Paul is about to tell us what the intent is, and the purpose, for which reason, God has created all things. So how dare you just sit there, as if you’re hearing a mere sermon? How is it you’re not leaning forward in your seat, with your hand cupped at your ear, that you should not miss any syllable of this answer from the apostle who was given such grace to preach these riches?
— Art Katz, ‘Recognize the Influence’
On a Thursday night in January of 2001, an elderly Jewish man got up to speak a message out of the book of Ephesians to a small school of ministry and fellowship in Pensacola, Florida. As the night unfolded, the speaker (who some consider to be a modern-day prophet) delivered a message on the purpose for creating all things, and how that purpose (which, you’ll hear in the audio, has little to do with any direct benefit to man) affects every minute detail in our lives, not only with regard to what we do, but why we do it. The message would end up being disrupted multiple times by people that had to be escorted out of the building (one person claimed Art was ‘preaching his message’), and unfold in a manner that kept even those that had heard him speak hundreds of times before on the edge of their seat, sensing the weightiness of what was coming forth.
The message was entitled ‘Recognize the Influence’, and was brought forth by Art Katz ten years ago at FIRE School of Ministry & Fellowship. The message is below in audio form, but before you listen to it, I’d like to set the stage with the following accounts from those that were either there that night, or were impacted by it later upon hearing it.
Account from Michael L. Brown:
I recall being quite focused and almost pent-up with expectation; I remember having my eye on one guy, feeling that he might be disruptive, and sure enough, during a time of worship when I told everyone that we were going to wait before the Lord and be quiet, this guy tried to prophesy, ignoring my exhortation to be quiet twice before, the third time, I had the ushers deal with him.
Then, during Art’s message, which was one of his life messages, of profound spiritual import, yet one which he stumbled to deliver that night — another guy, whom Bob Gladstone had his eye on — just stood up while Art was preaching and asked if he could share his testimony, and I jumped off the platform and ran over to him telling him this was not the time to do so.
From Bob Gladstone:
The first guy yelled out at one point, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm!” because his buddy the second guy was told to be quiet. This of course was after the worship period during which Michael Brown’s story of the first guy occurred.
During Art’s speech, the second guy stood up and said, “You’re preaching my message!” Art did not hear him at first and stopped to try to hear what he said, trying to repeat what he said to understand him. I’m sure that’s on the audio. Other dialog occurred I don’t recall. When the ushers escorted guy #2 out, he was praying in a fervent, persecuted sort of way. Art made some comments about the powers getting stirred up (I think) which of course would be on the recording also.
Art’s message was a trademark, definitive prophetic piece from a foundational man to the church. Simultaneously constructive and devastating. A gift for us from the Lord from a key voice of his generation just 5 1/2 years before he died.
From Scott Volk:
It was at least a year after this message was preached that Mike Brown labeled it as ‘the most important message ever given at FIRE.’ I remember sitting at the edge of my seat through this entire message as I felt it penetrating me to my core. I’ve heard Art speak hundreds of messages live and this one had, by far, the most impact on me. There was enough going on in the room that evening to totally distract folks, however, the message was delivered fully and still affects me today! … I will never forget that night as long as I live!
From Mark Harrell:
Oh Lord, I remember so many feelings…
I was in a mainline denominational church as a youth pastor at the time and, before this message, had been to conferences for the kids as well as the pastors. I had been feeling chafed inwardly by these meetings and couldn’t piece together what was causing me to ache so badly. When I heard this word…BOOM, it all just exploded in me. “OH GOD, that’s what wrong with me!!” I felt as if I had been behind a curtain and suddenly saw it lift and saw the puppet masters behind the machines and dolls. I understood so much of what was operating and motivating the strivings of this organization. I saw words on my eyelids like, “status, prestige, power, honor” with the smug smiles and fake back pats that go with it.
This message ruined me. … To this day, this message remains as a stain on my mind, heart and soul. It has colored the way I view everything. I can’t look on the mere appearance of a thing anymore, I’m always painfully aware in certain places and circumstances of what lies beneath so many words and deeds and ministries. I’m always checking my own soul as a result.
From Bryan Purtle:
I can see why Satan would try so hard to derail this word.
I will say that it had a profound impact on my life, and to this day it is one of the top ten most memorable messages I’ve heard. Years ago I played the whole message for a close friend of mine, and his response was something like this:
“Before this message I felt like my faith and my view of God were a factory where all the equipment was dormant, and all the gears were rusty or out of alignment. When I heard Art’s statement about the Church’s call to demonstrate God’s wisdom to the powers of the air, the gears were forced into alignment, and the power came on. It all made sense in a new and fresh way.”
He still refers back to the hearing of that cassette as constituting a major turning point in his life of faith.
I still go back once every year or two and listen to the message again, and each time I feel commissioned afresh to come into the simple, ultimate, whole-hearted reality that was expressed in the early apostolic church. “To God be glory in the Church…..”
The message is below. For those that may not be familiar with Art, who died in 2007, make sure to check out www.artkatzministries.org. You can also check out this article in the Washington Times, which ended with a great line: “He made many such statements that no doubt cost him dearly. As I stood in that grassy field, I realized why some men, like the Rev. Billy Graham, are lionized by the Christian world and others, like Art Katz, have a silent grave in the middle of the north woods.”
