Five-Fold Today - The Power of Intercession - Consumed With Ourselves - The Zone - Searching For the Man Christ Jesus - Oregon On the Threshhold - Let Me Love You My Precious Gems - The Peril of Religious Flesh - Revival: A Purified Church

September 2, 2000


Don McIntyre

Acts 1:12-14
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they had come in, they went into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren..... and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

We look upon this particular text as the all time greatest pattern for revival in a community. And so it is. The one word in this passage that should point you and me to the reason for Jerusalem experiencing what they were about to experience is in fact the very same word that should also point out to us the very reason why our community is not experiencing what Jerusalem did.

That one word is "accord". If we would take the time to define it, in the depth and degree that God defines it, we would see that with it He is in their midst "wherever two or three are gathered.." But were they just assembled?? NO!! They were assembled in "one accord.." With it, with "one accord" Jesus Christ IS there. Without it, He will NOT be there. Why? Because "where envy and strife are there is every evil work.." One accord... "Father I pray that they ALL may be one as we are one, that the world may believe that you have sent me. And my glory have I given them that they may be one as we are..."

If we could point to just one giant cause of His absence in our communities (not to mention His absence from our church gatherings) we would all have to admit that this lack of "one accord" is the most obvious. Search the scriptures, search the record of revival and you will see a universal pattern. When God's people repent of their divisions and come together in true humility and heart unity, confessing their faults one to another, forgiving and asking forgiveness, AND then pray to Him for help... guess what He does?? HE COMES !!!

If you take just a moment to think about it from His fatherly point of view, which of you parents would want to be in a room full of your own children if they could not so much as eat together at your table without bickering and back biting and name calling each other. Would you inhabit their praises? would you inhabit their attempts at worshipping you? Would you hear their requests? when in the same day that they come into your presence they have failed to be one family? Your family? Should not the children of one father dwell together here in unity??

We see in the holy record and the repeated history of revival a process by which God has made a way for us to come into that place where He will hear our plea for healing in our communities. 2 Chronicles 7:14 & 15 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.

We find in this passage a process by which God has ordained for man to come into His presence and favor. We also find in this a most sobering fact. If we see the land, our community, desolate of God, desolate of holiness and godly example in the lives of believers, desolate of the things pertaining to true christian character, desolate of even basic decency and moral propriety, this passage places the entire fault upon the shoulders of the "people who are called by my name".

We christians, called by the name of the Christ, are the very ones whom God is blaming for the state of affairs. We cannot blame the politicians, we cannot blame the unsaved, we cannot blame even the devil. God places the entire responsibility for the lack of His healing presence in our land squarely upon the shoulders of the "people who are called by my name". If we ever hope to see even a glimpse of His gracious mercy poured out upon our community, our first and foremost duty demands that we take hold of God's all knowing word and using it like a bright light searching our own hearts for the cause of the problem.

God has promised, and cannot lie, that if we will follow through and:

1. humble ourselves....
Confessing to each other before God and publicly before man that we are not what we claim to be. Exposing the sin, exposing the hypocrisy, exposing the whitewashed lies, exposing the hidden things of darkness, exposing the love affairs with this worlds allurements, and ways, and means, ambition, manipulation (both of our fellows and God), pride, reputation, status, money loving, spiritual laziness, and the sin of division and division building among God's people... uncovering everything that has been kept hidden, and then,

2 pray...
Praying toward God's throne of grace, asking forgiveness, and begging to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, thanking Him for bringing His truth to bear upon the sin we have kept hidden, thanking Him for granting us mercy and space to repent, and the privilege to make restitution, thanking Him for not dealing with us according to what our iniquities deserve but rather granting us a time of reprieve to get things right with Him and each other, thanking Him for not snuffing out our lives, thanking Him for the sacrifice of His holy Son Jesus Messiah through whom we can have forgiveness and cleansing from our sin, and..

