

Ezekiel was an older man at this time, about to pass out of the picture. So how did God deal with the situation? He told Ezekiel, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (verse 30).

Imagine it! Israel’s fate rested on whether God could find just one reliable, righteous man. Yet He said to Ezekiel, “I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them” (verses 30-31).

God said the same thing to the prophet Jeremiah: “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem . . . seek . . . find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it” (Jeremiah 5:1). He told the prophet, “I’ll pardon the entire nation if I can find just one man who’ll stand in the gap. All I need is a single soul who is wholly yielded to My will!”

Beloved, today we hear a Babel of voices in the church crying for more relevant, contemporary ways to reach the world. And many bizarre, fleshly programs are being tried. Yet, in my many years of ministry, I have seen these kinds of programs come and go. They rely totally on appeasing the flesh, having nothing to do with the cross. The crowds they draw live empty, unfulfilled lives, having never been exposed to the gospel of separation from the world and its lusts. The world scoffs at these programs, recognizing them all as mere foolishness.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


In Nehemiah’s day, the walls of Jerusalem were in ruins, the city a literal pile of stones. And the church was totally backslidden, with no witness left. The wicked powers surrounding Israel persecuted them severely, mocking every work they tried to undertake.

How did God respond in such a time of ruin? Did He send a well-trained army to help them? Did He send a palace guard to smite their prominent enemies? No, God raised up a man—Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was a man with God’s burden on his heart. He spent his time praying, fasting and mourning, because he was broken over Israel’s condition. He also continually dug into God’s Word, grasping prophecy and moving in the Spirit.

Although Nehemiah served as cupbearer to the king of Persia, he remained separate from the wickedness surrounding him. In the midst of all the sensuality, immorality and godlessness taking place in Israel, he maintained a holy walk with the Lord. And, in turn, everyone who heard him preach was purified in soul.

Soon a revival of holiness swept the land. “The priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall” (Nehemiah 12:30). The house of God also was purged, with everything of flesh cast out. Nehemiah sent workers into the temple, telling them, “I want every piece of filth out of here. Don't leave anything that has to do with idolatry or sensuality” (see Nehemiah 13:8-9).

Beloved, this is God’s concept of revival! It is all about sweeping out every chamber in your heart that’s unclean and unsanctified. He wants no dark places left.

Where did Nehemiah get such spiritual authority, to cause compromisers to tremble, and to bring back godly fear to the temple? The king did not give it to him. No church bishop gave it to him. He didn’t learn it from a Bible school.

No, Nehemiah got his authority on his knees—weeping, broken, wanting to know God’s heart. And because he was a man of prayer, he was able to confess the sins of a whole nation: “That thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night . . . and confess the sins of the children of Israel . . . both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments” (Nehemiah 1:6-7).

Monday, January 20, 2014

ACTS OF FAITH by Gary Wilkerson

Once the apostle Peter was miraculously freed from prison (see Acts 12:7-11), he went to the house of prayer to report the miracle to those who had been interceding for him. As Peter knocked, the group was still fervently praying inside. They had no idea how effective their prayers for their brother had been.

Indeed, Scripture says their prayers were “earnest”—meaning they were holding on to God and not giving up. This is the kind of prayer Christ calls His church to. It is persistent and passionate in its desire to see a loved one, friend or even a city set free.

But an interesting thing happened when these believers learned that their prayers had been answered: They didn’t believe it! A servant girl told them Peter was at the gate. “In her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, ‘You are out of your mind.’ But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, ‘It is his angel!’” (12:14-15, ESV). Apparently they believed Herod had already killed him.

God is in the delivering business. He does the impossible with a single word and when He sets His people free, they are free indeed. But maybe you have noticed something in your own life that happens when you struggle with a problem. That is, God opens the first few gates for you—and then leaves the last one for you to open by faith. He supernaturally opened gates for Peter, but this last one required the faith and action of the man.

Why does the Lord do this? He knows that even with our most fervent prayers, we may still have a tiny corner of unbelief in our hearts. Yes, God is sovereign in His power but He wants His bride to be involved in His acts of redemption. Every genuine move of God throughout history has required men and women to stand up and say, “I want to be counted. I might be weak or shy, but God honors those who act in faith.”

