The Deeper Significance of Pentecost (Part Two) by Frank Bartleman

As promised…

APOSTASY AND RECOVERY
As with Israel in the Exodus, the “mixed multitude,” (Ex.12:38) the exterior shell of every movement with which it loads itself and in which it later becomes buried, falls to lusting for “flesh.” One can usually judge the progress of this process by the things the movement comes to demand. Instead of delight in the pure Word, prayer and worship, a love for souls and zeal for good works, there comes entertainment, programs, musicals, sensationalism, and oratory. These things have no place in essential, true Christianity, but are professionalism – flesh! Oh, God, deliver us from fleshly substitutes for the Spirit.

Most meetings can only be kept alive now by continuous entertainment, professional evangelism, and a strong social spirit. And this is all too true in Pentecostal, Holiness, and interdenominational circles, as well as in the older denominations. Where is the life itself to draw the people and bring God to them as in the beginning! This is not New Testament. It is abnormal, grieving and limiting the Holy One of Israel in our midst.

Each movement seems to run its course faster than the one before it. Like the Niagara river, it flows downwards more swiftly as it approaches the falls, the end of time. These are the last days of apostasy.

The fight gets harder as we get higher up in our restoration from the early Church’s fall. When Adam fell, the Satanic powers intervened between the fallen race and God. God removed the seat of His presence with man from earth to heaven. So when the early Church fell, she again lost the image of God which had, in a sense, been restored in New Testament days when the body of believers became the Temple of the Holy Spirit. In a higher sense than Adam had known, the “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.6:12) intervened between the Church and God again. Now, the prodigal Church, coming up out of the Dark Ages, has had to fight her way back through these evil powers. Each movement, as we go higher toward full restoration, has to meet a higher order of these wicked spiritual powers and intelligences and hence must fight harder.

Each step forward necessarily requires a deeper preparation and greater spiritual equipment for a greater measure of restoration. It was never God’s decree that the experience of the Church should be so long and drawn out in recovering the normal standard and going on to fullness. But we have ever sought to call our present abnormal understanding and experience normal. We must see that all has been abnormal since the early Church’s fall.

Experiences, understanding – everything has been partial, unbalanced, and abnormal. Nothing has been perfectly understood, and all the different truths and experiences have only been parts of the whole.

We have not understood these truths and experiences, just as no machine is properly and clearly understood in detail except as we understand the whole. We have been recovering the whole, in parts, without seeing the whole – thus we so often distort and overemphasize the truth or experience that our particular movement has recovered. I trust you grasp this, for it is very important.

The New Testament church in the Book of Acts entered normally into the fullness of the Spirit immediately at its inception, as for instance at Cornelius’ household in the tenth chapter of Acts. The different phases of our salvation were all viewed as just so many parts of one glorious, normal whole. But all the various movements in the restoration, since the early reformers, have ceased in their turn to go forward to full realization. They have established their party standard of a partial, abnormal revelation, putting a part for the whole. Then, in human vanity, they have each contended they had it all.

This is sectarianism, and it is like a lot of dams holding back God’s people from flowing on toward the vast ocean of God’s fullness. God cares little for these partial standards of men – their names, sects or parties, slogans or standards. All is only partial distorted light which finally becomes the enemy of the real truth as the Lord marches on to glory.

Each oncoming wave of the sea toward high tide must fight its way through the last receding one. So it is with the different movements toward a final restoration of the Church. The immediately receding one especially hates and opposes the next oncoming one. What fools the devil has made of us! Oh, that we might see it! However real and good, as far as they have gone, these past revivals and movements are each but faltering, uncertain steps toward the final goal.

LET’S GO ON!
God has but one Church, whether in heaven, where most of it is, or here on earth. And there is yet very much land to be possessed before we realize the Divine purpose to which we are destined. We must recognize the whole body of Christ. In our human thoughts, we fail to recognize God when we meet Him. Those who dare to go further with God toward the full restoration are denounced and opposed by others as if they were of the devil. And this was not just true of Luther and the Catholic Church – it was also true of Wesley and the Anglican Church, of Booth and the Methodist Church, and so on. And it is still true today. But, beloved, we must face it – the backslider has not yet been fully restored, the prodigal has not yet reached home. We must keep moving on!

Elijah’s rain came out of a clear sky, without even the sign of a cloud to begin with – the result of faith alone. So the Pentecostal outpouring came in 1906. And this has been the case with every revival. Revival is the property of faith, not sight. There is nothing for sight to see in fallen nature but hopelessness. Revival and restoration must come from God, out of a clear sky. We are earthly and fleshly, but God is Spirit. God’s Word is “spirit and life,” (John 6:63) and faith in that Word brings the living God on the scene regardless of circumstances or outward prospects.

