Friday, August 29, 2014

MY BAGS ARE PACKED

This is no time to be settling down to a life of ease. We must live in a stirred-up state. “And it shall come to pass at that time [before judgment], that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil" (Zephaniah 1:12). “Settled on their lees” means they are unconcerned. “Lees” are sediment of wine settled at the bottom of the barrel. Many Christians have not wanted Holy Ghost stirrings. They now sit back, taking it easy, and letting all the dirt settle in their hearts. Some have left Times Square Church because it is too intense; there is too much stirring up of the heart. They have gone on, looking for a place where there is no stirring. They say, “I can’t take the pressure, the strong preaching. You call for too much heart-searching.”

I say to you, a true Holy Ghost church will be the candle of God, searching through the city, making it very uncomfortable for those who have settled down. God’s Word calls it “being emptied from vessel to vessel” in Jeremiah 48:11-12: “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” These people refused to get involved. They preferred quiet, peace, and undisturbed prosperity, refusing to be probed, convicted, or stirred.

If we knew how close we are to our Lord’s return—how close to fiery judgments—we would thank God for His stirrings in us. We would be poured out in every meeting, getting rid of the dregs. We would thank God for ministers of the gospel who keep provoking us to walk in righteousness and who flood our souls with the convicting, piercing Word of truth. On Judgment Day, we will be eternally grateful to God that we were awakened by the trumpet messages that brought us to repentance and the true fear of God.

My bags are packed! I’m ready and longing to see Jesus face to face.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

WATCH AND BE SOBER

God is calling His people to watch and be sober as the day of destruction nears. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Paul exhorts the brethren, “Ye . . . are not in darkness. . . . Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (5:4-5). What he is saying is this: “What is to this world a tragic night of darkness and fiery destruction is the dawning of a new day to you who watch and are sober!”

As surely as we are not of this world, we are not destined for darkness and destruction, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:9).

The increasing intensity of labor pains means something glorious to Christ’s Bride—we are one crisis closer to home! It is the world’s countdown to destruction but it is our countdown to glory! It is their appointment with wrath and our appointment with resurrection! While they weep and gnash their teeth, we will rejoice and shout for joy! Those who are the children of this gross darkness, this night of destruction, are drunken and asleep: “For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night” (5:7). “Let us who are of the day be sober” (5:8). This has to do with any kind of earthly intoxication. “To intoxicate” means “to excite the human spirit to a point of frenzy.” This is a powerful warning to us from the apostle Paul. He is warning us not to get excited over earthly things on the eve of destruction—not to become intoxicated (high) over anything but Christ.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). We must occupy until He comes and remain diligent in all things. But, above all, we must be sober and watchful. The word “sober” here means “discerning, cautious.” In other words, don’t let anything take your heart. Do not get too involved, too excited, or too wrapped up in things of this life.

Be warned! Right now you may be drinking the devil’s wine of distraction—the wine of busyness. The Bible warns that Satan will attempt to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect. I have often wondered how that could be possible. I believe it is not by adultery, pride or evil habits but by letting something worthwhile take the heart—by using what is legitimate to obsess and consume all one’s time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HEADED FOR THE LABOR ROOM

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

This is God’s inspired Word and every word was chosen carefully. Destruction is coming suddenly as the birth pangs of a woman about to deliver a child. The woman here is a lost, wicked, godless society and judgments are going to come like labor pains. When the moment of birth draws near, the pains begin to increase both in number and intensity. They can be an hour apart, then half an hour, then ten minutes apart. She is taken to a hospital, and the pains keep increasing. Suddenly, constant labor pains—travail. Its spiritual application is that the final destruction will begin with painful warnings which will intensify and become accelerated.

I believe America is already headed for the labor room. When hundreds of American marines were suddenly destroyed in Beirut, Lebanon, without a warning, we stood by—helpless! A few years later when America’s space shuttle Challenger blew up in the heavens, the world watched in horror as seven astronauts plunged to earth—and again we were helpless.

AIDS was declared a plague upon America by alarmed doctors and its spread was terrifying. Drugs have exploded upon our society—another plague. Drug abuse is spreading like the black plague of past centuries. Gangs now roam New York, Los Angeles, Chicago—killing, robbing, mugging! Paul warns us that it is all going to intensify, and God is now quickening the pace of troubles and sorrows.

The Holy Spirit is also blowing the trumpet louder and it sounds more ominous. Never have we heard so many warnings. Never have there been more watchmen crying from the wall. In fact, there have been so many warnings that many of God’s people have turned a deaf ear. Society is in travail—judgment is breaking out—and people are turning to idols and toys. Jesus said we are to rejoice when we see all these things coming to pass because it means our redemption is near.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

“PLEASE SAY IT ISN’T SO”

The church awoke one day to a horrible scandal. We blushed to hear that a preacher of the gospel had spent millions of dollars on fancy cars, lavish jewelry, luxury homes, expensive wines! The ungodly laughed and mocked, and the name of Jesus became the butt of jokes and satire. And then the world was told that the nation’s number one “sin preacher” had been caught in sin! Again God’s people cried, “Please say it isn’t so!” And we watched the awesome decline of some ministries. Amidst it all, these sobering words rang so true: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).

