He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables (Mark 4: 11)
I often ask myself: Is there any point of praying for revival if Spirit-movements are doomed to peak, then stall and become mere relics of past glories? Or do we believe that God is always restoring truth and adding something further to His people each time the Spirit comes with power?Spiritual giant, Arthur Wallis, once gave this illustration:
‘A Snail climbing a six foot wall, covered two feet each day and slipped back one foot each night. How long did it take to climb the wall? I fell for the catch and said: “Six days.” I had failed to recognize that on the fifth and last day there was advance, but no slipping back.’
In other words, God’s work in reformation, revival and awakening is always ultimately restorative and will accomplish what it sets out to do even with all the interference of men! Even if it is seemingly cut short, there is enough of the Lord at work to ensure that seeds sown will always bring forth fruit!
Today, I believe that a new move of God’s Spirit is coming to the nations of the world. The hallmarks of a new love of Jesus, repentance, pure living, prayer and the fire of God will and should always be evident. But this time I hope and pray for an added impetus of God’s Spirit for something more than we have seen in living memory, good though those previous moves were. I believe that this ‘something’ more will demonstrate a closeness to the days of the flesh of the Lord Jesus. It will bring the ‘Kingdom of God’ but with it will also come a ‘revelation of the King’. How He moves, how He thinks, ministers and acts.
In Mark’s Gospel, chapters 4 & 5, there is a very unique couple of days in the life and ministry of the Lord where a two-fold aspect of the Kingdom in the life of Christ is shown. Both are essential dynamics of the ministry of King Jesus. Let’s look at what Mark is seeking to portray of Christ in these chapters:
1. Firstly, the Secret of the Kingdom must be taught.
Jesus first tells The parable of the sower – Mark 4: 1 – 9 & 13 – 20. Here, the farmer sows the word of the Kingdom on four types of ground (heart):
The path – where seed is left exposed to birds of the air (satan’s powers)
Rocky ground – where there is an initial response to the word of the Kingdom but no depth of root, and thus trouble causes them to fall away
Thorny ground – where the worldly cares & desires of this life cause a choking of the word and strangle its life
Good soil – the only one ground that bears lasting fruit. It produces a multiplied harvest.
So, this parable is not so much about how the Kingdom moves but rather how hearts respond to it. It has been taught first by Jesus, to prepare the way for the next parables of the Kingdom, which are telling of how the Kingdom works, rather than the kind of hearts that receive or reject the message.
Then, there is The parable of the lamp on a stand – Mark 4: 21 – 25
The lamp of the Kingdom is Jesus Himself, and He is in fact revealing the presence of the Kingdom in His person.
He is also calling His followers to reveal the secrets of the Kingdom.
This is a parable concerning the revelation of the Kingdom in the person of Jesus and His people.
Next, we have The parable of the growing seed – Mark 4: 26 – 29
The man is faithful in the scattering of the seed but that is all he does.
He watches how the seed sprouts and grows over days and nights, even during sleep!
It will bear fruit because there is invisible dimension of life causing it to grow.
Then after the Kingdom has moved, reap the harvest.
This is a parable about how the Kingdom works invisibly and is active at all times. Man alone cannot contribute to the Life of the seed, that is the work of the Kingdom alone.
Finally, we are told The parable of the Mustard Seed – Mark 4: 30 – 34
This parable simply is to illustrate the way the Kingdom works.
A small mustard seed is planted, it then becomes a large tree.
It is so large that the birds of the air can find refuge in its branches.
The Kingdom then, is the dynamic activity of God, manifest in His Son, and known by the Spirit. It can appear in history in the most insignificant ways, but because the Kingdom law and life is at work – it will grow and manifest itself in advancement, enlargement and dominion.
So, to summarize, we have these lessons (secrets) of the Kingdom set before us:
Jesus is looking for hearts to receive a revelation of His Kingdom
Jesus is Himself – the Kingdom in its manifestation. Before people, He stands and ministers as King!
The Kingdom works in the invisible realm, but is real. Its power is supernatural, even though unseen at times.
The way the Kingdom works starts small, but always achieves its task, and will have ultimate victory.
