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THE NEXT WAVE www.icof.net PUBLISHER

The Protestant Reformation has DIED Bernie L. Wade

International Circle of Faith(ICOF)

SUICIDE, EVANGELICALISM, AND SORROW Pastor Ted Haggard

Contributing Editors David Tait, Derrick Day, Lea Bates, J. Samuel Willoughby, Bernie Wade, Robert Straube, John Rogers, Cindye Coates, Doc Burkhart & Bobby Sutton.

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HAVE PREACHERS BECOME ASHAMED OF GOD? By Joel Barnaby

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Jesus and the Unchurched Apostle Robert Straube

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The Only Ministry of the NT Church J. Samuel Willoughby


NELSON MANDELA

country, who chose not one language, who chose not one tribe, who chose ALL of humankind.” Nelson Mandela’s life-long example of standing against injustice, inequity, hatred and more is mirrored reflection of the life of Jesus Christ who gave Himself for the entire world. Nelson Mandela’s example of bringing hope to those held in man-made prisons is one that we can apply to the whole of a World that is desperately seeking release from the bondage of sin. While other religions preach a message of hate, promote violence while propagating the persecution and killing of followers of Jesus Christ we must take heart in the example left to us by Nelson Mandela. We must know that the God of Heaven is on the side of those who keep His word and that He is angry with the wicked every day! Our response should come from Christ to love those who hate us because of the name of Jesus Christ.

As a global body of Christians representing more than 25 million people the International Circle of Faith (ICOF) has never paused to officially recognize a political leader. Frankly, rarely are political leaders worthy of taking time from the business of our King, Jesus Christ, to participate in their self directed, self serving antics. Yet, today with great purpose, we pause to recognize the home going of NELSON MANDELA. Nelson Mandela former President of South Africa lived a life worthy of recognition. Certainly today, even Heaven has noticed his passing.

It has been said by many in South Africa, “We have lost our father”. In Nelson Mandela’s passing, I hear these words of Jesus Christ: “My Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you, I go away and I will come unto you. If you loved Me, rejoice because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (The Gospel of John 14:27).

Just before Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa he gave a speech at the Zionist Christian Church Easter Conference. In that speech he read from Matthew Chapter 5, The Beatitudes. Then, President Mandela said, “The Good News borne by our risen Messiah (Jesus Christ) who chose not one race, who chose not one

- Dr. Bernie L. Wade

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ICOF members have united over 50,000 ministers representing more than 25 Million constituents, several hundred colleges, universities and other Christian schools, orphanages & feeding programs, humanitarian aid organizations, chaplains and other charities.

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PARHAM ENVISIONS A CHURCH RETURNING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT ROOTS

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undoubtedly I had in my own youth, and yet in an honest evaluation of things had to agree was not as evident as much anymore in many churches and homes today.

HAVE PREACHERS BECOME ASHAMED AND EMBARRASSED OF GOD? By Joel Barnaby

What was the cause? Why? Where did I go wrong?

When did this all begin? What caught our attention to redirect the attention that only belongs to God? Can we recover and rediscover the sovereignty of God again?

Then the Lord dropped this simple explanation into my mind that brought clarity to me with understanding. I was taken back to the service I had attended the day before. I won’t say where I was but it wouldn’t matter because too many of our services are conducted in the same manner so it wouldn’t matter where I was that morning it’s evident most everywhere.

While flying back from a recent trip finding my seat 14a on the plane and strapping myself in, getting all settled and comfortable, my spirit became very heavy. I could feel the tenseness in my face with my eyes caught away in some sort of trance-like-state staring out of the window to my left looking at nothing yet penetrating into a void of space deep in thought as if I was looking or searching for something in the core of my soul. I found myself caught up in a secret place. That’s a place known only to God and when He takes you there it’s because He wants your attention and you can’t leave or you shouldn’t want to leave that place. God was dealing with me at 32,000 ft above the earth. I became deeply troubled at what was coming into my thought process. Feeling alarmed, perplexed and even ashamed with what I was perceiving was a lack of sensitivity toward the things of God. I could see it throughout this present generation in both adult and youth and even sad to say in ministry. I was sensing the coldness in my own self of having moved away from the tenderness and the sweetness that is only found in the presence of the Lord. Something I knew