Why was the church so shocked? We had been warning that judgment was at the door, and it must begin in God’s house. God is willing to let His name be mocked just to wake up the church and give one last trump to the world. “And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18). God’s judgments in His house are so sudden and frightful, men’s ears tingle when they hear of them. When God judged the house of Eli, He said, “I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. . . . I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth” (1 Samuel 3:11 and 13).

When God judged Israel and the house of Manasseh for corruption, He said, “I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle” (2 Kings 21:12). God told Jeremiah that such awesome judgments were soon to fall on the house of Israel that “whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle” (Jeremiah 19:3). In Hebrew, to “tingle” the ears meant to rattle the ears and make them red with shame. Even the wicked will have blushing ears!

If God will rattle the ears of this nation by what they see and hear of His judgment upon the church, what kind of sudden, fearful judgments will fall upon this society? The media of this nation has delighted in making sport of religion. They have made the nation distrust all holiness preaching and made all ministers out to be charlatans and crooks. People lift their drinks to toast, jeering, “Here’s to all hell-fire preachers!” But it is all going to change overnight. God will tingle the ears of the world because there will be sudden ruin! Sudden death! But we can look up and rejoice because we know that our redemption draws near (see Luke 21:28).

Monday, August 25, 2014

TRUST WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART by Gary Wilkerson

To have the kind of faith that pleases God, we often must be taken through frustrating, irritating, fist-clenching experiences. Maybe you’ve been at the point where you cried, “Lord, You gave me a promise, but now You have taken away everything that could make that promise possible!”

Why does God do this? Why does He remove all natural means through which His promise could be fulfilled? Often, it is so our relationship with Him will be pleasurable rather than dutiful. You see, if His promises could be fulfilled through our abilities, we would be in performance mode 24/7. That is not His way. Instead, He asks us into an ongoing relationship, one that requires the trust of our whole hearts.

That’s how the great cloud of witnesses before us made it into His Hall of Faith. Scripture says that when God promised to make Abraham the father of all nations, Abraham “figured his body was as good as dead” (Romans 4:19, NLT). That word “figured” is a mathematical term. Abraham realized that nothing in his life “added up” to see this promise fulfilled. Nothing in his power could make it work. And yet we read, “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger” (4:20).

Here is a picture of Jesus initiating and perfecting a godly man’s faith. The more Abraham figured, “I can’t do this,” the stronger His faith in God’s ability grew. And through the death of his flesh came a power that was not of himself—it was the power of the Holy Spirit.

I wanted to see my prodigal son return to the Lord and in order to see that accomplished, I put my faith in God’s power to draw him with overwhelming love. I am happy to report that my son has been gloriously reconciled to God and to his family.

I want to see thousands of lost people in our city come to Jesus. Yet I know that will never happen by strategizing, planning or putting programs into place. Those things may be useful, but only Jesus can initiate anything for His kingdom. Only He can perfect in us the trusting faith required to see multitudes of souls brought into eternal life.
Yes, we are called to do the things we can do for Christ’s kingdom. But we are also called to more. Do you want to see God’s purposes accomplished in your community, His promises fulfilled in your life? He asks only that you trust Him by living a life of faith.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

REDEEM THE TIME by Claude Houde

“Redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:16).

When you read the word “time” in the gospels, please know that two different words are most often used in the Greek language of the New Testament: the words chronos and kairos. The word chronos simply speaks of time in its chronological sequence: seconds, minutes, hours that become days, weeks, months and years. Time flies fast, time goes by. The word kairos is different. It is often translated with expressions such as “When the times were fulfilled; in the fullness of time; when the time had come for such and such to happen.”

I suggest that the spiritual application is vital. What I want you to see is that in every day, in each moment, resides the opportunity to make a decision (a resolution) to transform the time that is just “passing by” and wasted, into a divine moment in which “by faith with the resolution” we release something supernatural and redemptive that can revolutionize our lives.

Please pay close attention to this important key. One of the Greek words from which we draw the word “moment” is the word atomos. You can easily note that the words “atom” and “atomic” find their root in atomos. It is the perfect picture of what is hidden in the moment. The image of the atom reminds us how we can so easily miss a moment and underestimate its potential and possibilities. The atom is considered to be the symbol of perfect unity, the smallest particle of an element, most commonly called an irreducible unit. The idea is that it is impossible to find anything smaller. This is why we can so easily miss our moment. Like atoms, these moments with God come and go and are available to us in infinite numbers which can appear insignificant in stature or importance because they are so minute.