Will God visit His people again? Why not? As surely as He has done it in the past, He will do it again. God’s skies are full of Pentecosts. He only waits for us to claim them. Do we not need one? Then we can have it, when we are willing to pay the price of obedient faith.

The Church is not fully restored. No past group, after it has waned, has had the faith and vision to move God to visit them again. If they had, they would not be strewn along the way as more or less dead movements, their bones bleaching in the wilderness. None of them had future faith. They stopped short of the goal. None of them went clear through. “They limited the Holy One of Israel,” (Ps.78:41) just as we do today. They would not pay the price. That was the trouble.

But worse than this, they justified themselves in their abnormal standards and opposed and condemned others who would go further … and still they do so.

The sin of the Jewish high church in Jesus’ time was the same. They refused to go further themselves and set themselves in their backslidden condition to oppose all who wished to go forward. That spelled their doom, and it will bring down the judgments of God on any denomination, movement, or group who follow in their steps.

But a Gideon’s band is forming again today. Faith is rising. Another visitation from God is coming. It is only the Gideon’s band that can ever bring or receive it – only a praying, consecrated, pilgrim band. They of the “mixed multitude” (Ex.12:38) will not be in it, for they are too many and too fleshly. “Upon man’s flesh” the Lord said of the precious anointing oil in the tabernacle, “Shall it not be poured.” (Ex.30:32) God usually has to work with the little things, the weak things – the small, consecrated groups.

“I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.” (Is.44:3) Dryness is a condition that invites rain. At such times men cry for rain. It is a cause for encouragement when we thirst for God. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled. (Matt.5:6) It was after an awful drought that Elijah’s rain came. The rain is ready, beloved – when we want it, and when we are in a condition to receive it.

We must have the spirit of Caleb and Joshua, a different spirit from the multitude. They “wholly followed the Lord,” (Num.32:12) therefore, they entered Canaan with the next company to go forward. They had their portion in it, while the old crowd died in the wilderness. No movements, as a movement, has ever gone all the way through to full restoration for the reasons I have explained. Hence, we must never become the property of or limit ourselves to, a party or a movement. Worship only God. Join God in His great movement. Keep moving!

THE END IS NEARING
We are rounding the corner toward complete recovery. God is again pressing His full claims upon His Church and upon the world in this, the end of the age. But the devil is also pressing his claims with great vigor. Whom will we serve? It is either one hundred per cent for God or for the devil – there is no neutral ground. We are nearing the awesome climax of this deadly war between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Each must be at his best for his side.

A normal Church is always one hundred per cent for God. There can be no flirting with the enemy. The Church has no other business than to carry the Gospel to the world and press the claims of God upon His own. All its energies and resources should be used with that one object in view. “Then shall the end come.” (Matt.24:14) God waits for this.

Nothing but the zeal and the one hundred per cent consecration of the early Church, both in laboring for the salvation of the nations and in building up the one true world-wide Church, will or can satisfy God. He will accept no substitutes or compromise with our ideas and fleshly plans. There simply must be an utter abandonment to His full will and His great eternal purpose in His own children! Nothing short of this can clear our conscience and responsibility in the day of judgment. We could have done this long ago – if we had willed to do so – but we have not. Oh, let us not delay longer, but at once go right up and storm the enemy’s citadels, vowing never to withdraw our sword until Jesus comes and the whole land is ours!

We are rapidly approaching the last days. I am convinced that God is going to put the Church through the fire to destroy the dross. Judgment begins at the house of God. (1Pet.4:17) And, believe me, nothing but one hundred per cent reality will remain! A theoretical salvation will not do.

We are reaching the culmination of this age, and nothing but a practical application of the Gospel can hope to survive. All else will be destroyed by the fires of worldwide persecution. God can only defend obedience to His Word. Never fear – He is going to have a Church without spot and wrinkle. (Eph.5:27) But do you and I want to have a part of it? A sectarian competitive, selfish, self-seeking Church cannot survive. The Church must return to the spirit of the early Church in the Book of Acts. She must yield to God and press into His “present truth” (2Pet.1:12) for this last hour – or perish in the fires of persecution and in her own blood. “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29)!

Let us go on!

Frank Bartleman – 1925

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The Deeper Significance of Pentecost by Frank Bartleman

“Frank Bartleman was a man of passion and deep burden. His prayers literally opened the heavens, and his messages were withering to all that was of the flesh. Everything that stood as an obstruction to the full exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord of all became the object of his travailing prayer and was ruthlessly opposed by his fearless pen and tongue. But Frank Bartleman was more than an intercessor and more than a dauntless revivalist. He was a man of vision – a prophet! He perceived a deeper significance of what the Holy Spirit was after in revival and called upon God’s people to go on to that ultimate. His voice, although so long silent, now once again goes forth. The following message was delivered in about 1925 shortly before his death.”