2. Secondly, the Secret of the Kingdom must be made known.
Here, Mark moves onto an account of Jesus and His disciples in a boat and the storm – Mark 4: 35 – 41. A brief summary of events is this :
In V35, Mark notes that it is ‘that same day‘ that Jesus says – ‘let’s go over to the other side’. Jesus is now about to demonstrate to the disciples what He has just taught in the previous teachings!His secret has been revealed to willing hearts; now they are to see it in action!
Now all in a boat, with other boats, they progress to the other side of the lake. Next, a furious storm breaks out. The disciples are full of fear because the boat is about to go under, but as experienced fishermen surely they are used to such storms. They are gripped with unnatural fear. They have not yet fully understood that the Kingdom is present in the boat! To add to that, the Lord is asleep! Jesus is not just asleep because He is Lord over creation, though that is true. But there is something more incisive at work here. Remember He is demonstrating something of what He has taught on the way the Kingdom works! He is the presence of the Kingdom, with them; advancing His rule in enemy territory. And yet, perfectly at rest in the fight.
Then, in V39 – Jesus rebukes the storm. The Lord’s rebuke – ‘be muzzled’, is a word only used for rebuking evil spirits. NT Scholar William Lane conveys an interesting thought in his commentary:
‘The cosmic overtones in the Gospel account must not be missed. Mark has underlined them by careful choice of terminology which recalls Jesus’ encounter with the demons: Jesus rebuked the wind, the sea is enjoined to obey with the command, “Silence, be muzzled”; the wind subsides and the sea obeys with the result that great calmness ensues. Jesus addressed the raging storm as a force threatening Him and his disciples. The force… was muzzled as Jesus subdued it with His authority’
Finally, the sea is calm and peaceful, and now the fear of the storm turns to a fear of this Man who commands obedience to the elements and the forces behind them. The disciples saw a storm and Man asleep, but in the invisible realm, there was a stronghold that needed removing, and the Lord of Glory on a mission!
As if things weren’t intense enough, Jesus is about to unveil the secret of His teachings further. Jesus enters Decapolis region – Mark 5: 1 – 20
This is a Gentile region predominantly. As Jesus gets out of the boat, it is no coincidence that the demon possessed man is apparently waiting for Jesus at the shore. The man is so captive to satan’s kingdom that no one can stop him. He rules, and has never been threatened. He has the whole region in fear and no one can stop him. Yet now he runs to Jesus and knows His name! The spirit begs Jesus not to send him ‘out of the region’ THIS IS IMPORTANT. Here we must remember the previous parables and the recent opposition through a storm at the lake. Christ is now confronted with a power that not only possesses a poor man, but holds an idolatrous region under its power. It does not want Jesus and His kingdom in that region to take rule. Yet Christ will plant a Seed of the Kingdom in that region that will produce glorious effects.
Proof of this demon’s regional hold is further illustrated by the demon’s request to to go into pigs. Why? The man is not the only issue – the area IS! Hence, the cry comes, ‘Do not send us out of the region!’Jesus gives permission, knowing that when this happens they will be driven out of that area anyway. Even after the demon leaves, the people are still thinking like their former master – ‘they beg Jesus to leave the region’ V17 (People become like the idols they worship) The formerly possessed man is now clothed in his right mind – His soul is now as still as the lake! The storm has been stilled.
It is vital that we understand why Jesus does not allow the man to come with Him but to stay and tell the family what the Lord has done. Again, we must remember Jesus’ parables earlier. He is planting a seed of the Kingdom in a new territory, by planting it firstly in a man’s heart. IT WILL GROW, and touch the region, because the Seed of the Kingdom must grow! We must never forget the vital importance and potential significance of winning a single soul to Christ.
Afterward, in V20 – The man tells the people of the ‘Decapolis’ region, how much Jesus had done for him.Later on inMark 7: 31 – 37 – now the people know who He is. He heals them and does all things well.
So, as we started by saying: We must perceive the twofold call of Mark. We must learn how the Kingdom works by seeing and knowing the person, mission and teaching of Jesus. We must demonstrate how the Kingdom is to be experienced in a way faithful to Christ Jesus. Let’s remember the lessons both taught and demonstrated:
1. Jesus is looking for receptive hearts. Only those who have bowed their heart to His reign can receive it.
2. He is the Kingdom of God come in Person. That means we preach Him, and His rule, and the Spirit answers. When we ‘go’ to the place He chooses, He comes with us, even if the storm is furious and He remains quiet for a time. The light is still shining!