Yes, it all begins with prayer. Fervent, effectual prayer moves God to open iron gates and set captives free. Peter’s story makes that clear. But this scene also shows that if we don’t act in faith to open that last gate, some captives will remain standing outside. So here is the last part of fervent prayer: faithful action.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Prayer is the source of the Christian Life, a Christian lifeline. Otherwise, it is like having a baby in your arms and dressing her up so cute—but she’s not breathing! Never mind the frilly clothes—stabilize the child’s vital signs. It does no good to talk to someone in a comatose state. That is why the great emphasis on teaching in today’s churches is producing such limited results. Teaching is only good where there’s life to be channeled. If the listeners are in a spiritual coma, what we are telling them may be fine and orthodox, but spiritual life cannot be taught.

Pastors and churches must get uncomfortable enough to say, “We are not New Testament Christians if we don’t have a prayer life.” This conviction makes us squirm a little, but how else will there be a breakthrough with God?

If we truly think about what Acts 2:42 says—“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”—we can see that prayer is almost a proof of a church’s normalcy. Calling on the name of the Lord is the fourth great hallmark in the list. If my church or your church is not praying, we should not be boasting in our orthodoxy or our Sunday morning attendance figures.

My wife, Carol, and I have told each other more than once that if the spirit of brokenness and calling on God ever slacks off in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, we will know we are in trouble, even if we have 10,000 in attendance.

During countless Tuesday night prayer meetings I find myself encircled by the sacred sounds of prayer and intercession filling the church and overflowing from every heart present. As the meeting edges to a close, I overhear mothers petitioning for wayward children, men asking God to please help them find employment, and others giving thanks for recent answers to prayer. I can’t help but think, “This is as close to heaven as I will ever get in this life. I don’t want to leave here. If I were invited to the White House to meet some dignitary, it would never bring the kind of peace and deep joy I sense here in the presence of people calling on the Lord.”

Friday, January 17, 2014


It was a difficult time in Israel as depravity, apostasy and backsliding were rampant in the land. At this time, the ark was gone from Israel. Eli, the nation’s high priest, was lazy and complacent, allowing his sons to debauch the priesthood. Under their leadership, adultery and fornication were rampant in the temple. But Eli had become so used to his life of ease that he would not do anything to stop them.

At one point the Lord wrote the word “Ichabod” (meaning “the Spirit of the Lord has departed”) over the whole religious system. Once again, satanic forces had risen to great power and to the natural eye, God’s work had lost so much ground, the odds of recovery seemed improbable.

But the Lord had a man in place all along—a little child named Samuel. While all the ministers around him were indulging in fornication and gluttony, Samuel was learning to hear God's voice. As he became more and more intimate with the Lord, the Holy Spirit filled him with a prophetic word. He became a testimony—living proof of the power of God!

Scripture says that as Samuel grew, none of his words fell to the ground, meaning that he consistently spoke with power and authority. Because of his godly authority, no nation was able to lift a hand against Israel for over forty years.

“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established (found to be trustworthy) to be a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:19-21).
Once again, the Lord raised up a single man as a testimony to a whole nation. God needed no army, no human organization, no “new thing.” All he needed was one righteous man—someone whose ministry was committed totally to His holy ways!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Consider the plight of Israel in Egypt. God’s nation was in incredible ruin, with widespread apostasy. Satan had Israel under his heel, manipulating the political powers of the day to make laws against them and persecute them. The enemy was ridiculing and mocking God’s testimony on earth.

It was a dark hour in Israel’s history and over time the people grew discouraged. They began backsliding, indulging in the pleasures and sensuality of Egypt. Idolatry and fornication became rampant. Israel’s situation seemed hopeless and the faith of the nation was slowly dying.

What was God’s response to this rising power of darkness? Did He stir up surrounding empires to act as His rod against Egypt? Did He incite a civil war among the Egyptians? Did He send avenging angels? No—God did no such thing. He had a totally different plan and laid His hand on a single man, raising up Moses!

“The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalms 103:6-8).

Moses was a man of prayer, totally shut in with God. He said no to the pleasures, ease and temptations of Egypt, living instead under the total rule of the Holy Ghost. He had no agenda or ambition of his own. He forsook all his human ability, relying on the great I AM as his sole provision and resource. And he came from holy ground, with a firsthand vision of God’s holiness.