(By the way, I have no particular bone to pick with anyone or any group it’s my hope that all my post will awaken us all to a deeper more sensitive awareness and walk with the Savior.) In our attempt to create bigger crowds we have lost the value of intimacy with God. We have become far to rehearsed, too ritualized, to routine, to practiced, to perfect, to polished, to plastic, to time driven, to showy, to rushed, to impressed with ourselves. And that’s it; it’s all too much about us. The building. The crowd. The clock. We cater to the second service, emptying the parking lot, the afternoon kickoff at the football game, beating the line at Olive Garden. Louder music, better musicians, more activity is not necessarily a sign of revival fires in the church. It used to be while at church after the preaching we would all go toward the front or 12


stay in our seat to find a place to pray

money to keep open is not even

and seek God and we were allowed

allowed. You might have to go down

and even encouraged do it

the street to the Catholic Church to

passionately. We would spend time,

get the opportunity to kneel again in

not casual time, and real sincere

church. Are we embarrassed with God

time. The consecrations that I hold in

to the point that we are no longer

me today were formed during those

willing for Him to move on someone

specific times in my youth. Why don't

emotionally, in His sovereign manner,

we linger longer in the spirit at altars

and in His own way? In our rush to

as we used to? Tell me where are the

build God a bigger church have we

altars at church anymore? When did

become more of a mere crowd of

we alter the altars? Controlled altars

people that just fill a seat and an

where selected individuals are

envelope, than a people hungrily

trained to pray a short silent prayer

desiring thirsting for a closer intimate

not allowing any disruption or

relationship with Him? Can we say

outbursts from the person in need.

that people are just as consecrated,

Have we become ashamed of what

just as devoted, just as holy, just as

God might do to us or others that

spirit filled and full of fearful

come to spend time there?

reverence of Him?

You want to see your Pastor have a

Have we so rushed to impress each

holy conniption fit (that is if they stay

other to get and keep the bigger

long enough in the auditorium before

crowd, for bragging rights on who has

rushing off stage right), just go up to

the bigger crowd, or more campuses,

the front at the close of the service

or bigger screens just to please what

and kneel, simply kneel down and

the people want so that they will

begin to pray and it’s possible that

come back next week, that our altars

you will soon get a tap on the

have become sterile and void of life?

shoulder. (Warning: Doing so might

Having countdown clocks may build

bring down a mighty outpouring that

excitement for the start of service but

is desperately needed) It’s as if even

we’ve lost the anticipation of the

the liberty to have personal access to

powerful move of God in the process.

God in the building you are giving

Shouldn’t salvation be more than

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getting the welcome packet at the back door on your way out with the Church’s slick logo stamped on the coffee mug, a cheap pen and a form asking for my time when I can volunteer parking cars or be a greeter at the door passing out offering envelopes? Yes salvations are a mental process and a conscious decision of will to accept the Lord, but I would argue that the emotional part is just if not vitally more important part of the salvation process. God is a God of feelings. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He experienced every emotional process that we do in the flesh and I believe He wants us to emotionally feel him and that’s accomplished by actively feeling and seeking after Him. Let’s return to intimacy and communion with the Lord. Let’s return to waiting on the Lord. Lets return to quality time where mental, emotional and spiritual healing can occur by allowing Him to affect us in each dimension. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be embarrassed. He wants us whole. He wants to spend time with us. And we need to spend time with him.

Joel Barnaby is part of the ministry team at RealityChristianity.net

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Of all the accusations Christ received, none were more controversial—especially from the religious crowd. I began to reflect on the phenomenal ministry Joel and Victoria Osteen have had in our nation, beginning with their work as pastors. Since 1999, Joel has pastored Lakewood Church, the country's largest church—in fact, the largest in our nation's history.

The Joel Osteen Most People Don’t Know By Phil Munsey

While praying alone in the auditorium of Lakewood Church in Houston recently, I sensed God speak in my spirit. As I pondered just how and why God has used Joel Osteen to fill this massive auditorium with the masses week after week, I felt God respond to my query with a simple impression: "Joel Osteen is a friend to sinners."

It's a church where some 45,000 people attend weekly at one location. Lakewood Church buzzes nightly with discipleship classes facilitating its members and the nearly 50,000 people who receive a new believers book at the altar calls each year in the Lakewood services. Training and engaging the over 6,000 volunteers in Christcentered ministries makes the 53-year-old Lakewood Church one of the healthiest churches in the country. The 90-minute weekend service includes 60 minutes of nonstop worship mixed with exhortation, prayer

As the day progressed, the impact of that statement began to overwhelm me. I couldn't think of another minister with significant public influence who could bear that title—not even a close second.