Moments are easy to miss or to ignore. At the same time, we find a picture of the atom in the moment. In this nucleus, so incredibly small, is also found nuclear capacity and the release of nuclear fusion in all its magnitude.

I would say it this way, “When you seize the moment with God through prayer and by faith with a resolution, you can release a supernatural reaction of atomic spiritual proportions!”


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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, August 22, 2014

OBSESSED WITH PROSPERITY

The Day of Judgment is coming as society becomes increasingly obsessed with prosperity and security.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The Greek word Paul uses for peace is “eirene” which implies prosperity. Sudden destruction is about to break forth in that day when men’s minds are focused on riches. Money madness! Greed! Accumulating! Hoarding! Jesus warned us it will be a time when men’s hearts would fail them for fear, watching the terrible things coming upon the earth. Men will yearn for something certain, something secure. It does not say it will be a time of peace and safety, only that they will say, “Peace and safety.” It will be all they talk about. Their conversation will be about money, possessions, investments, how to find a secure haven for their assets!

Never in world history have men become so driven by a quest for money. Prosperity is the American dream! The stock market has become one gigantic gambling casino. Millions of Americans gamble by playing the lottery or visiting casinos, hoping to get rich overnight. Why such an obsession to make it big? Because everyone knows a storm is coming. The entire world awaits with anxiety that one day when a financial meltdown hits. They are trying to secure themselves against that awful time, hoping to outride the storm.

The obsession for prosperity has even corrupted the church. How Paul would have grieved had he known a day would come when ministers of the gospel turned Christ's covenant into a covenant of cash. The church once stood before the world as a testimony against greed and materialism, against the love of things, against self-love, hoarding and covetousness. But now the world sees the church as its biggest competitor for the good life. The world laughs and mocks at Christians reject the sufferings of Christ to indulge in the riches of this age.

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16-17).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE DAY WILL COME SUDDENLY

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).

The judgments of God strike suddenly, but not without warning. God promised that He would do nothing, including sending judgment, without telling His prophets what was coming. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing [unless] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God promises that a trumpet will be sounded; He will roar like a lion to awaken the people prior to judgment. “And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet” (Zechariah 9:14).

God blows the trumpet, a reverberating blast, a warning, through the voice of His watchmen and prophets. Paul warned, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). “At the last trump” suggests there were other trumpet blasts. I believe this means that just prior to the change that will come “in the twinkling of an eye,” the Holy Spirit will have all His watchmen at their posts, all seeing eye to eye, all giving forth the last call—the final warning!

No wonder Paul wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica. Why should it be perfectly clear to them that God’s Day of Judgment would come suddenly? The church in Thessalonica was only about six months old when this letter was received. Paul probably preached about Noah and Lot and the sudden destruction of Israel and they had all the same Old Testament examples we have. Paul is saying: “It is perfectly clear that God’s judgments will fall suddenly, like a thief in the night! Yet, no believer should ever be surprised.” That day should not overtake God’s people unexpectedly. We should know how God works, because we have His record.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A SUPERNATURAL SHAKING

According to Hebrews, the sole reason Jesus will pour out His Spirit in these last days is to shake up God's house. Everything that is unholy, unclean or of flesh will be shaken, swept up, wiped out.

Our ministry receives heartrending letters from precious saints who grieve over what they see happening in their churches. There is a constant clamor for “new works,” and horrendous things are being introduced daily—fleshly manifestations, foolish practices. One person writes that every week his church features punk rock concerts, with performers who look and act like secular, devil-influenced groups. Still others write of empty, dry, permissive preaching.

I tell you, all that is about to change. The Lord is going to speak powerfully, exposing everything that is false. How will this shaking and exposing happen? It will happen through a man—Jesus! He vows to speak to all who are living in sin, disobedient, clinging to things His word has condemned. And His voice will be unmistakably clear.

First, He will speak tenderly to every backslider who has strayed, saying, “Why have you not listened to My plea for you to return? Why have you turned a deaf ear to My call to repent and be restored? Come to Me now, before your life is shaken to the foundation.”

Jesus will also speak to godly men and women who pursue truth, purity and holiness. Even now He is raising up a people whose hearts have received His shaking, convicting word. They are shut in with the Lord—and He is going to give them power to speak for Him.

So, how will the Lord speak to you? Are you receiving His word of shaking, allowing it to work in your heart? Or are you living a double life—still indulging in fornication, adultery, hatred, bitterness? If you claim, “Christ is my Lord,” yet still have hidden sin in your life, you can know you’ll hear Him say, “Why haven’t you come back to My grace? Why have you continually rejected it? You’ve heard My loving call and tasted my loving-kindness yet you’re going your own way. Why?”