3. He is always moving, even when we are not aware by our sight or hearing. Trust the inherent power in the Seed of His Kingdom!
4. Though it start small in manifestation, believe and see what it will become, as God moves in the casting out of satan’s powers, and the establishing of His rule in the earth.
Do we believe in the power of the Gospel of the Kingdom?
I have recently been renewed in my experience of following Jesus. With it has come a deeper clarity and appreciation for the Kingdom of God. With it has come a renewed longing for the personal presence of God, and what this means in terms of His Kingdom. So let’s look briefly at this Kingdom.
In the Old Testament, Jewish understanding of the ‘Kingdom’ or ‘Malkuth’ as it was termed, was a very powerful one. The OT people understood it in terms of ‘God’s rule and reign; His empire’. They would apply it to His rule over them specifically as a nation, and indeed generally over the nations, and the affairs of mankind, and how it would ultimately come at the end of time.
Whilst not having enough space here to cite all examples, one such Scripture is where King David says in 1 Chronicles 29: 11 – 13:
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendour,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honour come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
To add to that there are numerous extra biblical quotations, all referring to a similar Judaistic understanding / viewpoint of God’s Kingdom. Nothing of course is wrong with that. This is thoroughly Biblical: God is indeed the exalted King over creation, over mankind, over the affairs of the nations, and indeed His people, and that presently, and this will be ultimately realised at the end of the age.
However, something wonderful happened at the advent of Jesus Christ. He took men from a Judaistic viewpoint of the Kingdom to a Christocentric view of the Kingdom. He came with a message of ‘Basilea’ (the Greek term the Gospel writers used) – ‘proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom’ or that ‘the Kingdom of God was at hand…’ He came with this dynamic fact: The Kingdom was personally present in the Man, Christ Jesus.
This Kingdom was not just present in His message or even His mission, though certainly that was the case! Nor was it even just a promise for a future time, to finally consummate history at the end of the age. He came proclaiming a new understanding of the Kingdom of God. Without doing away with the OT understanding, He came with a more powerful fulfilment: The Kingdom was in-fact present in His very person, and to remain by the outpoured Spirit.
Jesus said in Luke 17: 21:
…‘nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
He also said in Matthew 12: 28:
But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
And further promising its remaining presence in John 14: 16 – 20:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
So if you like, God wants us to go from a ‘Malkuth’ understanding to a ‘Basilea’ understanding. (And for all you Biblical language experts, I know a change in language means nothing, nor does the fundamental meaning of the words differ, though there are some who could argue that point further.) Rather, it is our viewpoint of the Kingdom that God wants us to re-examine.
2000 years ago, in Jesus Christ, the Kingly rule of God had come. In fact, the King was present, and was promising His rule, His reign and His presence to those who were ‘poor in spirit’. All this not just as a future hope, but a present reality. Though His voluntary death and suffering was a stumbling block to many, it did not deny the fact, but actually proved it all the more, for those humble enough to receive it. The reality was that His sacrifice had opened up the Kingdom to all, and because of this, today we still can say, ‘the Kingdom has come.’
This Kingdom, as George Ladd puts it, was a present gift, given from ‘the seeking God…’ It had ‘broken into history…’, rather than appear at the end of history, as was formerly thought. It came through His Son to mankind. Thus Jesus called it a treasure to be sought now, here, as well as a future promise. It was so glorious and so present, that men were called to ‘forsake everything…’ for it.
2000 years ago, God set something in motion: God’s Kingdom had indeed broken into ‘our’ world! Coming with this Kingdom would be forgiveness, freedom from the rule the enemy, righteousness, healing, love, victory and hope, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, authority, including much, much more! All the promises of God had come in Christ, and been made possible through His death and resurrection. The Kingdom had drawn near, and would remain still very present. Now by the Spirit, Jesus is still exercising His dynamic rule and victory. He has set something in motion, and His Spirit carries on in like manner. Like a ‘small seed… growing into something large…’ or like ‘yeast’, the Kingdom is still moving, acting, growing, advancing among His people, and in this fallen world!