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for the sick, a 90-second offering (with no announcements) and then Joel's 27-minute message. Joel's messages are skillfully and prayerfully laced with an average of a dozen or so Scripture references. (Joel has observed that multiple references to verses and books in the Bible to the high percentage of unbelievers in the television audience can be intimidating).

a televangelist. His dedication as a pastor is reflected in this interesting fact. In the past 14 years, Joel has missed an average of just two weekend services a year. Even though Joel speaks at 38 of those weekends services annually, you'll still find him sitting on the front row (including Wednesday nights) when not speaking, faithfully serving his flock and being a humble example (including shaking hands with the guests and new converts for one hour between services).

Joel addresses addictions, bad habits, dysfunction relationship issues, shame, ungodly self images and other "sins" people face. His solution is always the same: Trust in God's free goodness. Expect His love and grace in every area of your life.

Joel and Victoria and Lakewood Church are ambassadors of the gospel—the hope of Christ. Since 2004, Joel and Victoria have held over 130 live "Night of Hope" events around the country and overseas. These monthly events have brought over 1 million people to a public confession of their sins and Christ as Lord!

Sure, Joel touches 40 million people monthly through television and other media. His books have impacted over 30 million people and counting, including 5 New York Times best-sellers.

Each month, Joel's family and the Lakewood team hit city after city with the message of hope. Joel's 16-hour nonstop Friday begins with meetings with local

Yet his greatest attribute is his heart for the unbeliever. Joel is a friend to sinners. Joel is not 18


pastors, media interviews, then time preparing for the event. Joel and Victoria exhort and preach the majority 3-hour event, which ends with 30 to 50 percent of the mostly unbelieving and unchurched attendees standing and confessing their sins and Christ as Savior. As the thousands leave the auditorium, Joel can be found shaking hands with those who've sponsored children for World Vision. On most occasions, Joel is one of the last to leave the building, rising early the next morning and heading back home to preach three services at Lakewood Church.

receptive. Joel is a friend to sinners. I'm not defending Joel—his fruit does that. I'm writing to those who are sincerely concerned that yet another popular "celebrity televangelist" would embarrass the Christian faith. Consider this, from someone who has been in full-time ministry for 40 years, who's seen the ego-gone-wild, naive novices and those with tainted intentions: Joel is a sincere and now-seasoned voice to the generations and nations! My wife, Jeannie, and I have traveled the world with Joel and his family for over 10 years, volunteering with this lifechanging, God-fearing, soulwinning and graced-withhumility ministry. We've witnessed not one inappropriate word or deed. Joel's behavior is consistently above reproach.

Joel has his critics. They post his "gotcha" clips from his hundreds of secular media interviews. But what some call weakness is really Joel's strength. Joel refuses with uncompromising conviction to use secular guest appearances to judge people. His kindness has kept the hearts and minds of millions

Though rarely mentioned, Joel and Victoria do not take a salary from the church or ministry. Expenses like air transportation, hotels, even food, are paid by them personally. In fact, Joel 19


Like the disciples, we as Christians may feel betrayed—left out. And with a culture that has seemingly rejected our faith and oftentimes mocked and misrepresented it through the media, it's easy to be disillusioned. Why would Joel and that grin of his be with "those" people? Why? Because Joel is a friend to sinners too.

other? To especially pray and protect the gifts of Joel and Victoria? God has given them to represent and reach an increasingly number of unchurched, de-churched and unbelieving in our world. To be a friend of sinners should be a claim no one should be ashamed of!

Joel is an invited guest to our neighbor's home, to the person we do business with, to our families and friends—all of whom watch and are positively influenced by his ministry. My goodness, even our president watches! I believe history will record the past 14 years of Joel's ministry and influence as one of the most effective pastor/evangelist of our time. And his compassionate passion for people indicates to me that his best efforts are yet to come!

Phil Munsey is senior pastor of Life Church in Irvine, California (see Below).

Can I encourage us to begin to believe the best in and for each 20


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JESUS and the UNCHURCHED

be approaching 100 million, or about one-third of the American population. This growing group includes two spiritual profiles, the unchurched (or the Gentiles) and the detached (or the detached and disenfranchised Jews).The unchurched seldom, if ever, attend a Christian church. They may subscribe to another religion or no religion at all. They know very little experientially about the beliefs, rituals, rules, or behaviors of churched people. For the most part the church is irrelevant to them.

By Apostle Robert Straube The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. —ERIC HOFFER “Dad, I hate being a pastor’s kid!” Obviously these were not the words I wanted to hear from my teenage son. I was stunned and troubled. So I asked him why.