Here is the good news: This supernatural shaking—God’s housecleaning, in both the nation and the church—will result in an unshakable foundation. It will produce a holy, pruned church—boasting a remnant of saints who walk in the fear of God and the righteousness of Christ.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

GOD DOES THE COUNTING

Many Christians have become barren from sitting in a dead church and listening to a pastor who has no anointing from God. In the process they have become spiritually starved, with no spiritual authority. Families suffer; children backslide; marriages fall apart. There are many Ishmaels being born in churches today. Ishmael stands for “flesh” and many Christians are bound by flesh, claiming to be heirs of righteousness.

God is going to cleanse and heal children after His heart and give them to the church. “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:1). God is not talking about simply emptying the houses of Ishmael and giving the crowds to the righteous. It is much deeper than crowds, numbers, and success and He is going to do the counting, not man. “Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?” (Micah 6:11).

“The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there” (Psalm 87:6). Look at any great gathering of Christians and they may all be singing loud praises with upraised hands. But God is not impressed by the crowds. Rock bands draw huge crowds but there is no praise to God there. He knows who is holy and those who mourn for sin.

This last revival will come because God will pity His own name. He will sanctify His name before the whole world. Let me share with you a great prophecy from Ezekiel. “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes” (Ezekiel 36:21-25).

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH by Gary Wilkerson

“Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NLT). There are many things I sincerely hope for, but some are not initiated by God. For example, I hope with all my heart that our church in Colorado Springs will see tens of thousands of people come to Christ in the coming decades. God has not promised this to me, but still I hope and pray that He will bring the lost into His loving arms.

We all need to be careful about taking our hopes and making them into promises. We can only be assured something is a promise from God when it is confirmed through Scripture, prayer and sometimes fellow Christians.

It is possible for us to hear the voice of our own ambitions and desires and mistake it for the voice of God. We may hope for certain things, including good things, and yet, as James writes, God won’t give us those requests because they are born out of our own striving and flesh.

Instead, God perfects our faith by putting those things away. Speaking as a man in midlife, I am so glad the Lord does this. There are many things I wanted in my thirties that I’m glad He never gave me. In His mercy God saw what I needed, and He didn’t allow the things I wanted. By perfecting our faith, the desires He initiates—those things born of Him and not of ourselves—begin to rise up in our hearts.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (11:1). As God purifies our faith, our confidence builds. We grow in discernment, saying, “Ah, yes, this is the word of the Lord, and that other word is not. He is confirming His promise to me—through Scripture, prayer and the witness of my brothers and sisters.” Faith begins to settle the matter within us, so that as Hebrews 11:1 says, we have “confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.”

This kind of faith was perfected in those listed in the Hall of Faith (see Hebrews 11). According to that chapter, God commended Abel not for his worthy sacrifice of worship but for his faith. Noah wasn’t commended for being a preacher of righteousness but for his faith. Likewise, Moses wasn’t commended for being a bold deliverer but for his faith.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

GENUINE MERCY by Nicky Cruz

Nothing stirs God’s heart more than a humble heart and a merciful spirit. God responds to mercy, because it is through compassion that we fully come to know Him. This is the defining quality of a true follower of Christ.

We are never closer to the heart of God than when we are forgiving someone. And we are never farther from it than when we are holding a grudge. Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). Few scriptures give a clearer insight into what God expects from believers. If you don’t forgive, God can’t forgive you.

Some years ago I heard the story of two women who had awakened to find a man robbing their home. One of the women was quick-witted enough to call the police, who were there within a few minutes. Several squad cars screamed up in front of their house, and the police took the young thief away.

While an officer was still at the house getting all the information he needed from the victims and filling out the police report, one of the women asked him what would happen to the young man.

“He’ll be processed and sent to jail,” the policeman informed her.

Even as the officer spoke, the Lord began reminding the woman of a similar incident some months earlier. Her own son had committed a crime and had been picked up by the police. But at the last minute the family took pity on him and forgave him for his crime. Against the judge’s wishes, they refused to press charges, and her son went free.

Then the Lord spoke to her spirit, “I want you to show that same kind of forgiveness.”

There is a sort of compassion and mercy that defies human logic. The world doesn’t understand it, and it seldom brings much reward. Forgiving others when they do us wrong is one of the most difficult things God can ask us to do. But mercy is what He most wants to see from His followers.


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Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A BARREN CHURCH IS GOING TO BRING FORTH MANY CHILDREN

“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:1).

Some argue that this last-days church is not barren. They would point to all the super churches, the many ministries, and the multitudes who attend religious seminars, conferences, and concerts and devour religious books, tapes, and videos. But what God calls spiritual children and what the church has been calling children are two very different things. While the church has focused on growth in numbers, influence and success, Paul is crying out, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you . . .” (Galatians 4:19). Paul would say, “Don’t tell me how many attend your church. Don’t tell me how many attend your functions, how much literature you distribute, how many Bibles you send out—tell me how many are being formed into the likeness of Christ!”