THE WORLD IS THE FIELD, the true Church is the treasure – like a kernel in a shell. But the great nominal Church, the ecclesiastical body in each generation, is also like a field in which the true spiritual Church – the living Church – like a treasure, is hidden.

But even this true, spiritual Church is far from being the treasure of Divine life and power originally planned and provided for in the purpose of God. Ever since the early Church fell from New Testament purity and life, she has been like a backslider, fallen from the summit of apostolic days – though destined to return and yet enter into the full blessing of the Father’s house.

I refer to the true, spiritual Body of Christ. It is a “prodigal son,” wandered from the Father’s house, but since the Reformation gradually returning. Nearly five centuries have now passed since the Reformation. The route back has been devious and long, with many a dark valley, as well as many a glorious summit. But steadily, relentlessly, the mighty Spirit of God has been moving on, restoring that which was lost and heading things up toward that great prophetic revelation of the Body of Christ in unity and fullness – even one Body, fully matured “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!” (Eph.4:13)

Beloved, unless we understand this, we will not be able to move on with God and understand the different stages, experiences, and various standards and operations in the Church’s history during this dispensation. That is why most Christians have failed to move on with God and to accept His cumulative unfoldings in the restoration of revelation, light and experience, once lost, but now being restored to the true Church.

If you do not fully see this, or if it seems to differ from your present idea of things, do bear with me. Before I am finished, I believe you will understand, and, if so, it may well transform your life, giving new and vital direction to your prayers and ministry.”

THE HEART OF OUR TROUBLE
The human soul is ever lazy toward God, and no one generation has seemed to be able to travel very far on its way back to God and His standard from which the early Church fell. It is true that human error or understanding continually satisfies itself with a part instead of the whole, but the real fact is that men are not willing to pay the full price to come back fully to God’s standard, to be all the Lord’s.

The early Church came forth from the “upper room” fresh in her “first love,” (Rev.2:4) baptized with the Holy Spirit, filled with God, possessing both the graces and gifts of the Spirit, and with a one hundred percent consecration for God. This was the secret of her power. She was all for God, and God was all for her. This principle will apply in all ages, both individually and collectively. No sacrifice on the altar means no fire. The fire of God never falls on an empty altar. The greater the sacrifice, the more the fire.

When the prodigal gets home, and the Church becomes one hundred per cent for God again, we will have the same power, the same life – and the same persecution from the world. The reason we have so little persecution now is that the Spirit cannot press the claims of God home on the world through us. When that happens, men must either surrender or fight.

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Heb.13:8) God never changes. We have changed. We are not waiting for God. God is waiting for us. The Holy Spirit is given, we are still in the dispensation opened on the day of Pentecost. But God can only work when we are willing, yielded, and obedient. We tie God’s hands.

The history of the Church has been the same. Each company that has come forth in the line of restoration has run the same course. That is, human, fallen nature. It is human failure, not God’s. When everything dries up and dies out, we call upon God. This alone makes it possible for God to come. He must have some place to put His Spirit, and only empty vessels can be filled.

When we are filled with our own ways, think ourselves rich and increased in goods spiritually, (Rev. 3:17) God can give us nothing. To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. (Prov.27:7) The crumbs tasted good to the Syro-Phoenician woman, but well-fed children despise even dainties. (See Matt.15:21-28) They will throw the food across the table at one another. Like the children of Israel, they despise even “angels’ food.” (Ps.78:23)

The best preacher in the land cannot preach with liberty when his message is not desired or received. The oil ceases to flow as soon as there are no more empty vessels to be filled. This will often explain why good preachers sometimes have liberty and at other times have no anointing. Criticism will stop the flow of oil through any preacher. Oil will not flow when frozen.”

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The early Church ran well for a season. Everything went down before it. But by the third or fourth century, they had compromised to escape the cross. They sold out to the devil, backslid, and went down into the “Dark Ages.” They lost the Holy Spirit anointing, the gifts, the life, the power, the joy, everything. The Church became a prodigal, left the Father’s house, and went to feeding swine.

The devil found he could not stamp out the early Church by killing them. For every one he killed, two sprang up. Like the children of Israel, “the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” (Ex.1:20) The early Christians vied with one another for a martyr’s crown. They exposed themselves purposely, recklessly, for this reward. Someone has said the greatest call that ever came to man is the call to suffer in a noble cause.

Heaven was real to the early Church – far more real than earth. In fact, they seemed to have lived only for the next age. That was their longing, their goal, to be delivered from “this present evil world,” (Gal.1:4) It was the sole relief they looked forward to. This present life, after all, is the true saints purgatory. It is the sinners heaven – his only heaven – and that is sad beyond words to express! But, glory to God, it is our only hell! we are in the enemies country, running the gauntlet, with foes lined up on all sides – but we are just passing through.