In Jesus’ day there were no churches, so the unchurched were really the “unsynagogued,” that is, the “Gentiles” (goyim).From a Jewish perspective, the Gentiles came into existence the day God called Abram to be the first Jew (Genesis 12), around 2,000 BC. Ever since

“It’s not you or the church, Dad. It’s just that your job is so weird. People in school—when they find out my father is a minister—ask me if my dad knocks people over.”

that time, Jews and Gentiles have always lived around each other, but usually remained distinct from one another.

When he explained further, I realized that the only concept many of his classmates in public school had of Christian pastors was what they derived from televangelists. And by all accounts, these telecasts do not resemble normal church life. However, this is the only

INTRODUCING THE GENTILES When God called out the first Jew, Abram

normalcy that many who never go to church know, or may ever know.

(Genesis 11), and made a covenant with him (Genesis 12), He stated that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (v. 3). Thus began an unbalanced division of humanity into two groups, a minuscule people group called the “Jews” and a mammoth group called “Gentiles.” It is almost comical to devote only one spiritual profile to the Gentiles when technically they make up more than 99 percent of the population of the world. In Bible times the

SPIRITUAL PROFILING We don’t need pollsters to tell us that the Christian church in the Western world is declining (while it happens to be growing in the southern hemisphere and Asia). A poll by the Barna Group estimates the number of unchurched in the United States to 22


Gentiles were everybody who wasn’t a Jew, and yet, the Bible overwhelmingly highlights the history of the Jews. Nevertheless, Gentiles figured prominently in the Old Testament and the New.

the non-person-hood of slavery. And of course, most had no interest in the Jewish synagogue, although proselytes could enter the court of the Gentiles. Almost all were polytheistic, and many worshiped the Roman gods of the day. Let’s look more closely at the Gentiles’ TENDENCIES.

Throughout the Old Testament, Gentiles are mentioned. We first meet the Canaanites, who interacted with the patriarchs; then the Egyptians, who enslaved the Hebrews; and the Midianites, with whom Moses lived. We encounter the uncircumcised Philistines, who for so many years were Israel’s nemesis; the Phoenicians, who gave supplies for the building of the temple; and the Syrian general Naaman, who was healed of leprosy. Then we meet a succession of Gentile nations who subdue the Jews, including the Egyptians,

Tendencies of the “Unsynagogued” Gentiles Truth: The source of truth to the first-century Gentile was a hodgepodge of polytheistic myths and legends, pagan superstitions, Hellenistic philosophy, and Latin law. Some would also have had familiarity with the Hebrew Scriptures. Economics: Gentile society in Jesus’ day was divided into a variety of classes based on birth,

Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Though the Jews were selected as God’s “chosen people,” the Gentiles have always been on His divine radar. Many Gentiles in Jesus’ day lived in Israel. Most were part of the far-flung Roman Empire that stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Euphrates River. Since Israel was a natural

wealth, and ethnic background. Many Gentiles were slaves and a large disparity separated rich and poor. The Romans had developed a sophisticated market economy based on agriculture, trade, mining, manufacturing, and government projects. Rome imposed a heavy tax on the Judea province to fund the governmental portion of the economy.

land bridge between the three continents comprising the Empire, Gentiles crisscrossed the country constantly, and many chose to settle down, seizing opportunities for agriculture (especially in Galilee) and commerce. Israel was indeed a major crossroads of the world.

Neighborhood: The Gentiles’ sense of community was strong. Its basis was the extended family, which was loyal to the citystate which was a part of the greater Roman Empire. State religion was the glue that held it all together. Devotion: Tapping the power of the gods to live a good and happy life was a Gentile pursuit. The gods were feared and fate was assumed. Thus keeping on the good side of the

Economically the Gentiles in Israel came from all classes from nobility to slaves, from ladderclimbing military personnel to those caught in 23


gods was all important. This was accomplished by participation in various religious ceremonies and making appropriate sacrifices.

the underworld. The specially virtuous or heroic could expect their souls to rest in better place, like the Elysian Fields. considered wrong. Thus, moral corruption, particularly in the sexual realm, was common and not considered unethical.

Everyman: The Gentiles, borrowing from the Greeks, separated the soul from the body, and matter from spirit. They believed that every person had a divine soul, and an imprisoning body. Cultivation of the soul was emphasized, even as what one did with his body was deemphasized. Choosing to accept one’s fate and make the most of it was the route to happiness. Nature of God: The Gentiles feared and worshiped a pantheon of gods that they believed gave them peace and prosperity. Patriotism, religion, and superstition were

Summary: The Gentiles in Jesus’ day were largely god-fearing people. Belief in the gods dominated their thinking, and keeping on the good side of the gods dominated their behavior (superstitions, omens, traditions, rituals, rites, taboos, etc.). They also wanted to enjoy life. Thus sports, entertainment, and the pursuit of pleasure were their goals. And all of these were with a view to living a good, happy life on earth and the hope of a peaceful rest in the next world.

combined, and the power of the gods was more important than the gods’ character.