3. seek My face....
Seeking His face is not the same thing as prayer. Prayer is communication to God. Seeking His face is searching for Him to look upon you. Seeking His grace, seeking first His kingdom and his righteousness. If we believe the scripture we must know that God will not defile His eyes by looking upon sin. "but your sins have hid my face from you" (Isaiah) We must seek his face to turn toward us.


4. turn from their wicked ways....
It does no good at all to ask God's divine forgiveness if down in our heart we have no intention of quitting our sin or letting him remove the sin we so enjoy. If we come to Him asking forgiveness we had better do so with the iron grit determination to seek Him until we no longer have any desire for that sin at all and stay seeking Him until we have that assurance that we are not only forgiven but CLEANSED from all that filth and the desire of it, and the sympathy with it, and the power of it! And from this day onward we have the faith to believe that we shall never fall to that temptation again. Not through our own strength but through His power to save us to the uttermost. "For if these things be in you and abound you shall never fall..."

5. then...
(and only then) will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.

The eyes of God are upon any one of us just as soon as we get to that place in our lives where we will abandon ourselves to follow His requirements to their depth. If we will follow his requirements He has bound himself with an oath to:
a) hear us
b) forgive us
c) come to us!! and
d) heal our land!!

The only question left unanswered is this... Will you??? The truth is that no mighty work of God has ever occurred in the area of revival without first there was a concerted persistent concert of prayer offered in "one accord" from the hearts of His people who had taken themselves to task and walked out the process described in both Acts and 2Chronicles above.

In this time leading up to revival we see an ever clear pattern that prayer, true deep intercessory prayer, is the first fruit of God's hand upon His people and the first blows against the powers of darkness.

Don MacIntyre

Submitted by the Diggers

by Anita Green

So here goes. About a week ago, I was asking the LORD questions about the church/body and was mulling about in my mind how we each have our own relationship with Him with our different gifts. I heard Him say, "Come on up here." Immediately, I was sitting beside him on a small bench looking down on the earth.

It was beautiful. It was like sitting on a park bench on a bright sunny day. The only difference was that we were looking down at the earth and in particular, Canada and the United States. (As the earth turned, you knew inside of you what the saints were going through in the different nations and how much they loved Him.)

I asked Jesus, "Is this what you see when you look down on the body?" He simply replied, "Look." I looked down and saw North America and I became keenly aware of how we are different from the rest of the body of Christ, in that of all the nations in the world, we are the ones who are most consumed with ourselves.

This is not to say that other brothers and sisters in other countries, don't struggle with this weakness, but it's just that we were the most predominant. Or have the lion's share so to speak of being proud and needy of affirmation.

I can't tell you how I felt inside. In a flash, I could see brothers and sisters running around, promoting ministry, church programs, etc. and that their main motivation was to make them feel good about themselves. Honoring God was a part of it, but it wasn't the main thrust. They thought it was, but they were wrong.

It was embarrassing and humbling. Embarrassing because I saw how foolish we are that we don't see the true motivation of why we do our "ministry things." I also saw how proud we are and we don't even know it. Humbled, because His incredible love for us is simply amazing.

As I sat quietly by his side, I realized how full of ourselves we can be. With love and compassion in His voice, Jesus said, "Many of them would not serve Me if their ministry or affirmation from the Body was removed. They would become bitter."

There was no condemnation on His part, just a stating of the facts. I felt pricked inside because of the pain this causes Him. I just wanted to worship and praise him forever. To throw my arms around him and tell him how sorry we are, that we don't realize how we have so cheaply sold out to self.

I wanted to comfort Him because I know that His heart's desire is true fellowship and intimacy with us. He wants us to be passionately in love with the Father, the Holy Spirit and Himself - even if it means that we are not recognized by man or the church.

And I felt badly that in many cases, we are not offering up true praise, but instead we are giving Jesus what makes us feel good. He is worth so, so much more. Once more as I sat in His presence, I realized how little man is and how we are truly honored that the LORD loves us and cares for us. All our best cannot compare to the glory and the praise that belongs to Him.