I believe God will look upon the past twenty to thirty years as a time of famine of the Word; as years the cankerworm has eaten; years of self-seeking; years of strangers being exalted in God’s house; years of proud preachers, money madness, empire building and shallowness. “They have dealt treacherously against the Lord: for they have begotten strange children” (Hosea 5:7). “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed; how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” (Jeremiah 2:21).

God promises that the barren, last-days church is going to give birth to a great ingathering of children. “Enlarge . . . spare not . . . lengthen . . . strengthen . . . For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left” (Isaiah 54:2-3). God is going to remove the shame and reproach of the last-days church. “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood anymore” (Isaiah 54:4).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

MANY WILL BE SAVED

In the last days God will call to the wicked who never knew Him. “Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee. Seek the Lord . . . for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:4-7).

This happened in the New Testament times when the Gentiles ran to Christ. The heathen saw the light and responded. But once again, in one last revival of mercy and kindness, the wicked are going to hear. Multitudes will forsake their wicked ways and call upon the Lord.

He is going to offer comfort, healing, and restoration to all who walked out on Him. “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners” (Isaiah 57:18). How thrilled Isaiah must have been to bring this message: “For My own name’s sake, I will forgive this polluted bride and call her back.”

“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). Think of the millions of backslidden Christians worldwide. In Times Square Church, half the converts are backsliders, those who have walked away from God. What a revival it will be as multitudes of backslidden Christians come back! Those bound by drugs, alcohol, sex, doubt, and fear will hear His call, and multitudes will return. Addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, homosexuals, and the backslidden destitute will be called by Him.

Will His outpouring of mercy overlook sin? Never! Those who walked out on God are those who once tasted of the Holy Spirit. They once knew Him. The Lord will send the Holy Spirit, His messenger, with a word of love, calling them to remember all His loving words and how lovely their relationship once was. He will remind them of how He once protected, loved, and blessed them.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10-11).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THE FINAL RECALL

God has great concern for those who have been His beloved but have been overcome by a sudden storm of temptation. His promise is to those who are right now in great affliction. God is going to woo back to Himself a backslidden, forsaken people. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:5-8).

This is a prophecy to the last-days church—which He momentarily forsook.

Who is this He forsook for a while? And what would make Him hide His face? “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). God has not divorced the present-day, compromised church, but He has had to hide His face. She has left Him, her Beloved. “Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away” (Isaiah 50:1).

God said, “You walked out on Me. You committed adultery. I didn't leave you—you left Me! I had to refuse you because you sold yourself to prostitution.” The church ran off to Babylon, but it is not yet divorced. For God says, “Show Me the papers! Show Me the bill of sale where I sold you to the devil.” God is saying, “We are not living together at this time, but the divorce is not final. The marriage is not hopeless. I still love you! You left Me, yet I called and called, and you refused to listen.” “Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer?” (Isaiah 50:2).

To this sin-corrupted, backslidden, wandering wife, God swears, “I am going to call you back.” “For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money” (Isaiah 52:3). And again, “For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit” (Isaiah 54:6). There is even now the sounding of this final recall: “With great mercies will I gather thee” (Isaiah 54:7).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A REVIVAL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS COMING

I want to make a statement with the greatest spiritual authority possible, a statement backed by a covenant as sure as the one made to Noah. There is going to be a final, midnight hour revival, one which shall break forth on all sides. Zion will travail and many, many children will be given to her. There will be great singing and shouting, and Zion will say, “Where have all these come from?” It will be a revival of righteousness.

I have heard old-time preachers speak of a last revival for years. One dear friend has been preaching it for over sixty years. Now the young preachers are praying for revival; they want to see God work in this day, not just read about it in books. It is not enough to simply preach on past revivals. Why pray, why seek revival, if it is not promised in the Bible? If the Bible says we are beyond hope, let’s just evangelize and preach, and not be concerned about results. But, if revival is promised, Christians need to see it, lay hold of it, and pray with faith knowing that God has promised to do it. Is it in His Word? Yes, the promise is found in Isaiah 54. This is one of the most important chapters in God’s Word for this generation. We are clearly told here what God intends to do with His church, His people, in the last days. This chapter prophesies what is going to happen at Times Square Church, as well as everywhere else where hungry hearts exist. It will happen in Russia, in China, in every land, every island of the sea, from the North Pole to the South.

The church is going to experience an undeserved outpouring of love, mercy, and kindness. It is going to come in a time of great affliction, with a tempest raging, with anxiety on all sides, when society is being tossed about. God swears He is going to reveal Himself in great kindness: “But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. . . . My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Isaiah 54:8-10). What God is saying to the church, He is also saying to individual believers. God is speaking to those “afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted” (Isaiah 54:11).

Monday, August 11, 2014

THE LIFE OF FAITH by Gary Wilkerson

Most of us would like the ability to do certain things in life that we can’t do. I’m talking about things that are not just hard but impossible.