WATCH JESUS How did Jesus interact with the Gentiles in His day? Consider these seven encounters.

Civics: The synthesis of religion and state was assumed by the normal Gentile. The gods were intertwined with politics, and the emperor was somewhat deified. Submission to the Roman government and

Foreign Forbearers (Jesus and His Gentile Roots)

law was considered a sacred civic duty. And for most Gentiles the benefits of Roman rule were considerable (heavy taxation excluded, of course).

Jesus’ first “interaction” with the Gentiles occurs centuries before He is born. The New Testament opens with His genealogy (Matthew 1:1–17). Jesus’ family tree connects Him with the first Jew, Abraham; the Jewish patriarchs; the greatest Jewish king, David; and numerous other famous— and infamous—and unknown

Immortality: The Gentiles widely believed in an afterlife. However, its existence was shadowy and the fear of the unknown was very strong. Most expected a time of judgment, followed by a spirit existence in

Jews. Jesus’ roots are undeniably Jewish. (Continued on Page 26) 24


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(Unchurched from page 24)

suspect, that as a good Jew, Jesus did quality work, treated His customers fairly was a good neighbor, and extended a typical Middle Eastern hand of hospitality to strangers. We can reasonably surmise that Jesus developed and maintained mutually respectful relationships with the Gentiles in His life.

However, one cannot fail to notice that Jesus’ genealogy also includes Gentiles preclude an activity, it was not Three Gentile women, two of them known for their sexual immorality (Tamar in Genesis 38 and Rahab) and one for her love (Ruth), are listed among Jesus’ fore-bearers. The very first thing the gospels highlight about the Gentiles is that Jesus had “bad” Gentile blood! Conspicuously Jesus identified with all humanity, “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Going to the Dogs (The Canaanite Woman) Calling someone a “dog” is derogatory worldwide today, but it was doubly so in Jesus’ day. Back then dogs were unclean scavengers (Exodus 22:31; 1 Samuel 24:14), and to call someone a “dog” was a term of deep contempt. So, Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman in Phoenicia (Matthew 15:21–28; Mark 7:24–30) adds spice and

Galilee of the Gentiles (Gentile Neighbors) After a brief sojourn in Africa (Matthew 2:13), the holy family moves back to Nazareth, to “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matthew 4:15, quoting Isaiah 9:1). Jesus spends roughly the next thirty years of His life in Nazareth, a small town, likely inhabited mostly by Jews. However, He may have worked, and surely He shopped, in Sepphoris, a sophisticated Roman city about four miles northwest of Nazareth. Galilee is racially mixed, mainly Greekspeaking, has a large number of slaves, and is

significance to His ministry among the Gentiles while it plays with the word “dog.”

less than one-third Jewish. Important trade routes crisscross Galilee. As a result, Gentile merchants, soldiers, and travelers frequent the region. Jesus would rub shoulders with Europeans (Romans, Greeks, etc.), Middle Eastern Asians (Phoenicians, Syrians, Persians, etc.), and Africans (Egyptians, Libyans, etc.). Though never explicitly stated, Jesus must have maintained cordial relationships with His Gentile workmates, customers, neighbors, and passersby. I fully

house, Jesus is approached by a Syrophoenician woman who has a demonized daughter. Thus, she has three strikes against her: her race (a Gentile), her heritage (a history of conflicts with the Jews), and her problem (a demonized daughter). Jesus’ exchange with the woman is classic. He baits her by suggesting that “it is not right to take the children’s bread” (God’s covenantal priority on the Jews) and “toss it to their dogs” (Gentiles). She unhesitatingly acknowledged her second-

The story begins with the bland-sounding words, “He entered a house” (Mark 7:24). However, in His day it might have been said, “Jesus has gone to the dogs!” Gentiles are “dogs” by common Jewish estimation. In the

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class status, then added that

leaving such barriers in place

she would settle for some

will waylay His mission to the

covenantal “crumbs.” She will

world. So Jesus emphatically

gladly “dumpster dive” to

states, “Nothing outside a man

provide “food” for her daughter.

can make him ‘unclean’ ” (Mark

Jesus is thoroughly impressed

7:15).

with her humility and faith.