Without question, it was God’s desire to restore the backslidden, prodigal Church at once, when she fell, just as He must have desired at once to restore the human race in the beginning when they fell. But He could not. Human, fallen nature was too weak.

God also wanted to take the children of Israel right into Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea when he brought them out of Egypt. It was only a short journey, but they frustrated His purpose and desire. “They grieved God and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Ps78:41) just as it has ever been. In consequence, they stopped going forward, went to “milling around,” and “their carcasses fell in the wilderness.” (Heb.3:17)

Beloved, whenever we stop going forward, we go to “milling around.” When an individual stops going forward for God, he begins to go in a circle. Just as a man when lost in a forest ceases to go straight forward but wanders in a circle.

So it was with the early Church. When they ceased to go forward, they started wandering in a circle and became lost in the Dark Ages. The devil had found he could not destroy them or stop their march by persecuting and killing them, so he removed the cross, offering them titles, positions, honor, salaries, profits of every kind – and they fell for it.

They no longer needed to look to God for their protection and support. They were “like the nations round about them,” just as the children of Israel when they rejected God as their King. (See Deut. 17:14) And it is so with our great church bodies of today. History repeats itself in every movement through human weakness and failure.”

THE REFORMATION AND SUBSEQUENT HISTORY
Out of the Dark Ages came the great ecclesiastical, Roman hierarchy, which in time dominated the whole world, both political and religious. And the same condition has developed out of every fallen movement. An illegitimate, hybrid monster has come forth.

This was the condition of the formal church in Martin Luther’s time. However, the living seed of the true Church had remained buried in this mass, even through those long, dark centuries. This seed now began to spring up and germinate – the Church within the Church. The prodigal backslider began to come to himself at last and desire to return home. The Church had fed on swine long enough!

Through the labors of such men as Huss, Wycliffe, Luther, Foxe, Wesley, Darby, Mueller, Moody, Evan Roberts, Wigglesworth, and a host of others, the prodigal Church has been coming home. But each company which God has been able to bring forth and give a fresh deposit of the Spirit and of the truth once lost, has sooner or later stopped short of the full goal. Although often gaining much ground and experiencing tremendous blessing, each group has ceased to go forward as a body and completely return to the early New Testament standard and realization.

Again and again the Church climbed from the depths of some sectarian stranglehold, with its various stages of formalism and spiritual darkness, only to fall again, within perhaps only a generation, into sometimes an even worse state. Fortunately, each time, some new light and understanding of truth and God’s ways was given upon which the next revival company could build. But in it all, it is the failure of man, not God’s failure. Each company has only gone so far. It was certainly God’s desire to fully restore the early Church to her first estate and love love at once, as it is true with every backslider. To think otherwise is to charge God with sin. But the Church would not.

A backslider does not get back to God in a moment. He generally has more or less of a battle to get back, according to the light and experience that he has sinned against. The early Church had great light and experience. If it were too easy to be fully restored, it would be too easy to backslide.

There is a natural law that is similar to this. Faith has been broken down. It is like a case of tuberculosis, where the tissues of the lungs have been destroyed. It is a hard fight back, even under favorable circumstances of rest and climate. To return to the “lowlands” generally means a return of the disease. So it is with the restored backslider. He must keep away from temptation ground and aggressively walk in obedience.

Today we can look back and see the different companies that, in the line of restoration, God has brought out in the Church since the Middle Ages. We can see where they ceased to go forward with God, where they began to mill around in a circle, and where their carcasses fell in the wilderness as a body – Lutherans, Anglicans, Congregationalists, Methodists, Salvation Army, and so forth. They ceased to be a forward company.

Whenever we cease to go forward and keep on the offensive for God, we stop and die as a people. In fact, a movement is no longer a movement when it stops moving – be it the Holiness movement, the Pentecostal movement, or any other movement. It may continue to increase both in number and in wealth, but that is not necessarily a sign of life and power with God. All anti-Christian movements can show that kind of growth. No movement has ever recovered itself as a body, when it has once gone on the skids.”

GOD’S MOVEMENT
We do not have to leave movements. We simply move on with God! As long as a movement moves, we move with it. The different movements in the history of the church, although part of His true restoration, are only incidental with God. God has one great movement we should all belong to, and that has never ceased moving. It is God’s move through the ages to redeem a fallen, lost world and carry that great blood-washed assembly on to His eternal purpose. It began when the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8) and will end when the last saint gets safely home to glory.

We must work for the Kingdom of God as a whole, not for some pet individual party, organization, or movement. That has been the curse and cause of hindrance to our going on with God to full restoration in all generations. We have worshipped certain doctrines, party standards, partial experiences, and blessings, all fine as far as they go, but abnormal in themselves and only a part of the whole.