I then told Jesus that I was sorry that we were doing this to Him. I asked Him, "How do we break free of this? We don't even know what we're doing. Some of us actually think we're doing God a favour."

Jesus said, "The key is intimacy with Me. When you spend time with Me, all desires that are not of God and are of the flesh, will disappear. There will be times when you will need to spend more time with Me than usual. It will depend on the trial or how strong your will is in an area."

As He spoke those words, I recalled how true that is. When I am in His presence, I can forgive anything and the things of this world mean nothing to me.


by Rick Joyner

"The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee (Isaiah 26:3).

A few months ago I was on a retreat with several dozen NFL and NBA players. Many of them were All-Stars or All-Pros, and some were sure to be in the Hall of Fame. For years I have studied leadership and tried to understand what enables some to excel when others with seemingly more talent do not do as well. Just sitting around talking with some of these players led to some of the best answers I have received yet to this question.

One term that you will often hear around sports is "the zone." It is a state when the mind and body seem to be in perfect harmony, and it allows a player to rise to a level of performance that is beyond his or her usual level. When a player is in "the zone" they seem unstoppable. I started questioning some of these players about the zone and they all used the same terms to describe it. To them it was basically a state of mind where they were able to tune out all of the usual distractions and focus completely on their task. When they could maintain this focus they would have the feeling that no one could stop them, and usually they were right.

I then happened upon a magazine article written by a psychologist who had spent his professional life studying sports, and he too was especially interested in "the zone." He described it as basically "the ability to focus under pressure." The factors that he felt most affected players negatively were interestingly anger and fear. Studies have shown how just a moment of rage could sap the strength of many hours of hard labor. Likewise, just a moment of terror could do the same. In the same way just thirty minutes of a more subtle anger, or general worry, can sap us of the same amount of strength as many hours of hard labor. Therefore, for athletes to enter "the zone" they must stay completely focused on their task without giving way to anger or fear. To the degree that they can do this they will be able to rise to even greater heights of performance.

This is not just true for athletes. Anger and fear are two of the deadliest enemies of any purpose or task. How much of our energy is being sapped by anger, or anxiety? How many potentially great accomplishments were derailed by unforgiveness or bitterness? How many great works of faith were derailed by fear?

Just as an athlete becomes a "superstar" when they perform their best in the biggest games, the greatest acts of faith are the result of being able to focus on the Lord in times of greatest pressure. This is the result of learning to focus on Him more and more each day. If we do not see Him in the little things, we will not be able to see Him in the great ones. We should not only do everything that we do for Him, but also with Him. When we live by beholding the One who is above all rule and authority and dominion, and when we live our lives focused on the One who is so all-powerful that He upholds the universe with the word of His power, we too will rise above the usual to live in the realm of miracles.

Copyright - Rick Joyner Morningstar Ministries 2000

by Doug Fortune

We just returned from Texas, where I had the pleasure of attending Christ as Life Christian Center, founded by Dr. Bill and Nadine Smith. During the service, the Lord spoke a prophetic word through me that was based upon 2Chron.16:9. The word spoke of how the eyes of the Lord are searching to and fro throughout the earth in search of a people through whom He can show Himself mightily... He spoke of those who had forsaken the self-life and were consumed IN Him. The prophecy ended with this question, "My eyes are searching to and fro even in your HEART, and what shall I find?... shall I find the MAN Christ Jesus?"