And Mark makes the

When we watch Jesus at work,

implications of Jesus’ words

we notice that He sometimes

plain as day, “In saying this,

waited for human resources to

Jesus declared all foods ‘clean’

be exhausted, bootstraps to

(Mark 7:19).

break, hopes to be dashed, and “crumbs” to

The fight over food essentially

become desirable before

separates Jews and Gentiles,

He stepped forward with

and the early Christian church

good news and good deeds.

cannot shake it until God shakes up Peter and

Food Fight (Gentiles and Food)

causes him to reconsider his

The juxtaposition of Jesus

perspective on food (Acts 10).

confronting the issue of food

And even with God’s clear

laws (Mark 7:1–23) and His

instructions to guide them, the

visit with the Syrophoenician

church still struggles mightily

woman (Mark 7:24–30) is by no

with food issues throughout the

means accidental. Jewish food

remainder of New Testament

laws created significant

times (Acts 15; Romans 14–15; 1

barriers, and Jesus knows that

Corinthians 8; Revelation 2:14, 27


they “put a scarlet robe on him,” they “set it [a crown of thorns] on his head,” they “put a staff in his right hand,” as they said “Hail, king of the Jews!”, “they spit on him,” and they “took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.” The divide between the genuine seekers and the skillful sadists seems to be accentuated by the person of Jesus. When we watch Jesus at work with the Gentiles, we notice that some see nothing special about Him. He is just a common criminal executed in a day’s work. Many “Gentiles” are so fixated on the pursuit of their own stuff that they see nothing special in Jesus—much to their eternal loss.

20). When we watch Jesus at work among the Gentiles, we notice that He busted barriers that would have impeded the spread of the gospel. Interview Request Denied (The Greeks) During the week of Jesus’ crucifixion, some Greeks (Gentile God-fearers) who have come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, request an interview with Jesus (John12:20– 36). Jesus, however, is focused on the cross, and appears to ignore their request. Instead Jesus launches into a monologue on the cost and glory of His impending death. It strikes me as strange that this incident is even mentioned. So why is it? When we watch Jesus at work, we notice that He is very sensitive to divine timing. Sometimes we try to

Divine Death (Two Roman Centurions) The Bible is surprisingly full of military

push God’s work when the time is not right and the people are not ripe. Sometimes we are too afraid to let Gentile appetites intensify and thirsts get to a parched pitch without providing gospel crumbs and sips. Sometimes we seem to act as if our job is to kick-start the dead, or manipulate the mellow, or persuade the indifferent, or drop the whole load on the

personnel who are godly. The first one Jesus meets is a Roman centurion whose servant is paralyzed at home (Matthew 8:5–13; Luke 7:1– 10). The final centurion He meets is watching His execution (Mark 15:39).

merely curious. We are afraid to let people get thoroughly lost. Jesus refused to “sell the divine” before its time.

The centurion defies our typical image of a pagan soldier. He is spiritually attuned, neither macho nor self-centered, and he is humble and trusting. Gentile respect for genuine religion is often greater than is supposed. While the centurion is mindful of the religious barriers that traditionally separate Jews and Gentiles, Jesus seems oblivious to them. In fact, before the centurion encounter, Jesus aids a leper (Matthew 8:1–4) and afterward, a woman. When we watch Jesus at work with the

The first centurion addresses Jesus as “Lord” and regards Jesus’ time as highly valuable.

Sadistic Soldiers (The Roman Executioners). Not all Gentiles are as guileless as the good Gentiles we have met thus far in the gospels. Some are downright diabolical. In Matthew 27:27–31 we find a group of Gentile soldiers making sport of Jesus. Seven “S” words tell a story of incredible sadism: “they stripped him,” 28


Gentiles we notice that He notices some of the ingredients of genuine seeking faith: brokenness, humility, and trust.

WALK WITH JESUS What might Jesus want to discuss with us if we had the opportunity to take a walk with Him? How might Jesus interact with Gentile-like people today—those who are unchurched and seemingly disinterested in the one true God? In keeping with His style in the book of Revelation (Revelation 2–3), Jesus would likely highlight some commendable traits and then identify some danger spots. Additionally, He would likely ask some penetrating questions. I suspect that Jesus would cherish the opportunity of talking “religion” with someone

The second centurion probably has seen many men die. Certainly he has heard some vile language and seen his share of vicious people. I suppose he has witnessed a few good people die as well. But the centurion has never seen anyone die like Jesus! What is it about the death of Jesus that so moves this military man? Is it Jesus’ words? Certainly the seven statements Jesus

who didn’t have a lot to unlearn, and didn’t think they had all the answers.