Even the most devoted followers of Jesus cannot fix certain things but we do know the One who can. The wonderful thing about life in Christ is that we get to engage in amazing things we could not do on our own. In fact, Jesus calls us to participate with Him in accomplishing what we cannot do ourselves: seeing lost loved ones come to faith; seeing broken marriages restored and healed; seeing unsaved people in our community rescued from a hopeless eternity. Through our faith in Jesus, we get to see—and even take part in—such things as they are accomplished by His power, majesty and authority.

Hebrews 11 is the chapter known as the “Hall of Faith,” listing biblical figures who pleased God through great acts of faith. From Abraham to Sarah to David to Samuel to Gideon and a host of others, we see believers commended not for their talents or achievements but for trusting God to do what was beyond their abilities. Together they comprise “a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith” (Hebrews 12:1, NLT).

That italicized phrase tells us there is a life of faith to be lived. And to attain that life, we are urged to lay aside every weight that prevents us from trusting faith: “Let us strip off every weight” (12:1). What are these weights, these obstacles to faith? I know many Christians who are weighed down by unbelief. As they consider their circumstances they think, “My need will never be filled. I’ve prayed endlessly and asked others to pray for me, including church elders, but the answer never comes. Nothing I’ve tried works.”

The problem for many is that they look to their circumstances more than to the God who controls all circumstances. Their faith ends up stalled by a “weight that slows us down” (12:1). I can assure you, what God has promised can never be thwarted. Every word He sends forth will ultimately be accomplished. Satan knows this, and all he can do is try to slow down God’s purposes by convincing us to wallow in our difficulties. If your situation seems hopeless, the life of faith calls you to believe, “One day God will fulfill what I’m unable to envision now.”

Saturday, August 9, 2014

WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THE UNTHINKABLE by Jim Cymbala

The work of God can be carried on only by the power of God. The church is a spiritual organism fighting spiritual battles and only spiritual power can make it function as God ordained.

The key is not money, organization, cleverness, or education. Are you and I seeing the results Peter saw? Are we bringing thousands of men and women to Christ the way he did? If not, we need to get back to his power source. No matter the society or culture, the city or town, God has never lacked the power to work through available people to glorify His name.

When we sincerely turn to God, we will find that His church always moves forward, not backward. We can never back up and accommodate ourselves to what the world wants or expects. Our stance must remain militant, aggressive, bold.

This is what characterized General William Booth and the early Salvation Army as they invaded the slums of London. It also characterized early missionary endeavors such as Hudson Taylor in China and the revivalists on the American frontier who spoke the truth in love—fearlessly.

In the familiar story of David and Goliath, there is a wonderful moment when the giant gets irked at the sight of his young opponent. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” he roars (1 Samuel 17:43). Goliath is genuinely insulted. “Come here . . . and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” (17:44).

Does David flinch? Does he opt for a strategic retreat behind some tree or boulder, thinking maybe to buy a little time?

Absolutely not!

“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him” (17:48).

That is the picture of what God wants for us today: running toward the fray!

David’s weaponry was ridiculous: a sling and five smooth stones. It didn’t matter. And God still uses foolish tools in the hands of weak people to build His kingdom. Backed by prayer and His power, we can accomplish the unthinkable.


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Jim Cymbala began Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson and a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout the world.

Friday, August 8, 2014

BORN IN A BLAZE OF GLORY

The New Testament church was born in a blaze of glory. The Holy Ghost came down upon it with fire, and the first Christians spoke with tongues and prophesied. They experienced smiting conviction, and multitudes were converted. The fear of God fell upon them and upon all who saw them. Jails could not hold them and storms could not drown them. There were signs, wonders, and miracles. Fearless evangelists went everywhere preaching the Word and when their possessions were seized, they continued to rejoice. When they were stoned, hanged, burned or crucified, they went out singing and praising God. It was a triumphant church, unafraid of Satan, irreverent toward idols, unmoved by plagues or persecution. It was a blood-washed church, living and dying in victory.

What is the last-hour church going to be like? How will the church go out in its final hour? As a fat, prosperous, self-seeking church or will it be just a handful of true believers holding on, watching death and apostasy eat away at it like a cancer? Will coldness leave it weak, mocked, and powerless? Will the church go out of this age full of hypocrisy, with unclean hands and impure hearts offering strange fire with great praise, worship and prayer meetings?

To be sure, there is going to be a great falling away or apostasy. There will be spiritual harlotry on all sides. And because sin abounds, the love of many will grow cold. Deceivers will come, teaching doctrines of demons. People will have itching ears and will flock to hear soft preaching. Deceptions will get so bad that even the elect will be tested severely.

But the church of Jesus Christ is not going out with a whimper or a limp. It is going out victorious, with joy unspeakable, riding a river of peace. It is going out in freedom from all bondage, with its foot on Satan's neck. And every member of this true church will live and die without fear. The tempter's power will be broken. Christians will be holy and will tear down idols. They will be just as strong in the Lord as the first Christians.