Below is the audio of ‘Recognize the Influence.’ As you listen, remember that you’re hearing a man of significant depth deliver his life message, unpacking, quite literally, the purpose of everything that exists, and the ultimate destiny of the church.
[Link to MP3]
Marcus French is Editor of Voice of Revolution, and also helps produce the daily radio show, The Line of Fire. Contact him at email@example.com.
Posted in Featured Articles, The Kingdom of God Tagged with: Apostolic Church, art katz, Bob Gladstone, Bryan Purtle, Church, destiny, Dr. Michael Brown, ephesians, FIRE Church, fire school of ministry, mark harrell, Paul, Pensacola, purpose
Lou Engle has spent the last few years laboring to see the end of abortion in America through prayer & fasting, launching, among other things, the Bound4Life movement and the Justice Houses of Prayer. He now believes it’s time to launch a similar movement to contend with gay activism in our nation, and he believes this movement will be birthed out of Charlotte, NC, starting with the God Has a Better Way event on July 25th.
After casting vision for this house of prayer movement at FIRE Church on July 5th (click here to listen to the message he delivered), I sat down with him to ask a few questions:
VOR: You said at the meeting on July 5th that you have a prophetic word for this region, could you explain in a few words what that is?
Lou Engle: Well I felt like I had a prophetic word for Charlotte and Dr. Brown and the community here that was, I received a prayer assignment five years ago to raise up a house of prayer, to contend with the ideological house of abortion and the homosexual agenda. We’ve raised it up for abortion, but I felt like the other day as I was praying, it just came upon me so strongly reading Alan Sears’ book on the homosexual agenda, and it suddenly came upon me, I need to call Mike Brown. I believe that out of Charlotte, a house of prayer contending with the homosexual agenda and ideology could be birthed actually creating a nationwide movement, similar to what took place in Bound 4 Life, in Washington DC five years ago, and I believe it’s a word of the Lord, I believe it’s an invitation being given to Charlotte to raise up a contending house of prayer, that contends not with people, but with spiritual principalities and powers, and actually will resist and be the high watermark, so to speak, of the homosexual agenda. It stops here.
VOR: Do you believe the July 25th “God Has a Better Way” rally in downtown Charlotte will be an important event? If so, why?
Lou Engle: I believe with the 21 day fast, that we’re calling, that breakthroughs could take place, in the community, people getting saved on that day, a divine favor shift in the high places of the government could take place, because in 21 days of fasting and prayer, because as you know with Daniel, everything shifted over the king of Persia, an archangel now had influence over the king of Persia, rather than the demonic prince of Persia. Why can’t we believe for the same kind of shifts to take place in this season of time? So I think the 25th is a flash point, at the ending of 21 days.
VOR: Why Charlotte?
Lou Engle: Because Michael Brown’s here. God uses men and raises up leaders with voices, and places them in the right places. I believe it’s also significant that Charlotte would not be like a San Francisco or an Atlanta but is actually takeable, not that Atlanta or San Francisco can’t be, but you take your lion and your bear, and you can take Goliath. I think this could be a staging ground for the beginnings of a victory of the church getting its influence in this realm.
VOR: A local journalist from a gay publication that heard you speak on Sunday was concerned by your use of what he termed “violent rhetoric” in your speaking. How do you respond to concerns such as these?
Lou Engle: Jesus Himself used .. the rhetoric of violence. He said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” He’s not talking about human weapons, but a spiritual intensity and violence against ideologies and unseen forces and powers of darkness. Jesus said, “if I by the finger of God drive out demons, the Kingdom of God has come upon you,” and he talks about attacking the spiritual strongman, which is a spirit being, attacking and overcoming them, and taking the spoil. That means that you break through the ideology, and the demonic spirit that rules that ideology, you actually see people liberated out of that ideology, homosexuals can come to Christ, be freed from their issues, be liberated, and it is a spiritual battle for the souls of the people. But never have we ever said “take up [physical] violence” and used rhetoric that Jesus uses, “I’ve not come to bring peace but a sword”. And so, that would be my answer.
Posted in News, Revolution & Justice Tagged with: charlotte, FIRE Church, god has a better way, homosexual agenda, house of prayer, Lou Engle
Leading up to the God Has a Better Way event on July 25th (see reaction to the event here), Lou Engle will be casting vision at a meeting on July 5th in Charlotte:
Special Meeting with Lou Engle
Please join us at FIRE Church for a special, city-wide rally with Lou Engle this Sunday night, July 5th, at 6:00 PM. The Lord has deeply burdened Lou to stand with us in prayer and fasting to help turn back the tide of homosexual activism in America, beginning right here in Charlotte, so plan to join us on Sunday. We will have a powerful time of worship and then Lou will bring a message to raise our faith and vision as we launch a season of prayer and fasting leading up to our God Has a Better Way rally in Charlotte on July 25th.
So, mark your calendars for Sunday night, July 5th, at 6:00 PM for a special meeting with Lou Engle, and then plan to join us as we make history together from 12:00-3:00 PM on July 25th and be part of our God Has a Better Way, when we will literally surround Charlotte’s gay pride event with worship, intercession, the Word of God, the love of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Your presence will make a difference!
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Dr. Michael L. Brown
Location: 4323 Concord Pkwy S. Concord, NC 28027 [map]
Time: July 5th at 6:00 PM
Speaker: Lou Engle
Posted in News, Revolution & Justice Tagged with: charlotte, FIRE Church, god has a better way, homosexuality, Lou Engle