made while on the cross are unique. Is it the juxtaposition of events (Passover, earthquake, darkness, veil rip, etc.)? Certainly these events would have given even a cynical soldier pause. Was it Jesus’ demeanor? Probably few of the executed had been taunted

Surely, Jesus would not be shocked that Gentiles behave like Gentiles. I suspect He would not cringe when they cursed, nor glare

by such an eclectic and powerful crowd. Whatever the reasons, he came to a surprising conclusion, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

when they told a dirty joke, nor scowl when they made mistakes, nor say “I told you so” when they poured out the pain that their own sin had caused. And this would come as a huge relief to those who may fear the God with-the-baseball-bat. Jesus would also, no doubt, have a few Gentile critiques. He could go on all day, if He wished, about the countless times and occasions when they have ignored His Spirit that tried to convict them of “sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) in

(Matthew 27:54; cf. Mark 15:39), and “Surely this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47). When we watch Jesus at work with the Gentiles, we notice that how Jesus died spoke volumes to those who would listen.

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•What has been the return on your investment in politics?

order to lead them to the cross. Every day in every way God had been working to draw them but with innumerable excuses and selfjustifications by which they refused to be broken. He might point out how time after time they have unwittingly given the Devil an open door to their souls. He might also point out how the consequences of their sin were designed to produce brokenness not bitterness and blaming. Why were they not more cynical about following the spirit of their age?

WORK FOR JESUS How can we be more useful in representing Jesus to people we meet who in background and outlook are Gentile-like? Here are seven areas to consider as you interact with the unchurched.

• Have you ever investigated your spiritual

1. Making a Connection Jesus connected with the Gentiles by simply sharing geography and life with them. Jesus’ best friends were Jewish, but He grew up among Gentiles. Jesus stated that His priority was to bring the good news of the kingdom to His people, the Jews. Nevertheless, when

roots? What do you think you’d find? •What do you see when you look at the stars? •When favorable coincidences or serendipities occur, who do you thank? • Have you ever made fun of or mistreated a Christian who tried to tell you about Me? •Where do you go, or to what do you turn, to soothe or silence your soul pain?

Gentiles came to Him, Jesus connected naturally and lovingly with them. I suspect that Jesus had a good reputation among the Gentiles in Galilee. Though Jesus didn’t focus on the Gentiles, He always seemed to be comfortable with them and was completely authentic around them. If we are going to represent Jesus among

•Who do you look up to as a hero? •Where are you looking for happiness? How successful to date is your pursuit of happiness? •Where do you turn, to whom do you run, when you face a tragedy? •With whom do you feel safe? • Have you ever wished you had an open, honest relationship with a minister or other spiritual person?

those who have no familiarity with church or religion, we are going to have to build natural, mutually respectful, and trustworthy relationships.

What questions would Jesus want to talk about with Gentile-like, unchurched people today? Here are several He might ask the unchurched:

A deeply damaging mentality to the cause of Christ is to treat unchurched people as projects rather than people. If we have ulterior motives for friendship, Gentiles will often “smell a rat”— and should!

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As Jesus’ representatives, we must build bridges of availability. We must choose to err on the side of generosity. Somehow we must learn to be like Jesus. We should neither wince nor wink at sin. Jesus was particularly tuned in to the spiritual needs of the Gentiles. He saw their emptiness, their thirst, the fear, the hope. We should sow seeds all the time. God will work to make them germinate. It takes water and heat for a seed to break its shell and start to germinate. Build relationships, build bridges, build common ground so that when the “mud hits the fan” they will think of and come to you.

be better representatives of Jesus if we followed His methods and His lead with the unchurched. 3. Finding Common Ground Most of Jesus’ interactions with the Gentiles had some physical dimension to them. The gospel story begins with a list of Jesus’ physical descendants. Then we learn that the Word of God took on a physical body to live among us ( John 1:1, 14). And where did He live? He lived primarily within physical proximity of the Gentiles. The Gentiles came to Jesus primarily with physical needs (including paralysis, cutting, and demonization), and Jesus refused to let food separate Him from the Gentiles. It is Jesus’ physical crucifixion that brings Pilate, Herod, and the soldiers into