“In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

HE TAUGHT ME A LESSON

I thought I had a good idea for ministry but I didn’t consult the Lord before moving ahead on it. As a result, I incurred a debt of $5,000 with no way to pay it back. (In today’s economy, that amount would equal close to $25,000.)

In desperation, I started claiming all the Bible passages that say, “God shall supply all your needs.” Then one day, while in prayer, I heard a beautiful voice tell me, “David, go down to Chester Street tomorrow at noon and walk on the left side of the street. A man will come toward you with an envelope containing $5,000. This man is my angel, and he’s going to place that envelope in your hand.”

I thought, “Thank You, Lord; You truly are faithful." And the next day at noon, I walked down to Chester Street and waited. Now this was a town of 1,200 people, and no one ever walked the streets during the day, because everybody was at work. So for a long time, I didn't see a single soul. I paced up and down for almost an hour, wondering, “Lord, where is he?”

Finally, I went home in despair. I prayed, “Lord, how could I have been so deceived? What am I going to do now? Please, Father, forgive me for not trusting You. I put this whole matter into Your hands."

A few days later, a man in our church called me: “I heard about your need, and I know someone who might be able to help. He’s a Christian banker who lives in another town. Why don’t you give him a call?”

I contacted the banker, and he did something for me that was unheard of in those days. He gave me an unsecured loan for $5,000 and told me, “You can pay it back at $50 a month.”

God fixed my situation. And through it all He taught me this lesson: “David, I could have sent an angel to give you that money. But I wanted you to learn something, because I love you. If I hadn’t taught you this, you’d still be making foolish decisions—and you’d be $100,000 in debt.”

I learned that even though I am to trust the Lord to do the impossible, I cannot expect an angel to suddenly show up and deliver me from my irresponsible choices.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WITH JUST A SINGLE WORD

God can restore whatever has seemed dead in our lives with just a single word. Are you having financial problems, unable to pay your bills? So it was with the Lord’s disciples—and He fixed their situation supernaturally.

When tax time came around, Christ and His disciples had no money to pay the needed amount. So how did the Lord fix the situation? He sent Peter out to catch a fish. Jesus told him he would find a coin in the mouth of the first fish he caught, and that coin would cover their tax bill.

I can only imagine what Peter must have thought. “Tax money in a fish’s mouth? This I’ve got to see. I’ve been a fisherman all my life and I’ve seen a lot of things inside fish—worms, hooks, seaweed. But I’ve never seen a coin inside of one.” Yet, when Peter reeled in the first flopping fish, he opened its mouth to find a gleaming coin. The amount was enough to pay their taxes, just as Jesus had said (see Matthew 17:27).

Why did the Spirit move upon the gospel writers to record this story? And why did Jesus choose to fix their situation through a miracle? Why didn’t He just take up an offering, or send the disciples out to work for a day to bring in wages for the tax?

I believe Jesus moved supernaturally here because He wanted to prove to His children that He will do the impossible for us. He can fix any financial problem, any family crisis, any overwhelming need.

He wanted us to know He is the same God who fed Elijah with bread delivered by a raven; who kept a widow’s barrel of meal from dwindling during a drought and saved that same widow from her creditors by filling huge pots of cooking oil from a little pint jar of oil; who fed a crowd of 5,000—and later another crowd of 4,000—with a few fishes and loaves of bread. He knows that at certain times in our lives only a miracle will do. And He wants to assure us He can do the impossible for us, in any situation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP

All over the world today, multitudes of Christian parents agonize because their children are under the devil’s power. In our church, I see the sorrow of mothers who visit their sons in prison. They know the pain of sitting on one side of the thick-glass window, gazing at a boy who once was tender in spirit. Somehow he got hooked on drugs and then attempted a robbery to support his habit. And now he’s in prison, becoming even more hardened. She has prayed for him for years, but now she’s losing hope. She doesn’t think he will ever change.

I also see heartbroken fathers who never dreamed their daughters would turn to drugs. They saw their little girl fall in with the wrong crowd at school and get hooked. Soon she was so rebellious her dad had to ask her to leave the house because of her influence on her siblings. So now she’s on the streets, selling her body to support her habit. And her father lies in bed at night crying a river of tears. He’s convinced he has lost her forever.

I know one father who drove to the slums to try to find his drug-addicted son. He had to ask around until finally a pusher told him the boy was in a crack den. When the man walked into the place, he saw a mere shell of the son he had known. The boy’s body was skeletal from drug use. When the father pleaded with him to come home, the young man wouldn’t even look at him. He just said, “Get out. This is my life now.”

That broken father walked out onto the street in tears. He had lost all hope, agonizing, “That’s my son in there. He’s dying, and he won’t let me help him.”