Of course, we must always remember that God’s Kingdom is coming in a definite and final way, when all the world will acknowledge that He indeed is King over all things. But let us not miss out on something equally as true and glorious; a glorious reality that is pivotal to the reason that Jesus came; to bring to men His present ‘basilea’, His glorious Kingdom, personally, on our part and on His! If this be so, then how transformed we and everything we come into contact with would be!
Ten years ago at TheCall DC, with real urgency and expectation, we announced that it was time for a new Jesus Revolution – a gospel-driven, moral and cultural reformation, empowered by the Spirit. Now, ten years later, the hour is even more urgent, and there is a deep sense that the revolution is gaining traction. It really is time for God’s people to seek His face like never before, to give themselves to His purposes like never before, and to say to the Lord, “Here I am, send me and use me to spark a holy revolution in my generation.” If not now, then when?
I believe that TheCall Sacramento could mark a turning point of real significance for the Church and for the society. Make your plans to join me there!
Dr. Michael L. Brown, President, FIRE School of Ministry
It is a great tragedy that so much of the modern Church in the West has neglected the essential role of the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, we read about a Church that was completely dependant upon and full of the Holy Spirit. His power and guidance was evident everywhere. The Church was born in Pentecostal fire and the concept of a church without the all-pervading presence of the Holy Spirit would have been totally unimaginable and foreign to them.
In Acts 6:1-5 we read that the early Christians noticed that there was a weakness in their administrative system (some of the widows were being overlooked in the daily ministration). Sensing the obvious, that it would not be right for the apostles to wait on tables, they looked for lay-workers who could attend to the day-to-day business of the congregation.
I want you to notice what the leadership was looking for in these table-waiters; in addition to having integrity and wisdom, they were required to be full of the HOLY GHOST! This does not mean that they could say “Shouldaboughtahonda” a few times. Look at what it says about one of these waiters that, “Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” Now THAT is being full of the Holy Ghost! “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” (Acts 1:8)
Often the gifts and miracles have been thought of as being intended only for a small group of elite Christians with big ministries and full-time preaching careers. But in the early Church, even the ushers were walking in this power! Why? Because they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Power was part in parcel of the Christian experience. It was for the layman, for the businessman, for the blue-collar and white-collar workers. It was for everyone! The power of the Holy Spirit was not considered something extraordinary, but something normal and expected. Today the unfortunate reality is that many people think it is a rare gift if their pastor has integrity and wisdom…forget being full of faith and demonstrating miracles.
How is it possible that so many have taken the model given in Scripture and devolved into something so foreign? The power and fullness of the Holy Spirit is so basic to Christianity. It is the foundation, the DNA and the premise of all that follows. Stephen was not an apostle. He was only a waiter. But even Stephen was full of faith and power. Even Stephen demonstrated great wonders and miracles among the people. Even Stephen needed this power…to serve tables. May this thought convict every pastor, every evangelist, every full-time minister as well as every “lay” church member. If even Stephen needed the power of the Holy Spirit…so do we!
Last night’s message was a call to authenticity, to reality, because God is the God of truth, and when we move off and away from that place, and come to unreality, His Spirit is not there, and we therefore compensate for it by turning up the dials, which further deepens the unreality, and puts the church in a lamentable place and condition.
Editor’s Note: After this article was published, the video in question was removed from YouTube by IHOP:KC
The video below is from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. It shows a young man named Jacob sharing his story of being set free from addictions to cocaine and heroine, as well as same-sex attractions:
[Link to Video]
In response to this, the gay activist organization Truth Wins Out said the following:
Behold the power of Fundamentalist Christian delusion.
Jacob, I don’t know who you are, but these people are predators. Your sexuality is part of you, and it has nothing to do with your drug addictions. And you don’t beat addiction to drugs by exchanging it for a dependency on profit-based faux-spiritual experiences proffered by people who use your life as a way to get rich.
The gay activist website Ex-Gay Watch declared the following in their post on the video:
As a former charismatic, the type of religious experience shown in this video is very familiar to me. In this kind of heady, charged atmosphere, it is very easy to suppress one’s “sin” issues and live on a “victorious” spiritual plane – that is until the trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship aren’t there or just don’t work any more, and the subject is brought down to earth with a bump.
