Friday, February 14, 2014

Want the fire to fall?... which kind?

Don’t know about you, but I love to study about Church history..and all about it in the Word first.

We can see how God has graciously blessed His people with outpourings of the Holy Spirit, i.e., with so called Revival Fire. Yes, because of faithful believers praying, God has revived Christians and He has blessed our world with Awakenings where lost people repented and believed in Jesus Christ.

Some of the “revivals”, we’ve read about were messed up, kinda whacked, and plagued with fleshly, religious, worldly, and false doctrines… with strange unbiblcial spooky manifestations, i.e., yup, with "strange fire."

If the pure Gospel is going out with power, if people are about to be born again spiritually, if it’s real, if it’s life-changing and valuable, then the enemy will try his best to thwart God’s work.

You know that Mr. Lu-Cifer (Satan) loves to mimic the good things of God and the works of God. He and his weird buds (false teachers, counterfeit believers, and fallen angels) like to come off as good… as angels of light for different reasons. Sure, they like to do that for financial gain, and in order to discredit the whole work of God that’s really healthy. They confuse people with counterfeits, with strange stories (that can’t be verified) that they base their messages upon, and with half-truths (much of what a false teacher will teach is true—they mix truth in for the sake of convincing the gullible), and they like to religiously scatter people away from God, the Gospel, the Word, His people, and what’s real.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Because of all the sicko-money-grubbin’-TV preachers, many people have reacted by getting scared of any talk of God or of the Bible at all (understandably), and by rejecting His real Gospel Message.. along with any biblical revival. Don't reject the Jesus of the Bible or His words. 

You know that historically, there have been some strange responses.

Some church people in our day refuse to recognize any error that’s slowly or speedily creped in among them to distort and pervert what's true. They’ve refused to recognize any wrongdoing or falsehood in counterfeit “revivals” there, and they sadly end up embracing what's false hook line and sinker..  because to them it just doesn’t.. seem like it’s so harmful or like that dead religion that they came from and disliked. They say, “It’s alive so it must be good!”

Neither response is reasonable or Biblical. Listen, God can do more with our obedience than He can with our spiritual compromise.

Don’t get me wrong, let’s not get all focused on, or uber-interested in the enemy and what he says or does. We can stay focused on Jesus in peace. Let’s discern the difference between strange charismania and God’s biblical charisma that’s so lovely, winsome, and good.

“Strange fire” is offering worship to God in a way He doesn’t at all want, in a way that is sinful and foreign to His clear Revelation found in Scriptures. Who wants strange fire or to grow strange? Not me!

Read Leviticus 10:1-3 where we see the story of two guys named, Nadab and Abihu, who should have known better. These were the two sons of Aaron who literally offered profane fire before the Lord like, Hey God, you will accept it the way we wanna give it. PERIOD.

The Hebrew word translated “profane” in the Bible literally means “strange” or “foreign.” We are not told every detail of how they wrongly did it, but they obviously sought to worship the Lord in a way that was very odd and uber-foreign to the holy manner that had been prescribed by God. They wanted to serve God their way, not His. But they weren’t His authority, He was theirs. As a result, a fire of Judgment went out from the Lord and devoured them.

I’m so glad for the warnings of Scripture and other good warnings that keep me and my friends safe as well, but in our culture it ain’t cool to hear about Judgment or direct authority. Sure, God is love and He is patient (long suffering caring for sinners, not forever suffering) too, but He hates sin that hurts them. And wrath has also come from Him before, not just blessings. Let’s submit and obey His Word. The day and date has changed, but He does not.

Fire to me speaks of great Intensity ..yes, of zeal, holy passion and of a strong commitment in this love relationship with Christ. What did we see on the disciples heads on the day of Pentecost.

It would appear that the sin of Nadab and Abihu in the Bible has been repeated throughout history, but we don’t have to do that weirdness. 

Check it out, “strange fire” only brought judgment - who wants that?

Stickin’ with God’s Word will keep us from offering up, “strange fire.”

The Apostle Paul warns all, "Do not go beyond what is written…" (1 Corinthians 4:6).

We aren’t going to intimately know the Lord by our mere feelings and impressions no, no.

You and I know that prayer is so important every day, but we also need to know God by prayerfully reading His Bible with a heart to apply truth.

You know that so much of what church people have called revival or awakenings in the past has been based on mere feelings, strange dreams, laughing, barking, and so called prophecies (that were unbiblical even though not all prophecies are..) and also on impressions rather than on the Word of God. Hey gang, let’s not repeat the blunders of so called Christians in the past. No time for silliness!

“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.” ~ Vance Havner

“The fact is, Christians are more to blame for not being revived than sinners are for not being converted.” ~ Charles G. Finney

So what’s on my mind? This…

Revival ain’t at all about discovering some new truth. If it’s new it ain’t true, and if it’s true it ain’t new! Revival is about rediscovering the wonderful old truth of God’s saving power in and through the Cross ..for any that will turn to Him and believe. Believers are revived to live the life and go tell so others can be blessed. Real revival is torrents of living water flowing out of the once ho-hum individual believer.. from the Holy Spirit.. and out of the real Church in a biblical sorta way for a purpose that glorifies our heavenly Father!  A revival is a new refreshing from God, a reviving of existing spiritual life, a so called pure fire that blesses people from Heaven. It's an authentic moving of God’s Holy Spirit in and upon the lives of born again people. And an awakening is when those who are one hundred percent spiritually dead just come alive due to the biblical witnessing of an alive Church. The revived Church evangelizes the lost people who are so loved by God. It’s all about establishing and enjoying a right relationship with God. Yup, revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again, and awakening is about falling in love with Jesus Christ for the very first time. Let it happen today!

I don't at all want to see America get judged in the future. No scare-tactic here. I know you don't want that either. Listen, I’m so excited that HarvestAmerica.com is headed to my city this year (to Dallas on Oct. 5th, 2014, but you can be involved in your own town) and I’m so amped inside expecting great things from God here.. just like we’ve seen in years gone by. What we’ve seen, heard, and experience with em has been excellent, healthy, and biblical. God has saved so many. The Gospel is still powerful. And we can bring lost people within ear-shot of this Message! 

Where we are.. let’s all and always be faithful to keep it that way—biblical—yes, and go find others who need to hear.

“When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them a-praying.” ~ Matthew Henry

“Gimme dat fire, gimme dat flame, gimme dat fresh wind, gimme dat rain, gimme dat freedom. You can have the chains, yes, gimme dat God who can gimme all thangs.” ~ Mandy Young

Let’s re-read the book of Acts and pray for Greg Laurie (who is no false teacher at all), for the diligent Harvest team, and for our whole Nation that’s basically gone astray from the Bible. Sure, let’s follow Jesus primarily, continue to boldly ask God for biblical awakening and revival, but like loyal Bereans (Acts 17:11) let’s also be obedient and discerning. 
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