So, in the blackest hour of Israel’s history, when it looked as if God’s people would succumb to the enemy, the Lord raised up a man who would act as a testimony in the midst of it all. And this one man brought down a whole nation while raising up another. God did it all through one man!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

I am amazed and perplexed by the scores of ministers, both young and old, who run all over the world looking for strategies to produce growth in their churches. Today, many preachers attend seminars, conventions and “think tanks,” where young ministry professionals use charts and polls to show them how to build larger churches. Other ministers flock to “revivals,” hoping to learn new methods of how to have the Holy Ghost fall on their congregations.

Right now, mission societies are sending out more workers than ever before. Their rallying cry has become, “We have to get more manpower on the mission field! More qualified men and women are needed to win the nations to Christ.”

Too many of the missionaries being sent are coming home within a few years. They’ve been beaten down, discouraged, flailed by demonic forces in those foreign nations. Why? Because their lives didn’t match the gospel they preached; they never developed a firsthand knowledge of Christ’s lordship or of the fullness of the Holy Ghost.

Beloved, it takes more than new ideas or strategies to touch nations for Christ. All our plans are in vain if Jesus isn’t enthroned in every area of our lives!

Never in history has there been such a wild rush of demonic spirits bursting forth from the bowels of hell. Lawlessness is sweeping the earth, with nation rising up against nation. And it’s all happening because Satan has unleashed his demonic hordes in a final war against the saints!

Yet God is never caught off guard by anything that happens in our world. He isn’t surprised by the awful drug plague or the blood-bath of abortion. So, what is His response in this time of turmoil and depravity? What does He propose as an antidote to the apostasy and growing demonic power? What will God do in such a time of ruin?

His answer is the same as it has always been—to bring forth the victory of Christ in a renewed way. God has always responded by raising up a fresh remnant of men and women who will be a pure testimony to His saving and sanctifying power, and the same is true today. His plan is to bring onto this scene of antichrist activity a body of separated, Christ-filled overcomers—godly men and women who will live in total submission to His government and lordship!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

Many in the church today try to determine the nearness of Christ’s return by reading the signs of the times. We see such signs in specific events; for example, the return of the Jews to Israel. Yet one of the clearest statements Jesus makes about His second coming is contained in the verse above. The end will come only after the gospel has been preached to all nations—as a testimony.

The word that Jesus uses for “witness” in this verse is the same Greek word used for “testimony.” It means, literally, “proof of the fact.” Christ is speaking here of not just preaching the gospel, but presenting it as a testimony. In short, He says the gospel we preach is effective only if it is backed up by a life that testifies to its reality.

You would think that in America, a nation filled with thousands of evangelical churches, there would be a strong gospel witness. But many churches have compromised the true gospel of Christ. The fact is, even with all the evangelical preaching in many of these churches, there is very little testimony of Christ’s lordship in the people’s lives to back it up. They are not a true witness to the city or the nation.

Of course, there are exceptions. I think of a Baptist pastor who at one time planned to build a huge new building. His congregation was growing rapidly and he had begun studying the church-growth movement. But then his wife was stirred to pray and seek the Lord, and soon the pastor was doing the same. He quickly gave up his dream of huge numbers and began to be a testimony of what he preached.

For a recent sermon, the pastor set up a big screen at the front of the church. He told his congregation, “God’s Spirit has been speaking to me about the sins of this church. And today we’re going to see them in front of our very eyes!”
The pastor then flashed sin after sin on the screen—fornication, adultery, alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography. Then he began his sermon: “We’re not about to start building a big church right now. We’ve got to get Christ’s living tabernacle straightened out before we can do anything else. We have to live this gospel first!” Today the Spirit of God is moving mightily in that church. People are flocking to the Lord, getting their lives straight—because they are hearing a gospel with a testimony behind it!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Spiritual prisons are those that Satan uses to cage us, and those we keep ourselves in. With a powerful example from Peter’s life, God’s Word shows us how to be freed from these prisons.

In Acts 12, Peter was imprisoned by King Herod. Thousands in Jerusalem were getting saved through the mighty works of God and Herod felt threatened. Of course, whenever God moves supernaturally through His people, it enrages the enemy.