In this video from IHOP (International House of Prayer, not to be confused with the restaurant chain International House of Pancakes), a young man claims to have been delivered from homosexual attractions he has experienced since childhood. The odd behaviour and spasmodic movements (as well as the wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter from the congregation) have been especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s, and are usually attributed directly to the Holy Spirit.
To sum up the gay activist response to this video:
No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”
Let’s look at these arguments one by one:
1. No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
This all depends on the starting point. If we come to the table believing God exists (and is more than an intellectual concept), then why would this not be entirely within the realm of possibility? If we already “know” that either there is no God or that He has nothing to do with humanity, then we will end up dismissing this out of hand. It is not clear which of these starting points the gay activist authors mentioned are coming from, but suffice it to say that if there is indeed no God, then we all have much more to worry about than this young man’s story, IHOP, or indeed the whole subject of morality and truth altogether!
If we do come with the presupposition that it is indeed possible that God exists, then is it not entirely possible that what this young man said is true? It is true that there are plenty of reports of people who claimed to have changed but really did not, but then there are plenty of reports of people who really did change. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
2. Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
It is true that one can become “hyped” up in an emotional experience that fades quickly and has no bearing on reality, but if someone genuinely has an encounter with the living God, why would we dismiss out of hand the possibility of someone really changing? (Whether it be from addictions to drugs, same-sex attraction, or whatever.) Again this comes down to the presuppositions one has. Did the blind man not walk away from Jesus truly able to see [John 9]? Did Cornelius and his house not have a genuine spiritual experience when the Spirit fell on them[Acts 10]? It is no different today.
As to whether this young man’s experience was genuine and what it will mean long-term for him, I cannot say (though I have no reason to doubt what he had to say), and we ought not judge the whole of IHOP or the charismatic movement by the way any one person’s life ends up (or in the case of John Paulk, one night of falling to temptation), but there is absolutely no reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility that someone can be changed from the inside out in a moment, if we do indeed believe that God exists and interacts with people.
3. The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
What Mr. Rattigan dismisses as a new fad in religious circles from the mid-1990’s, “odd behaviour, … spasmodic movements, … wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter,” actually have been present with followers of Jesus since the birth of the church. Who have “proffered” these “faux-spiritual experiences” through the centuries? Only the likes of Jonathan Edwards (called “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian”) who so despised emotionalism that he was known to speak in complete monotone so as not to arouse one’s emotions while he preached, while his puritanical congregations swooned, cried, and convulsed under the power of the Holy Spirit. More examples could be added here such as John Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Finney, etc… but the point is clearly made that while these manifestations are not proof of God moving in someone’s life, there is no reason to be afraid of or dismiss the possibility of these types of things happening when someone has an experience with the living God.
Must one believe that this young man was really having an experience with God? Not necessarily. But to dismiss these as “faux-spiritual experiences” is unfounded and presumptuous.
4. The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”
This accusation would be laughable if people did not really believe it. Are there some people that really get rich off unsuspecting Christians? Yes. Do they distort the gospel of Jesus for their own monetary gain? Yes. (Points which we at this ministry decry continuously). But why does this mean that everyone that’s preaching the gospel is in it to get rich? What’s the reality of the situation at IHOP (a multi-million dollar ministry)? The following was published in 2001 by News World Communications concerning the head and founder of IHOP, Mike Bickle:
“I have lived in simplicity all my adult life and love it,” he says, adding he gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income from his books and tapes. He and his wife live in a nearby duplex, and he raises about $35,000 as an annual salary from friends and supporters. Those earnings, he says, are supplemented by his wife’s earnings as a real estate agent. “I want to live as minimally as possible” he says, “to give more away.”
Does this sound like someone getting rich of this young man? The idea is laughable! And I have personal knowledge that Mr. Bickle lives the same kind of lifestyle today, even with the ministry growing exponentially since 2001 (I wonder if Wayne Besen, head of Truth Wins Out, draws this kind of salary?). This same example could be multiplied throughout the IHOP leadership team, and well into most of the charismatic movement today (again, with a few exceptions).