Those words surprised me as they came out of my mouth, as I had never spoken them or even thought them. As I pondered this, the Scripture came to mind as Paul says in Gal. 4:19, "My little children, for whom I am AGAIN suffering birth pangs until Christ is COMPLETELY and permanently FORMED WITHIN YOU!". Then someone in the service read Ezek.11:19, "And I will give them ONE HEART, a NEW HEART, and I will put a NEW SPIRIT within them..."; that word for heart in Hebrew means 'the intellect, emotions, and will', in other words the SOUL. Now we know that at our conversion to Jesus Christ we receive a NEW spirit, His Spirit, according to 1Cor.6:17, "...He who is joined to the Lord is ONE SPIRIT with Him.". I believe that our SOUL, just like our spirit, has the opportunity to become "...ONE heart (soul), a NEW heart (soul)...", HIS SOUL... in other words, the mind, will and emotions of Christ WITHIN US! This is what Paul was speaking of; Christ completely formed WITHIN us... or as the prophetic word I delivered said, 'the MAN (manhood speaks of completeness or maturity) Christ Jesus in our heart'. (Keep in mind that when I say MAN, that is NOT a reference to gender... in Christ there is neither male nor female!)

I believe that God is searching for a people through whom He can manifest His fullness, and He is searching hearts (SOULS) to see what He finds... will He find the man Adam living the self-life OR will He find the MAN Christ Jesus? This is how Paul could say "...for me, to live IS Christ..."(Phil.1:21). Romans 8:19 tells us that all of creation is waiting expectantly for the manifestation of the sons (huios in Greek, meaning mature sons, MEN) of God. I believe that the eyes of the Lord are searching to and fro looking NOT for giftedness or talent or even sincerity in service (although these are good things), but looking for the MEASURE of Christ formed within us. The measure of maturity is not service or obedience or gifting (these are a result of maturity, not the measure), but rather ONENESS of purpose and destiny... our SOUL being consummated IN Christ. Religion has told us that we DO things, certain disciplines like Bible study and memorization, fasting, serving, prayer, etc. that bring maturity. Certainly these are good habits, and good habits are a whole lot better than bad habits, but they don't necessarily always translate to maturity. Maturity is having the resurrection LIFE of the MAN Christ Jesus being lived THROUGH us... and in order to have a resurrection, you must first have a DEATH.

The Messianic prophecy of Is.53:10 speaks of "...His SOUL an offering for sin..." and verse 12 says "...He hath poured out His SOUL unto death..." (remember, His SPIRIT was committed into the Father's hands). Now Rom.6:6 tells us that "...our old unrenewed self WAS (past tense!) nailed to the cross WITH HIM..."; and Jesus confirmed this saying that if He was lifted up on the cross, He would draw ALL men unto Him. We MUST see that our SOUL was (past tense) crucified, poured out unto DEATH in Christ on the cross, He has already accomplished it... it is the FINISHED work! Unless we see this FINISHED work in Christ, we can fall into a deadly trap of the false humility of 'dying daily'; we are ALREADY dead IN Christ, and we must APPROPRIATE by faith what He has already accomplished... it's all about HIM, not about us! The Father will SHARE His glory with no one, but He clothes the MAN Christ Jesus within us with His glory... and His glory is the hiding place of His power!(Hab.3:4)

As the Father searches these earthen vessels and finds the MAN Christ Jesus maturely formed within the heart (SOUL), then we can expect to see Him manifest His fullness in His huios SONS (I believe this will also someday eventually manifest in our bodies as this mortality puts on immortality)... all creation is travailing for this (Rom.8:22), even as Paul travailed, and as are multitudes of intercessors across the globe even now. Truly, the eyes of the Lord ARE searching to and fro throughout our hearts... will He find the MAN Christ Jesus?


Chad Taylor

"No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God..." (Luke 9:62).

I had a vision of Oregon. I saw a man in farmer's clothing standing at a vast field of harvest as far as the eye could see. Stretching as far as the East was from the West this great field spanned. The man stood at the threshold of this great field with a plow in his hands. One foot stood on the rich soil of harvest, and the other stood on the stones and fallow ground that bordered the field. The blade of the plow was already buried inches in the dark rich soil, the beginning of a furrow could be seen.