The devil has told these parents their children are hopeless, that their problems can never be fixed. He has convinced them of a powerful lie—that God is unable to help them.

Maybe you think your unsaved husband is hopeless, that he’ll never come to Jesus. Or, perhaps you have given up hope for your wife, who leaves you at night to go out partying. But no person is ever too far gone for God to fix. I know many Christian spouses who testify today, “I prayed for my spouse for years. Then one day, after I’d given up hope, God broke through. He saved and delivered my loved one.”

We must never give up on anyone. “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Monday, August 4, 2014

GIVE IT AWAY! by Gary Wilkerson

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (1 Corinthians 9:6, ESV).

God wants you to obey Him even when things are not going your way. If your marriage is hurting, begin to minister to others in need. When your children are in difficult situations, start serving in the children’s ministry. When your finances are almost at rock bottom and you don’t see any resources coming your way, give whenever the Holy Spirit touches your heart and prompts you to give.

God wants you to obey Him, my friends. When you obey Him, you will see the windows of heaven open to you. God will not withhold His hand from you, because He longs to pour out His blessing on you, to show you His favor.

This is a “blessing” message. I want to see you blessed and I encourage you to receive the fullness of God’s blessing whether you have much or whether you say, “I have so little.” God honors that.

Maybe you have only a little bit of time to serve others in the kingdom of God because your job is so demanding or you must travel a lot. You may have little time to give to your church but take that little bit that you have and begin to pour it out on others and you will find that God will multiply that. Your time and effort will be multiplied, and you will find yourself with more time to do other things plus more time to be with God.

When you find yourself giving away the smallest of things, of being generous like Jesus is generous, the Holy Spirit will use the simplest, almost foolish things of this world and return a blessing to you.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap” (Luke 6:38, ESV).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM by Carter Conlon

I dread to think what our nation will look like ten to fifteen years from today if there is not a spiritual awakening among God’s people. That is why we must awaken to the fact that we are not called to a picnic—we are called to a war for the souls of men. We are not powerless; we have the One who created the universe by the Word of His mouth living inside of us! Every son and daughter of God has access to His resources and power in full.

Yet sadly, we have lived far beneath our position in Christ in this generation. The Church of Jesus Christ must awaken out of her slumber. We must get out of our mindset that it is all about my needs, my house, my fulfillment. No! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

The Bible tells us that Hannah, the mother of Samuel, gave birth to three more sons and two daughters after Samuel was born. She sought first the kingdom of God, and He gave her what would bring her into that place of completeness she had always longed for. On the day Hannah left Samuel in the temple, she prayed an incredible prayer:

“My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1Samuel 2:1-2).

“The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed” (2:7-10).

In other words, the people of God will be given life again. There will be strength, there will be provision, there will be victory. We may not fully understand how, but we know that when holy desperation drives us to the place where we truly purpose to give back to God what He gives to us, an answer to the cry in this generation will come out of it!


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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, August 1, 2014

DANGEROUSLY NEAR DEATH

The fifth chapter of Mark tells the story of Jairus, the desperate synagogue ruler who asked Jesus to heal his daughter. The twelve-year-old girl was dangerously near death, and Jairus pleaded with Christ to come to his house and lay hands on her.

Jesus agreed to go with him but first He stopped along the way to minister to a woman with a blood disease. (This was the woman who was healed when she touched the hem of His garment.) Yet while Jesus tarried, a messenger came with tragic news: Jairus’ daughter had already died. He told the synagogue ruler, “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” (Mark 5:35).

Jairus’ heart was gripped with grief. He thought, “If only we had gotten there on time. Now it’s too late. My daughter is gone.” But Jesus assured him, “Be not afraid, only believe” (5:36).

As they approached Jairus’ home, they heard sounds of wailing and mourning. It was Jairus' family and neighbors, grieving over the girl. Picture the contrast in this scene: Here was God in flesh, creator of the universe, able to perform any work imaginable—yet they were weeping in His presence. In short, they were testifying, “God can only help as long as there is some sign of hope left. But once all life is gone, there is no need to call on Him anymore. Even He cannot restore that kind of situation.”

How many Christians today no longer call upon the Lord because they think their problem is hopeless? Multitudes trust God only to the point that something in their life dies. I’m not referring to the death of a person; I’m talking about the death of a marriage, a relationship, a dream, your hope for an unsaved loved one—anything in your life you think is impossible to fix, change or restore.

Jesus rebuked such unbelief. He said to the weeping crowd at Jairus’ home, “Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth” (5:39). He was stating, “This situation is not what you see or think. You think all hope is gone but I say there will be restoration.” He then went to the little girl's room, and speaking a mere word, He brought the child to life. “Straightway the damsel arose, and walked” (5:42).

Nothing is too “dead” or too far gone for Him to restore to life. He is saying, “Put your trust in Me to fix your problem. It is never too late for Me to work.”