Now Herod leveled his sights on Peter. “When [Herod] saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread (Passover)” (Acts 12:3, ESV). Herod was going to make a point: By executing the boldest believer at Easter, the church’s most sacred observance, he would frighten Christians into silence.

Herod sent squads of soldiers to capture and guard Peter. “And when he had seized him, he put him in prison . . . intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people” (12:4). The meaning of “bring him out” reveals that Herod was going to martyr Peter in a public display.

The word “seized” in this passage does not just mean “grabbed.” Rather, it signifies a power far beyond our own. Peter wasn’t just under the arrest of a governmental principality, he was locked down by a spiritual power that was manipulating a powerful man for demonic ends. Are you familiar with this kind of spiritual prison? Maybe you are in one now. You think, “Lord, I’ve prayed a thousand times, but nothing ever changes. How will I ever get free?”

What we read next changes everything. “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5). That one little word—“but”—transforms the whole picture. It says, “The enemy is on this scene, roaring like a lion, but the Lion of Judah is also on the move. He’s about to reveal Himself and change everything.”

I love the image of “earnest prayer” in this verse. A small band of humble men and women were holding a prayer meeting. Like many Christians, they probably had little influence in their world, yet the thickest prison walls didn’t stand a chance against their prayers.

“Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him” (12:6-7).

As Peter looked around, he saw that his chains had fallen off but that the guards were blinded to it. “He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision” (12:9).

What happened next is the heart of this message: “When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out” (12:10).

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Early in my Christian walk, God put a compelling love for the lost in my heart. Yes, there were times when I was opposed and even threatened. Nevertheless, I simply could not remain silent, for I genuinely cared about people and I was compelled to speak about Jesus Christ. Men and women around me were dying in their sin, and somebody with the compassion of God had to speak to them. This is the calling on each one of our lives.

Paul said it this way: “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things” (2 Timothy 1:11-12). Paul said, “I suffer, I am called, and I am appointed.” In the same way, each of us is appointed by God to be a vocal witness of the truth. We are not called to be silent in this hour. We are called to stand for what we believe in; to testify of how God has transformed us and continues to work in our lives. We are called to stand unashamed rather than cowering down under the sneers of fallen humanity. And God has made a way for us to do so.

Prior to these verses, Paul said to Timothy, “But be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:8-9). It is according to His own purpose and grace! It is as if God is saying, “I saw you coming, and I made a way for you. I made a way to cut the cords of needing the praise and approval of man. I made a way for you to fulfill My holy calling on your life—not just in part but in full measure. I made a way for you to love people with a supernatural love. I am willing to fill you with My Holy Spirit, giving you courage to stand as a voice for the kingdom of God—not by your ability, but by My Spirit!”

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.

Friday, January 10, 2014


The gospel of Luke tells us of a father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus. Christ told the father, “Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a-coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him” (Luke 9:41-42). The word tare means to violently convulse, to terribly shake.

This young man came to Christ and was about to be set free, translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light. The devil saw he was about to lose another victim, so in a rage, he threw the young man to the ground in one last, violent attack. He wanted to kill him and take his soul before Jesus could deliver him.

Satan will try to do the same thing to you today. The moment you move toward Christ, he will attempt one last devouring attack. He will put before your eyes the most alluring temptations. He will try to cast you down with lies, telling you that you will never be free from sin and lust. He will try to convince you you’ll always be his, not God’s!

But let me remind you: The instant you move toward Jesus, the devil is rendered helpless. He cannot stop anyone who is headed to Christ! He could not keep the demon-possessed young man from reaching Jesus. All Christ had to do was say a word: “And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father” (verse 42).

James tells us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). So, how do you resist the enemy? You do it by faith alone! Simply come to Jesus, trusting that He will rescue you from Satan’s clutches. “Whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9).

You can be free today. You can say to Satan, “When I finish reading this message, I’m going to be a free person. Jesus is going to deliver me from every lust and ungodly passion. It’s all going to go because He said so.”
The times ahead may get hard for you. But the Father’s glorious, blazing sun will shine ever brighter for you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44).

Christ spoke these words to a religious crowd who thought they were good in God’s eyes. They were outwardly clean and religious but inwardly they were full of lust, sensuality, fornication, covetousness.