Then I saw behind this man. Behind him was a sharp sheer wall of rock. Huge cliffs that reached into the clouds above, there was no way back. The man looked at the field in front of him and sighed. Then I heard the Lord begin to say,


'The seeds of revival are about to spring up amongst you. The seeds of harvest and revival. You have called for the rain and I have brought it. You have cried out for the wind and I have sent it, you have called out for the fire and I have kindled it. But now you cry out for harvest, prepare yourself O Oregon for it is upon you. And it will suddenly spring up around you. To the East, it will spring up, to the West, it will spring up, to the North, it will spring up, and to the South it will spring up. Pressed down and overflowing it will come. Your baskets will not be able to contain it. Your churches will not be able to bridle it, it will come with violence and force as they press into the Kingdom of God.


The derelict and the destitute shall swell your ranks. I will give them a new heart. I will renew their minds. I will set them free. I will give you an army not of your choosing. But like Gideon, of My choosing. You will not fight with conventional means, but like Joshua and Jericho, you will engage the enemy My way. For only there will you see the victory. Only there will you take the city. You will find allies in the strangest circumstance, like Rahab to the spies, you will find friends in low places. I will make the high places low and the low places high in this hour says the Lord.'

"Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare! Lengthen you cords, and strengthen your stakes, for you shall expand to the right and to the left..." (Is. 54:2-3).

Suddenly I looked to the left and right of this man, and to my surprise their were thousands times a thousand standing with their plows. Men, women and children were positioned in a stance to harvest. They stood at the brink of harvest as one great army. Every color and creed could be seen. Each gripping the handles of his or her plow, poised for the transition from the fallow ground into the rich soil of harvest, and then I hear the Lord say,


'This is the hour of harvest. This is the hour to plow and to break up the fallow ground, this is the time to break up the fountains of the deep. To take in a great catch. This is the hour that harvest will demand unity. A unity that they have never experienced, never seen. A unity that yokes together all races and faces as they plow the ground of revival. Even as they did when I walked the earth and My disciples gathered up all the bread and fishes. They filled up twelve baskets full, when they did not even have one before! The unity that caused the masses to sit in ranks and companies to be fed. This is the unity that harvest will bring.'

"Behold, the days are coming says the Lord, when the plowman shall overtake the reaper. And the treader of grapes him who sows seed. The mountains shall drip with sweet rain, and all the hills shall flow with it..." (Amos 9:13).


A great company of both men and women moved across this great field, and as fast as they plowed they began to reap. As the plowman moved out the reapers were already returning with their sheaves. The threshing floors were full. Their garners will be overflowing says the Lord, the garners will be overflowing. I am giving you the land says the Lord, I am giving you the land. Look to the mountains, as far as the eye can see, I am giving you the land, I am giving you the land. "And your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited..." (Is. 54:3).

"That our barns may be full, supplying all kinds of produce, that our sheep may bring forth thousands, and ten thousands in our fields. That our oxen may be well laden, that there be no breaking in or breaking out, that there be no outcry in our streets. Happy are the people that are in such a state, Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" (Psalm 144:13-15).

Chad Taylor
Lamentations 2:19

Let Me Love You My Precious Gems

Carylann Hartley

My love is greater than your expectations. It is greater than the vast oceans. Yes, you say you know this but do you really believe that I love you - personally - that much? If you did your life would be changed. You would not be concerned about the circumstances around you but know it is in My control. When you are looking at the circumstances you can not see Me. You allow the enemy of your soul to torment you. If I did not love you would I have been willing to not only die for you but to take all your sins upon myself.

Trust Me! Have that faith the size of a mustard seed and see what I will do. "Let not your hearts be troubled" but believe that My love is for you and you alone, each one of you a so special precious gem being cut and fashioned into the most beautiful gem imaginable. I know it is hard for you as the cutting is being done but without that you could not shine as brightly. With each cut you reflect more of Me and My love. Let Me cut away that part that is rough and clouded so that, not only can you see Me more clearly but others will be able to see Me in you. Trust Me and know that I only cut where it is needed. During those times of cutting let My love be like a soft polishing cloth to protect and cover you.