Rather than IHOP using this young man, they’ve simply set up an environment where people like him can come and experience the power of the living God through the gospel of Jesus Christ 24 hours a day (they have facilities open to the public around the clock with people praying continuously for America and the world). I pray that this young man builds on this experience in prayer and devotion to Jesus, yielding a life that is full of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
“…. he that has seen Me has seen the Father….” -John 14.9
In the October 30th selection of My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers gives us this awesome thought:
Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction, we cannot have faith in Him; but immediately we hear Jesus say- “he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
The darkness that marks ‘god-seeking’ cultures is profounder and more tragic than we know. Even in modern evangelicalism, there is enough of a measure of humanistic thought that in most cases believers remain unbroken over the condition of mankind. If one were to survey the nation of India, for instance, and the number of gods or goddesses men pursue there, it would become clear that the whole of the nation is pursuing “God” as a mere abstraction.
Men will spend weeks standing on one leg, days and sometimes months in fasting, whole nights in meditation and reading of ancient texts, or cut and pierce their bodies in numerous ways, just for the positive sense it gives them in knowing that their souls are bent in a spiritual direction. From one village to the next, their deities change name and form, and most of the time there are multiple gods to worship in each household. There is no spiritual stability, no answer to the problem of sin, no consciousness of God’s holiness and love, but instead the bewildering pursuit of the divine in mere abstractions. Paul did not see these kinds of religious pursuits as valid in any way, stating that they were literally worshiping “demons” whether they knew it or not. (1 Cor. 10.20)
We cannot have faith in God until we have seen His Son for who He is, and believed in Him unto salvation. The nations are groping in darkness, incapable of finding anything but false and fading lights, and not until the Church has penetrated their darkness with the light of truth in Christ will they have any hope at all. The darkness is not bound to idolatry in India, but is the plight of mankind in every culture and in every form of life where Christ has not become the center. Across the board men are seeking their gods in abstraction, be they wooden statues or cars, homes and big screen T.V.’s, and only those who have come into communion with the One true God through the Gospel have the unfading hope of true Light. Only we have stability and certitude about eternity, for it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and it is founded upon the revelation that God has given in the Scriptures. Do we dare keep this great light to ourselves?
They must know of His great love. They must know of His power to break the stranglehold of sin and shame. They must know that He has come in the flesh, died, raised, and ascended, and that He’s coming again. They are groping about after “mere abstractions,” when the revelation of God the Father has already been given. They must hear of the Man, Christ Jesus!
How can we live so indifferently, so numbly, so stingily. Have we failed to realize that unless the nations see God through the revelation of the Gospel they will only pursue Him through abstractions, and will fall totally short of the glory of grace altogether? Do we really believe that unless they come into the Gospel they will perish, forever?
We need to be freed from humanistic mixtures and hollow hopes for their progressive improvement, and brought onto the grounds of apostolic certitude. Paul shed blood and tears, took stones in the face and lashes on the back, for the singular purpose of setting forth the Man Christ Jesus to those who were seeking God in mere abstractions. We need the same sight, the same courage, the same burden, the same faith, and the same missionary spirit, or else they perish forever. It’s time to wake up, saints. It’s not a dream. It’s not an option. Woe unto us if we preach not the Gospel.
“If sinners be damned at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. Let them go with our arms around their knees. Let no one go there unwarned or unprayed for.” -Charles Spurgeon
A group of Christians praying for random people to experience the supernatural presence of the living God on network television? That seems to be the goal of a group affiliated with Randy Clark’s Global Awakening Ministry. They explain their idea for the potential show entitled “The God Squad Show” below:
…through relationship with God being able to see future events in peoples lives… being able to paint and show future events or unlock mysteries and draw the viewer into a greater understanding of life…with the laying on of hands restoring life to the recently deceased…
Sounds like a great conference! It’s not. It’s descriptions from some of the 6 Primetime dramas on the 3 Major Networks! We can’t get enough of the supernatural… because innately we know, there has to be more…
It’s time for us to give the viewing public more. It’s time for a reality show that doesn’t highlight our greed, fickle hearts or ability to withstand pain and hardship, but a reality show that shows His ability to provide, restore and heal our pains and hardships.
God Squad is a half hour reality show that takes us to city streets all over America and allows us a front row seat to individuals experiencing encounters with the supernatural in a way that has never been seen on secular television. We follow our cast members as they encounter random individuals in daily life and bring them into a supernatural experience.