There is a sickness called sin-sickness that strikes the children of the devil. The deeper in sin a person falls, the more critical this sickness becomes. It reaches its peak when sin suddenly loses its pleasure, becoming boring and unfulfilling.

Sin-sickness drove a famous young TV star to suicide. The actor was starring in a hit series and making a fortune. He had just signed contracts to star in movies and was dating a beautiful actress. He had fame, fortune and good health.

But then his lifeless body was found in a cheap porno hotel. Apparently, none of the world’s pleasures had satisfied him. His life had become empty, meaningless, and suicide finally ended it all. He died as a result of sin-sickness!

If you have never given your life to Jesus, then up to now the devil has had complete control over you. He has ruled and reigned over your life. But perhaps now Satan sees a change coming over you and he knows he is losing his hold on you.

Sin has suddenly lost its sweet taste to you. You do not go to the evil places you once frequented and you are not as anxious to party anymore. Money no longer satisfies you, and neither do sex or possessions. You feel a growing emptiness inside you.

And now here you are, reading this message. Perhaps you have become willing to read the Bible. Nobody is making you do it; something inside is urging you to pick it up.
Dear one, right now Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart, and the devil knows it. And the one thing Satan fears most is that you will open the door to Christ!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The devil comes at us with intense trials but we are not to fear him. John Knox, one of Britain’s most powerful preachers, is a great example of how we can face down the devil’s lies. His awesome preaching caused kings and queens to tremble and he lived a righteous life that backed up the gospel he preached, uncompromising to the end.

In Knox’s later years, when he became terminally ill, Satan faced another deadline. This man had angered hell probably as much as the apostle Paul had. So in the short time he had left, the devil set out to send Knox into eternity in fear and unbelief.

Knox wrote, “All my life I have been tested and assaulted of Satan. But my present test has assailed me most fearfully. He has set to devour me, and make an end of me. Before, he often would place all my sins before my eyes. He tried to ensnare me with the allurements of this world. But the Spirit broke those attacks. Now he has attacked me another way. This cunning devil has labored to persuade me that I have earned heaven by my faithfulness to my ministry!”

Knox knew that salvation came by faith alone. He had preached this all his life, stating clearly that no one can be saved by his own righteousness, no matter how many good works he had done. But now Satan tried to damn the preacher by tripping him up over his own faithfulness!

Just before he died, Knox testified, “Blessed be God who has enabled me to beat down and quench this fiery dart by passages from the Scripture. By the grace of God, I am what I am, not I, but the grace of God in me. Through Jesus Christ I have gained the victory. The tempter shall not touch me again in this short time. I will soon exchange this mortal life for blessed immortality through Jesus Christ!”
Thank God for the testimony of John Knox! He used Scripture to stand against Satan, and the Lord delivered him. He went home to glory singing God’s praises!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Ask anyone who has been called by God to step out into some new work of the Kingdom and that person will tell you that Satan has come at him in a rage, hurling one affliction after another.

So it was in the life of Christ. As soon as Jesus had been baptized, with the dove appearing and the voice from heaven declaring Him the Lamb of God, Satan went to work. He knew he had only forty days and nights to try to devour Jesus and stop His ministry (see Matthew 4).

No sooner did Jesus declare Peter a rock of faith than Satan moved in to sift the disciple, driving him to unbelief and betrayal (see Luke 22:21). Satan knew he had to act quickly in Peter’s life, before Jesus’ words about the disciple could come to pass—but the temptation ultimately failed!

I know what this kind of hellish attack is all about because it happened to me when God gave me a fresh call to ministry! After spending much time in prayer, I sensed God’s call to expand my ministry by speaking to pastors around the world. (I was not leaving the ministry of Times Square Church, or the ministry of these written messages. I was only adding this occasional aspect of ministry, by the direction of the Holy Spirit.)

I was planning to speak to gatherings of pastors in France, Romania, Poland and the Balkans. No sooner had I scheduled this trip than Satan moved in. Up to that point I had been at the peak of health but suddenly I was struck down physically. Within a matter of hours I became so weak I could hardly walk. I felt sharp, agonizing internal pains and soon blotches appeared on my stomach.

A doctor friend told me I had shingles, a disease that comes from the remains of childhood chickenpox. The devil seemed to be laughing, saying, “So you’re taking on this new ministry, are you? You won’t if I can help it!”