My love is like none on earth. Learn of My love so that you can love others as I have loved you. You think that is impossible but with My help it can be done. I will help you yield yourself completely to Me and let Me fashion you into what you were created to be a reflection and carrier of My love. But first, you must let Me love you until you know what that love is. Do not hold back or be afraid. I will not hurt you or reject you or discard you but will be there for you always. I will never refuse your love. Come, draw closer to Me, let Me love you and teach you of My everlasting, all encompassing love for you. I have chosen each of you and will not forsake you. Draw closer, ever closer to Me. I love you!


Pastor Francis Frangipane

There is a type of knowledge that is doctrinal, theological and instructive, and there is a type of knowledge that is born out of a revelation of God. Both are known as "truth," both produce a certain type of person, and both are accepted as "Christianity."

You can be certain that God wants us to have right doctrines, but we must never content ourselves with merely the accumulation of correct knowledge. For this knowledge often remains just a file of religious facts; where the Word of God is viewed more as a museum than a power plant.

When we halt our spiritual ascent toward God at the plateau of doctrinal knowledge, we become people who never really change. Instead, our old nature simply pretends to be new. The longer we settle for just head knowledge, our Christianity begins to degenerate into a religious spirit.

It takes God to change our stubborn, rebellious natures. And our mighty God does not want us to fake our Christianity. He wants you to be real, where the knowledge of your head becomes the reality of your heart. You see, truth, in God's view, is more than doctrines. It is reality.

The difference between mere doctrinal truth and revelation truth is that, with doctrinal truth the heart of a man may be deceitful, lustful and arrogant yet still maintain a theologically true opinion of God.

The Pharisees had, more or less, a theologically true opinion of God, but Jesus said inwardly they were full of "robbery and self-indulgence" (Matt. 23:25). Outwardly, they looked holy, but all they had was religious flesh. Inwardly, they were false.

David knew God. He visited the tent of God, where he worshiped and prayed. In fact, even after he sinned with Bathesheba he continued the outer form of his relationship, but his heart was from far from God. When he repented, he reverently acknowledged of God, "Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being" (Psalms 51:6).

Doctrinal truth has an illusion about itself: the illusion is that knowledge is the same thing as righteousness. It is not. We all know people who are fault-finders, critical and gossips, yet they are capable of maintaining all the proper doctrines about love. When they speak ill of people they do so with boldness, feeling like they are serving God.

What these people have, is called "religious flesh." On the other hand, truth that comes by revelation always produces change; it always leaves us less sure of our selves, more dependant upon God, and more loving toward others.

To topple the old ways of thinking, God must penetrate and remove the arrogance that guards our ignorance. We must be broken of self-confidence and become God-confident. To break us, God must confront us.

The Sword of God

The primary way we change is through the Spirit-empowered word of God. Again, there are two ways to view the Bible: doctrinally or, as it really is, a two-edged sword. When we read the Bible merely on an intellectual level, we may gain knowledge, which is good, but such knowledge by itself still leaves us intact. If we are not convicted, challenged or more perfectly conformed to Christ when we read the Scriptures, it may be because we have a religious spirit that is limiting the penetration of God's word to our minds.

When the Lord appeared to the Apostle John on Pathos, Christ revealed Himself with a ", two-edged sword" coming out His mouth; His eyes were two flames of fire. We need to picture this, for God's word is a sword. To whatever degree we fail to see it as such, we are probably serving a religious spirit rather than the Holy Spirit.

Consider also Simeon's prophecy to Mary, Jesus' mother. He said, "...and a sword will pierce even your own soul--to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed" (Lk 2:35). Notice, He did not say, "...and you will learn a lot of handy facts about the Bible so you can win at Bible Trivia." He said that a sword will pierce your heart, and even your thoughts will be revealed.