Most of these have been unbalanced, exaggerated misstatements of truth at best. In the end, they have generally brought bondage in place of blessing. They have broken fellowship, divided the children of God, and put the Church in bondage to men and their ideas, standards, understandings, and opinions.

We must keep moving! The clearest light on truth and experience has not yet come. We still wait for the full restoration of the “pattern shown in the mount,” that of the early New Testament Apostolic Church as a whole.

The great mistake has been to stop with sectarian, partial, abnormal revelations. We must keep our eyes on God, not on a party. Keep free from a party spirit. That is indicative of a respect of persons. Seek only God and His plan as a whole, His Church as a whole.

Every company, in time, repeats the experience of the early Church. They compromise to escape the cross and accept positions, salaries, titles, and ecclesiastical power. An ecclesiastical hierarchy arises just as it did in the early Church during the second and third centuries.

The backslidden Church is still in an abnormal condition. It will continue to be so until it becomes fully restored to the first standard of apostolic Christianity from which it fell. No experience or revelation in the line of gradual restoration has been perfect in itself. All is abnormal, both in understanding and experience, until the perfect whole is realized and restored.

We need a readjustment of all our doctrines to the full, clear light of God in the Word. All past experiences must be examined and redefined in the light of the perfect whole.

Someone has said that every reformation is at its best and highest tide when it first comes forth. This would seem to be so, but at the same time the true Church is ever moving on to maturity. I speak of the Church within the Church, the kernel in the shell, not the surrounding movement. Just as the individual believer who goes on with God gradually matures, so the Church within the Church is maturing toward the end of the age when she will be a full-grown Church. The goal is not just the standard lost by the early Church but that toward which they themselves were pressing – “a fully matured man,” even “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph.4:13).”

Well this post is almost 3,000 words long, and so it is time to pause.

Look for the second and final installment entitled “Apostasy And Recovery”, from Frank Bartleman’s “The Deeper Significance of Pentecost” in about a week (or maybe sooner).

Did you find this post is too long? Or would posting the whole message have been better? Please let me know.

Eventually you  may want to read both posts at once to absorb the full impact of Frank Bartleman’s message.

May God richly bless you,

Neal

Waiting For Jesus

Message Outline – January 21, 2017

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (1)Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, (4)That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, (3)And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. (2)While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”(Matthew 24:42 to Matthew 25:13)

Personally, I am thankful for the prophetic tone of recent messages. Prophetic messages are necessary to guide us into the times ahead.

God has promised to speak to us prophetically so that we know the times, just like “the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” (1Chronicles 12:32)

Waiting for Jesus is really watching (as our text states repeatedly). Jesus taught that we must watch for his return.

Verses 45 to 47 (1)reveal that watching for Jesus’ return brings authority to the believer, and provision through the believer for the family of God and for those outside Christ. (Refer/compare to when Jesus questioned Peter three times, “Do you love me?” When Peter answered yes, Jesus replied,”…feed my sheep”. (see John 21:15-18).

But while waiting for Jesus, the church has become just like the people and religious leaders of Jesus’ day, waiting for the King of Kings to establish an earthly government and rule the nations with a “rod of iron”.

However this fails to account for the true nature of the everlasting Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God will crush every kingdom of this world, (see Daniel 2:35), but this happens one person at a time as God reaches you and me with his everlasting message of mercy and salvation, replacing all other “kingdoms,” erasing all other nationalities, and ending all other loyalties. The kingdom of God is an inward kingdom, of the heart. The rebellion of the nations, led by Satan at the end of one thousand years of perfection (see Revelation 20:7-9) proves that the everlasting Kingdom of God must rule the heart.

Be reminded that God calls us to seek him with our whole heart (in parallel with Pastor Jon’s message – that we love the Lord with all of our heart), because when we seek him with our whole heart, then we will find him (see Jeremiah 29:13).

But in contrast to this, the parable of the ten virgins reveals that the whole church has fallen asleep(2), and many are double minded (double mindedness is better understood in the original languages as “having two hearts,” or literally, “a heart, and a heart” (see Psalm 12:2), and ultimately being double minded results in not being ready for the Lord’s return. This is revealed in the fact that the wise virgins could not “give” their oil to the foolish – and as a result the foolish were left outside.

In the parable, the oil had to be purchased at a price, it was not free. The ten virgins represent the church, and the “price” of the oil is our life that we forsake in order to truly learn Christ inwardly. We cannot be his disciple unless we forsake all, and in particular forsake our life and our will in order to truly follow Jesus. Otherwise we are merely imitators of Christ, walking in the flesh, having a form of godliness but not bearing his image naturally as a result of his Spirit (resurrection) flowing through (quickening) us. In verse 51 (3)Jesus calls that hypocrisy. (A hypocrite is someone who is not what they say they are).