Yet, within weeks of my trip, all the sores disappeared. The Lord raised me up and gave me new strength. It all was warfare from hell! It has always been this way throughout my years in ministry. Every new acceptance of a call from the Lord has been followed by demonic attacks.

Monday, January 6, 2014

IN THE PITS! by Gary Wilkerson

Starting in Genesis 37, we see Joseph’s story, which reads like an episode of the television program “Cops.” One of his brothers was a rapist and the others tried to kill Joseph and eventually sold him into slavery. Even Jacob, his own father, neglected to step in when Joseph was tormented by his brothers. Joseph paid a penalty for his family’s dysfunction.

Does this describe you? You have been away from home for years but you still bear mental scars from your family’s chaos. Or perhaps your chaos is in the workplace, where others’ willful sins affect you directly. That happened to Joseph when his boss’s wife tried to seduce him. When Joseph turned her down, she lied about him vengefully and he was tossed into yet another pit, a death-row prison.

Scripture makes it clear that with every pit Joseph fell into, God was at work speeding up the process of achieving His kingdom purposes. I hear God saying of him: “I want someone who’s willing to endure every test faithfully, so that I can strategically position him to save My people. I choose Joseph for this job.”

Think about the incredible trajectory of Joseph’s life. Here was a teenaged shepherd who within a few years became second in command of the world’s greatest empire. It makes me want to pray, “God, take me out of my comfort zone. I want to see You work Your purposes in my life.”

Are you willing to say, “Lord, I’ll gladly go wherever You want me to go”? I know many Christians who hunger for this kind of faith. They cry out, “Lord, there has to be more to this walk. I don’t want to just occupy space on the earth. I want You to work in me so that I can impact Your Kingdom.”

The bigger our dreams for God’s work, the larger our pit will be. Do you believe God for a marriage that reflects His glory? Then be prepared to have your marriage tested almost beyond your limits. The truth is, faith throws us into a pit almost every time. If we want God to use our lives, then we had better prepare ourselves for a pit.
“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20, ESV).

Saturday, January 4, 2014


“For faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things that are not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval” (Hebrews 11:1-2, RSV).

One of the greatest privileges of my Christian life has been the joy of being around and knowing great patriarchs of the faith. Some of these giants are extremely well-known, with international ministries reaching millions, but there are others who, although much less known, have had a life-lasting impact on my faith and ministry.

I am inspired, provoked to good works, motivated and moved by the testimonies of these men and women of faith. One such man with character of tempered steel was Pastor Bernard Sigouin. Oh, I know, you most likely have never heard of him, but hell feared him and heaven celebrates his faith.

Pastor Bernard was among those believers who became a Christian in the fifties as severe persecutions were raging in the French province of Quebec, which at that time was engulfed in spiritual darkness. He became a believer in one of the first waves of Quebecers who responded with faith to God’s call for ministry in our nation. He was a heroic and precious pastor, as well as founder and builder of many churches in this part of Canada, which is still considered one of the most unevangelized fields in the world. I was honored to serve with this precious pastor as he entered the autumn of his ministry and his life.

Pastor Bernard and I became friends and one year before his death I was sitting with him in a restaurant having breakfast. As a young pastor I loved spending time with this precious man. Our church was taking care of him and I wanted to do something special—I wanted to bless him. I said, “Pastor Bernard, we would like to do something for you and your wife. Would you like to go on a trip and see the ocean or something?” I knew he had lived his entire life consumed by God’s work and had not done much in the way of leisure activities.

He grabbed my hand, and looking me straight in the eye, he said, “If you want to do something for me, pray that God would give me one more year to serve Him.” That’s all he wanted.

“By faith they pleased Him and by faith they possessed a testimony!”

Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Perhaps you have recently renewed your commitment to pray with all diligence. Or, perhaps you have consecrated your mind and body to God as a living sacrifice. You have cried out, “I’m not going halfway anymore. I’m giving everything I have to Jesus!”

These kinds of commitments stir up the devil’s wrath as nothing else does. He knows that anyone whose life is wholly given to God is a great threat to His kingdom. The devil knows all too well that everyone who seeks God with all his heart will find Him and that praying saints will eventually prevail.