In our travels we will see sight restored, aches and pain relieved, people healed by art drawn for them, about them before we even met them… broken lives restored to peace and love… watch people feel the supernatural Presence on their bodies in a physical and undeniable way.
In each episode we will visit several cities and go from story to story of supernatural encounters taking place in peoples daily lives right in front of us… in real time.
Reality is often just a lie agreed upon, its time to bring the truth to reality and to confirm what we know in our hearts… that just like we imagine in our weekly fictional dramas on TV, the truth is… there is more.
Below is a clip of someone from the group praying for a woman with no cartilage in her knee. While we cannot verify the long term results of the prayer on the woman’s knee, she does say to the crew that though she is not a “religious person,” she found that as she was being prayed for, her knee felt progressively better, and she felt a strange feeling rush through her body (I found one of the comments on the youtube page for the video amusing: “r there more video’s like this?? and how the **** is it so possible…. i dont ****** get it “): [Link to Video]
People were made to experience the supernatural. Let’s hope that this and similar projects succeed in displaying the power of God to the world.
(This is a poem inspired by NT scholar F.F. Bruce’s description of the first Church in Jerusalem in the book of Acts. He dubbed them “the Spirit-possessed society.”)
I see a society, peppering the globe,
Through the lens of faith I’m permitted to probe,
Who are these ones, these fearless, ‘nothing-phobes’?
They rejoice like Paul, clinging like Job,
I see a society.
I see a society, tucked in each nation,
Fulfilled in them is the groan of creation,
They face lies with courage, with proclamations brazen,
Yet their dispositions are tender and patient,
I see a society.
I see a society, hungry & thirsty,
Looking for fresh bread & wine unearthly,
Plumbing the depths of the Scriptures with yearning,
Growing as trees with bottomless roots, sturdy,
I see a society.
I see a society, marked with reality,
Dissatisfied with programs and analogies,
Sick to the teeth of Hollywood’s melodies,
Plowing through cheap theology and hollow fallacies,
I see a society.
I see a society unowned by toys,
Refusing to live as little distracted boys,
Waiting in worship with priestly poise,
Hearing His voice, enwrapped in His joys,
I see a society.
I see a society, unwilling to engage,
In spiritual fads, whatever the craze,
They prefer the closet of prayer to the stage,
Preparing the way for the end of this age,
I see a society.
I see a society made up of meek souls,
Serving their neighbors with towels & bowls,
Perished ambitions to meet heavenly goals,
Israel & the nations transformed, made whole,
I see a society.
I see a society of pilgrims progressing,
Not to new ideas with emergent themes pressing,
But moving with fidelity through trial & testing,
To walk the ancient paths of true priestly blessing,
I see a society.
I see a society, turning from lust,
Turning from immorality with fervent disgust,
Turning from anxiety to radical trust,
Turning from stagnancy, lethargy, rust,
I see a society.
I see a society with Danielic hearts,
Living in Babylon, shielded from darts,
Faithful in prayer, building ramparts,
Holy fire burning in the inner-most parts,
I see a society.
I see a society lit with God’s light,
Fit to endure tribulation and plight,
Equipped to extend mercy in the darkest night,
Walking in weakness, seeing His might,
I see a society.
I see a society refined of its dross,
No longer jerked, pulled, pushed, moved, or tossed,
‘Round by the winds of the world, they’re embossed,
Branded and burdened to preach only the cross,
I see a society.
I see a society of sons and daughters,
Raising the dead, walking on waters,
Content just to be on the wheel of the Potter,
Not aching for platforms or titles, unbothered,
I see a society.
I see a society profoundly Christ-centered,
They’ve springs in the desert, flames in the winter,
Merciful souls, vessels of balm, menders,
Exemplifying another wisdom, fiercely tender,
I see a society.
I see a society, I see the Son,
His image shines forth, leaves dark powers stunned,
Their schemes undone, His glory has come,
Alongside the King, with horses we run.
I see a society.
I see a “Spirit-possessed society.”
The hour is late, saints. Shall we come into the reality He has called us to? The hour is late, indeed. Let us respond to Him without reservation.