However to those who forsake all, Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, that he (God) shall make him (the believer) ruler over all of his goods”(4). In other words, all of the riches of the Kingdom of God are available to those who seek God, and whose hearts are not divided. The result today is the same as in the parable, the wise have oil in their lamps, meaning that all authority, discernment, and limitless power of the Holy Spirit is ours when we seek him with all our heart.

This message today is a call from God to wake up from sleep. There is no finger pointing in this message, because all of the virgins, the wise and the foolish, all slept. Today we all need to wake up and watch. It is a desperate hour.

The biblical pattern of God’s mercy in a desperate hour is that he first sends his (prophetic) word to awaken his people. When that does not work, judgments follow. In an effort to awaken more and more of his people, judgments escalate.

God is so patient, and it is not his will that any should perish. But ultimately he will thrust the church into the position of providing or being left outside.

It is the promise and the will of God to give “every spiritual blessing in heavenly places with Christ” to his church (see Ephesians 1:3). Plainly stated, when we awake to Christ and give him our whole heart, there will be no lack, God will be plainly seen in us, and those in the world seeking light will come to us.

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14 to 5:16)…

…(Quoted from Isaiah 60:1 to 60:3)
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Jesus is coming. God is calling.

“And what I say to you, I say to all. Watch.” (Mark 13:37)

The Cliff

Shortly after The Golden Chain, my wife received another dream from the Lord, warning of a day when many would be deceived by lying signs and wonders.

In the dream she was on a country road with many other people, all travelling the same direction. She and a few others were walking, but most of the people on the road were running.

Ahead, she saw the road lead directly over the edge of a cliff into a very deep chasm. And from the chasm a sound like a mighty rushing wind could be heard. Those who were running along the road were plunging straight over the cliff without any hesitation. But when my wife looked over the edge, nothing could be seen below.

Then off to the right, standing together on a low hill, she saw a small group of people gathered around a very plain looking man. They were not leaping off the cliff. My wife joined them and the dream ended.

We immediately understood that this dream was sent as a warning. In the future a phenomenon will appear that many Christians will run after, unaware of the danger ahead.

The people travelling on the road represent Christians and the path we all are on together. The chasm represents the empty result of false teaching. And the plain man on the hill represents the Word of God.

The walking group and the running group experienced two completely different outcomes. Those running fell into the empty chasm. Those walking were safely gathered around the Word.

The sound of a rushing mighty wind represents a display of lying sign and wonders. The symbolism comes from the description of the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:2. But in the dream, when my wife looked over the cliff’s edge to observe what was drawing so many people, there was nothing to be seen. The sound she heard imitated the gospel, but it was not the truth. It was empty, and came from deep in the earth, not from heaven above.

The issue in the church today leading to the fulfillment of this dream is that many born again Christians and evangelical denominations have departed from the Word of God, and are not aware of it. Consequently they are in danger of being deceived by the Antichrist.

Something we must understand in order to interpret this dream and identify true Christianity is that at the end of time, everything planted in the earth (both good and evil) will be ripe for harvest. (Rev 14:14-20) This means that While God is waiting patiently for the good fruit to ripen, evil will have its fullest expression in the rise of the Antichrist, and his eventual reign as a world dictator.

But the spirit of antichrist was already “planted” at the time of the apostles and has been working within the church ever since. Masquerading as the spirit of Christ, scripture reveals that this seducing spirit has been given the power to conquer many Christians and Christian denominations. (See 1 John 2:18-19 and Rev 6:2)

The Bible has plenty to say about this spirit, but the short version is that those under its influence tragically misuse the Word of God. Specifically they ignore Jesus’ teachings about the cross, or deflect the true meaning of Jesus’ words. Plainly stated, they reject the requirement to lay down one’s life in order to gain heaven and save our fellow man. Under scrutiny, their gospel preaching is carnality thinly veiled in spirituality, but many are attracted by these vain prophets and their empty words.

Added confusion arises because the spirit of antichrist maintains its “Christian” appearance, and can appear extremely successful. But the apostle Paul exposes it completely when he calls it another gospel, about another Jesus, which is not the gospel at all. (2 Cor 11:4 and Gal 1:6)

As the end of time approaches this antichrist deception will escalate, because the false prophet will be given the power to deceive through lying signs and wonders. (Rev 13:12-14)

So perhaps now the interpretation of the dream is clear to you, as it was when my wife told it to me.

Those running on the road will fall to the deception I have described, because they previously rejected the central doctrine of true faith in Jesus. “And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

Following Jesus without embracing the cross is not the truth, it is something else. It is an imitation. To be Jesus’ disciples we must walk exactly as he walked, fully determined to go to the death of the cross.