But Satan also knows there is a period between the time the prayer is spoken and when it is answered. Beloved, that is the devil’s short time to work! He knows the importunate widow cried for a season before she was heard. And, likewise, our answer will come in due season. In the meantime, the devil tries to devour us, as we wait on the Lord!

The fact is, God doesn’t jump every time we cry, “Lord, I give it all to you!” God knows that consecration, surrender and hunger for Christ do not always accompany a one-time, emotional cry. Therefore, His Spirit does not respond until He sees in us a sustained determination, some kind of evidence that we will not turn back from our hunger.

Satan recognizes this also. He knows from having observed our lives when we are not serious about our commitment to the Lord. If we are not serious about following through, he does not waste his time on us. He leaves us alone in our weakness and sin.

But the moment he sees true devotion in us, a desire to be set free from sin, a determination to put off all foolishness and put on Christ, then he knows his time is short. He knows there will be only a brief period before we are out of his clutches and walking in glory, operating by faith, living in victory. That’s when he starts throwing everything in hell at us!

Revelation 12 is telling us: Go ahead, Christian, step out of your lethargy. Yield your body to Jesus as a living sacrifice. Seek God with all that is in you but be prepared to face the trial of your life because Satan will come at you with all his might!
Satan knows your weak spots and he will try to carry you away in a flood of trials and temptations. He is frantic because he sees you on the brink of victory, and he knows his time is short.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12).

The above passage from Revelation tells us Satan has declared all-out war on God's saints. It also mentions that the devil has a deadline to complete his work: “Because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to constantly be aware that the devil is out to destroy us. Therefore, Paul says, we need to know as much as we can about the enemy’s tactics and plans: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Peter gives us this warning: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This does not mean the devil is hovering in the cosmos somewhere, giving orders to his demonic hosts. We know that Satan was cast down to earth when Christ defeated him at the cross. Thus, the devil’s kingdom is limited to the here and now (see Revelation 12:19).

Contrary to the thinking of some Christians, Satan does not possess omnipotent power. He has been defeated by Jesus and stripped of all authority. Nor is Satan omniscient, meaning that he cannot read minds. And he is not omnipresent—he cannot be everywhere at one time. He is limited to being in one place at any time.

But Satan does have principalities and powers stationed throughout the earth and his host of demons feed him intelligence at his beck and call. They hear you when you pray, and they see your obedience to God. And that is what stirs up Satan’s wrath against you!

The reference in Revelation 12:12 that says the devil knows he has only a short time is not about the time Satan has left before the return of Christ. Rather, it is about continual deadlines, a series of short times the devil has in which to accomplish his work. It is all about the brief times he has to make war against God’s saints!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


A sincere Christian man asked me the following question: “Whom do we believe? Over the years I’ve read the works of many ministers who were convinced the end was near. Yet over and over they’ve missed it. I realize now that some were just trying to sell their book. But others truly thought God was telling them the end was upon us. So, whom do we believe?”

At times I have been utterly broken before God about these things, crying out to Him at the top of my voice: “Oh, Lord, I’ve been preaching for years that judgment is at the door. I’ve been writing books and delivering warnings about a coming economic crisis and yet I only see the opposite happening. I see America prospering and going merrily along its path. Our nation is killing over five thousand babies a week. We’re sliding down into pits of unbelievable filth and pushing you out of every institution. How long, Lord?”

I feel I’m uttering the same cry of frustration that Jeremiah raised to God. He spent years faithfully prophesying events that had not yet been fulfilled. He cried out, “O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily” (Jeremiah 20:7-8).

Jeremiah could not stop warning God’s people. Even though his prophecies seemed to be unfounded, he kept prophesying. I feel the same fire burning in my soul that Jeremiah felt. And I am more convinced than ever that our nation is about to be cast into a devastating depression. No matter how high the stock market may swing, no matter how incredibly it might rebound, America is still on the brink of a mighty crash. God has “set His face” against this nation for its bloodshed and arrogance against His name, and His judgment is due!

Yet I thank God for the many promises He has given us in His Word to protect and bless His people in and through all storms.

God’s praying people do not need to fear. Nor should we worry or fret. Our heavenly Father has everything under control. Although I see His judgments coming on our nation, I rejoice because I know what our Lord has promised in His Word.
“He shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (Psalm 9:8-10).