You see, when you came to Christ, you did not come to a religion, you came to a Person--a Person who knows us as well as He knows His own body. He exposes our hearts: He illuminates those dark, secret areas within us -- not to condemn us but to liberate us from the bondages of sin and deception.

You may say, "Well, I need to hear that the Lord loves me." Yes, that is the most life changing, central truth in the Bible. However, Jesus says that those whom He loves, He reproves and disciplines. He then tells us to be zealous and repent (Rev 3). His love is not on a shelf somewhere, removed from us until we get hurt. No. His love is what motivates His word as He speaks to our hearts to deliver us.

Consider how the Word describes itself: "The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb 4:12).

It should be normal for you to be discovering areas God wants to change. It is typical of true Christianity to suddenly see that you have had wrong thoughts or that the intentions of your heart have been carnal. The voice probing into your heart is not the devil; it is God. He wants to set you free from religious flesh.

Sustained By The Revelation Of Christ

When God called Abraham, He called him to a promise that was staggering. Although Abraham was old and childless, God told him he was going to be the 'father of many nations'. Twenty-six years elapsed from Abraham's first encounter with God until his son was born, and throughout the entire process of many ups and downs, the Scripture says, "...and Abraham believed God."

Let me make this very clear: Abraham did not merely believe there was a God; no, Abraham believed what God had said, personally, to him. He had an encounter with God's living word which, like a sword, pierced into his heart. Abraham did not just have a religion about God, he received a promise upon which he built his life.

The faith that saves us is a living response to the word which God speaks to us. Whatever the word says about God's kingdom, His power, His grace and ability to change us, we must accept and believe!

Religious flesh is occupied with pretending to be (or look) good. The spiritual soul has its focus upon the greatness of God, believing that what God has promised, He is able also to perform (Rom 4:21).

Your experience with Christianity will never be sustained by something less than an unfolding relationship with Jesus Christ! The strength of Christianity is Christ! When you are weary, He says come to Him (Matt. 11:28). When you are hungry, come to Him. Thirsty? Come to Him. For every thing we need, He is the way, the truth and the life.

If I don't succeed in inspiring you to draw closer to the Lord, where you hear from Him and are sustained by Him, I have failed in my ministry. Religious flesh is convinced that growth is measured in religious facts. True spirituality, however, is measured in the depth of our hunger for God, where our soul pants "for the Living God" like the deer pants after water.

Religious flesh will never inherit the kingdom of God, but a heart set on being real with God will find God's fullness awaiting him.

Let's pray:

Lord, go deep within us. Help us to hear Your word speaking to us when you come to excavate our soul of unrighteous thoughts and attitudes. Deliver us from religious flesh and lead us into the fulness of Your Spirit. In Jesus' name.

Revival: A Purified Church

A. W. Tozer

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. -Philippians 3:7-8

Our most pressing obligation today is to do all in our power to obtain a revival that will result in a reformed, revitalized, purified church. It is of far greater importance that we have better Christians than that we have more of them. Each generation of Christians is the seed of the next, and degenerate seed is sure to produce a degenerate harvest not a little better than but a little worse than the seed from which it sprang. Thus the direction will be down until vigorous, effective means are taken to improve the seed....

To carry on these activities [evangelism, missions] scripturally the church should be walking in fullness of power, separated, purified and ready at any moment to give up everything, even life itself, for the greater glory of Christ. For a worldly, weak, decadent church to make converts is but to bring forth after her own kind and extend her weakness and decadence a bit further out....

So vitally important is spiritual quality that it is hardly too much to suggest that attempts to grow larger might well be suspended until we have become better. The Set of the Sail, 154-156.

"Lord, I don't hear much today of the 'greater importance that we have better Christians than that we have more of them.' Help us in our seeker-orientation not to water down the message and make the teaching so shallow that we don't challenge our people to holy living. Amen."

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