And to know his power, the same principle applies. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” (John 13:24)

Cast your life and the outcome of it completely onto God! Trust the Holy Spirit for everything you need now and in eternity. You will gain not only your own life, but others besides!

So many in the church today are baffled that there is no power, so few being saved, so little joy in worship, no shout of victory in the camp, such poor discernment among leadership, and so much fear of what the future holds. It is simply because we are not going God’s way.

Now, before moving on to other things in future posts, can I advise you one final time? Search the scriptures carefully. There is a reason we are instructed to die to self… because it is the ONLY way to be Jesus’ disciple and to experience his resurrection power in the here and now.

Stop trying to manipulate your circumstances. God can change them in an instant, when it’s time.

Rather, let the Holy Spirit lead you through the wilderness if that is what it takes. I am there. All true men and women of God are. It can be a lonely, difficult path, but it is the path to glory and power. And in the midst of it all, God’s word promises joy, peace, and his presence to comfort and to guide. (See John 16:24-33)

Then tell the truth to as many people as you can along the way. Forgive their insults like Jesus did. Pray that the Holy Spirit will turn their hearts and teach them to embrace the cross too.

It is the only way that you will have the pleasure of snatching them from the devil, and taking them with you to glory.

I know you are aware of the preaching at Times Square Church in New York, but this particular message is especially timely.

Check out         http://www.tscnyc.org/media_center.php?pg=sermons&mi=47133

The Golden Chain

One morning in 1988 my wife received a dream from God as she awoke. I had just finished praying when she came down the stairs. As she described the dream, a vivid picture came into my mind as if it was my own, and with that came the interpretation from the Lord. It all remains as clearly today as when it happened.

In the dream my wife saw a very old, strictly orthodox religious man, leading a woman by a thin gold chain attached to a bracelet on her wrist. The woman was also very elderly, and had obviously been subject to the old man for a long time. The chain however, was extremely thin. She could easily have broken the flimsy restraint, but was thoroughly conditioned, afraid of going beyond familiar confines.

They were walking through a school yard, and as they passed, the old woman reached out, grasping my wife in a desperate embrace around the shoulders. Then like a drowning person, she would not let go. Repeating, “Help me, help me,” she dragged my wife downwards with her.

Almost brought to the ground, my wife pushed the old woman away with all of her might. Now free and leaving them both behind, she was instantly running with great leaps and bounds down a main residential road. As she ran, my wife passed lines of people from many nationalities and religions, all sitting beside the road.

This whole scene took place in the small town where we attended church.

The old man in the dream represents tradition, and the old woman, the church. The gold chain represents the thin thread of lies that keep the church in fear. Running in leaps and bounds represents the joy, liberty, and power we will find when we break free of man-made religion and follow the heavenly man, Jesus. And the people at the side of the road are the nations, who will witness the glory of God as the remnant of God sheds the shackles of tradition and walks in truth and power before Jesus returns.

Religious tradition is one of the cloaks that Satan wears in the church. Listing his many ploys would require a whole book, but his goal is always the same – to replace Jesus as the head of the church.

It is plain from scripture that the church ought to be governed by the gifts of the Spirit, and not by the institutions of man. For when the Holy Spirit is in charge, Jesus is glorified, the church grows in faith, the world sees the miraculous power of God, and multiplied souls enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Every Christian denomination started this way, as men and women were touched by the Holy Spirit and learned to submit to his leading.

But over time, Satan subtly hides behind naturally gifted, self-willed men and women, who love to have the preeminence, who worship the work of their own hands, who use pious, reasonable sounding arguments to lead the church away from a vital, living relationship with the Holy Spirit. Then, not knowing the Spirit, well meaning underlings preach self preservation to the natural man, as the spiritual man who craves to be given for others withers and dies. Finally, gasping, the church latches on to anything she thinks will help, trying to rise above the world she knows is sinking.

So it is with great sadness that God and those who know the Spirit view much of what passes for spirituality in the church today. It seems that the hope of the world is blind and failing at a time when lost souls need someone to show them light and a new way to live.

Jesus wept at this terrible, terrible wrong in his day. He wept because the word of God declares freedom from every doubt and earthly restraint, but instead the people of God willingly maintain the chain they could so easily break.

Now. Can I tell you the secret to a life of power in Jesus Christ, where you can experience the full measure of God’s liberty and joy? It is not complicated. Jesus taught us what to do.

Instead of loving yourself and the world, love your neighbour. Lay down your life, abandon your ambitions, forsake your own comforts and pray earnestly for souls. Can you do that?

I have learned that I am unhappy when I am double minded, and fearful when my eyes are on the circumstances around me.

But when I pray and share Jesus’ love for souls, I see that he is already moving in sovereign power, that many are answering his call, and that soon he will do something the whole world will notice.

In the word of God it is written. God always has a remnant who walk as Jesus walked.

I received a word of knowledge from the Lord in July 2003. “The church is about to have a short period of tremendous success, but then persecution.”

God has been preparing again, a remnant who will fulfill his word in the final days, and there will be a great harvest in every corner of the earth. But it will not be without cost. As revival goes throughout the land, persecution will arise, and a conclusive choice will have to be made. Either forsake your life and follow Jesus Christ to certain death, or choose to preserve your life and fall away to the Antichrist. For many years I have sought a gentle way to say that, but there is none.

It also grieves me to say that the distinction will not be obvious to everyone. Only Jesus’ disciples will have their eyes open. If you take up your cross, you will be his disciple and you will understand. But if you refuse God’s way, you will not understand or be ready for all that happens as the end of time approaches.

If this message finds a place in your heart, I feel confident saying that you have probably been mourning the same things I am writing about. But rejoice now, for during this difficult wilderness God has been teaching you to trust him, to follow Jesus without qualification or fear, and soon he will release you into his new work.

Are you ready? Embrace your cross and carry it to the end.

GOD will take care of you. He will make you stand, and not fall.

GOD IS STILL SAYING SOMETHING! From Lagos, Nigeria

Prophetic word re-posted from

Jesus Teaching Ministries International, Lagos, Nigeria

GOD IS STILL SAYING SOMETHING!
There is still hope for the church even in this season of persecution and seeming hardship.
I have heard from so many, and also read many articles concerning the plans of Islam and all their threats but no one seems to go beyond that to tell us the plan of God and what He is saying to the church.
Everyone seems to entertain a deep fear for now and the future. I wonder why!
But as I waited on the Lord, I keep hearing words of HOPE. The Lord also revealed His victory strategies for the church.
We’ve heard about the church in Turkey and Europe generally and all these stories seem to convey, is FEAR.
But God is still saying something today. Open your spiritual antenna and get it.
“I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT”.
The Lord made me realize that, we have hijacked the church from HIM. It’s no longer HIS church. We call ourselves PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER…. We refer to the church as MY CHURCH… and to the congregation as MY SHEEP…. MY CHILDREN.
As long as it is not the Lords church, then certainly, the gates of hell will always prevail against it.
This is what we must do.
(1)We the Senior Pastors and Bishops must deliberately repent and hand over the church back to the OWNER. We must throw away all the title that rob us of the presence of God.
NONE OF US IS QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF ANY CHURCH.
We must resume our basic functions as APOSTLES, PROPHETS, EVANGELISTS, PASTORS AND TEACHERS.
As simple as this may sound, it makes us to switch places with the Lord and give back to HIM what was HIS in the beginning.
(2) None of us own any ministry. It is the ministry of the HOLY SPIRIT.
(3). We must be Humble. Today, most Ministers get highly offended when they are not introduced in certain ways and by certain titles. That’s idolatry. Today, the shepherd is so far away from the sheep. We had more power when we all called ourselves simply as BROTHER or SISTER.
A strange spirit has overtaken us. We think of ourselves more highly than we ought. We fence ourselves from our members with very heavy security and bodyguards. Just to create a false sense of importance. Our Lord Jesus was so HUMBLE AND DOWN TO EARTH.
We have reversed the protocol of the KINGDOM of God. The GREATEST must be the SERVANT of all.
(4). We must LOVE EACH OTHERS AS OURSELVES. We must be sensitive and responsible to the needs of others, who are the HOUSEHOLD of faith, we must attend to them as if they were ours(Psalm 133; Acts 2 and 4).
This is the kind of church JESUS BUILT. This is the church that even Hell cannot prevail against.
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD? 2 Chronicles 7:14.
1. HUMBLE THEMSELVES.
2. PRAY.
3. SEEK MY FACE.
4. TURN AWAY FROM THEIR EVIL WAYS.
Then the Lord promised to do this.
1. HEAR FROM HEAVEN.
2. FORGIVE THEIR SIN.
3. HEAL THEIR LAND.
We need to follow God’s order of priority.
HUMILITY IS THE FIRST…. not prayer.
GRACE HAS CHARACTER. It is expressed as HUMILITY, LOVE, FELLOWSHIP.
When we all repent and walk in love and humility and care for one another.
THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST US.
It’s time we start looking for those who offended us and tell them, “I FORGIVE YOU”.
Don’t wait for them to come to you.
THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS IS AFRAID OF A UNITED CHURCH.
This is the word of the Lord”.
Abundant grace be with our spirits. Amen. Enjoy your weekend. Shalom!