2. The Tone of the Conversation Elusive is the word that comes to mind when I think of Jesus’ interactions with the Gentiles. However, Jesus is not elusive in the sense of trying to avoid the Gentiles. Them curious, makes them come to Him, and makes them initiate the interaction. All my ”new” life I have heard the line to “go” and take the gospel to those who have never heard. While this is obviously a good thing to do, it may slightly miss the genius of Jesus. Not infrequently, I have tried to share the good news about Jesus

the story. Jesus’ physical death moves the centurion to faith, and it is the physical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection that turns the world upside down.

with people who didn’t care or weren’t ready. I then characteristically chalked it up to either their spiritual indifference or my evangelistic ineptitude. Maybe it was neither. Maybe, motivated by the laudable desire for people to come to the Savior, I had failed to lean on the Holy Spirit, whose job it is to make people thirsty. Jesus almost seems to “play hard to get” with the Gentiles. Sometimes we are so intent on getting people saved that we forget that only God can do that. Perhaps we would

with the body seems to be a priority. Our media is dominated by physical images. We worship body types and talents. Vast markets are geared toward body comforts and relieving bodily pain. And we have come to believe that satisfying and satiating bodily needs is the route to happiness. I suppose we can lament the superficiality of this preoccupation. Or we can work with it—as Jesus did.

Physical preoccupation seems to be quintessentially “Gentile.” If so, we must live in an increasingly Gentile culture. Preoccupation

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Rather Jesus seems elusive in that He makes The Gentiles were, and are, “show me” people. They had tangible needs and required solid evidence. As has been often said, faith is only as good as its object. That may be a key reason the historically best-attested gospel event is Jesus’ Passion—His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. For all Gentiles there is as solid historical evidence for the physical facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as there is for any other historical event in antiquity. Those who represent Jesus must be in the business of meeting physical needs. We pray for God’s power to heal the physically sick, and in the meantime we seek to relieve their pain and provide comfort. We use some of our resources to meet the physical needs of the poor and suffering.

John was my neighbor, and one of the last people I would have imagined showing up at church. He was in his eighties, having been married multiple times, and now living with a woman to whom he was not married. Still, we chatted numerous times on the street in front of our houses. The talk was always superficial, but the trust was slowly building. Then one afternoon while walking past his house the week after Easter, John stopped me and said, “Doc, I really liked your talk on Easter.” As I said, John was not a likely churchgoer. Since John opened the door to the conversation, I decided to take the next step. So I asked him, “Would you like to talk more about it?” John’s answer was abrupt, “No, I don’t want to talk because I’m a very bad person.” Before I had a chance to reply, he remarked, “But you can

We increase thirst by living salty lives (Matthew 5:13), and light by doing good deeds (vv. 14– 16).We must let our lights so shine that those in our circle of association will feel free to come to us for help and answers when their lights are punched out by life.

count on seeing me in church again next year.” Sure enough, next year John was there. And so I expected to see him again come the third year. A relative informed me, however, that John was in the hospital, so I went to see him on Easter Sunday afternoon. This time he wanted to talk. He started to tell me about some of the bad things he had done, and the

4. Finding the Lost How did Jesus seek and find the lost Gentiles? Generally He didn’t! Part of this omission may be due to His unique status and mission. However, part of it may have been a ministry strategy. Jesus, by my reckoning, never went to a Gentile—they always came to Him. But He was constantly rubbing shoulders with Gentiles: they knew who He was, where they could find Him, and how He would receive them.

list was long. He had a deep sense that God couldn’t forgive him. I told him otherwise. And John took God’s Word for it. Within days John died, as peaceful a death as I have ever witnessed. 5. Surprisingly . . . A few things surprised me when I looked at all of Jesus’ interactions with the Gentiles. One, I was surprised by how few interactions there were. Galilee, where Jesus spent most of His 33


time ministering, was mostly Gentile. Moreover, Capernaum, Jesus’ ministry headquarters, was along a road frequented by Gentiles. Thus, most of the people Jesus laid eyes on were probably Gentiles, and yet the Gospels record very little interaction with them. Almost every Gentile in the Gospels who came to Jesus was richly rewarded for his or her efforts. So why didn’t more come? And why didn’t Jesus go to them?

and Ruth, part of Old Testament history, reappear in Jesus’ genealogy, setting an incredible standard for largely ignorant Gentiles acknowledging the true God. The magi, watching only the heavens, set out on a long journey to find and worship the newborn king. The faith of the centurion and the Canaanite woman elicit high praise from Jesus. And the centurion at the cross utters a highly advanced evaluation of the identity of Jesus. The Gentiles don’t seem to have as many preconceived notions about the Messiah, so they are relatively quick to acknowledge Him often with great faith and breathtaking insight. Third, Jesus’ lack of “cultural relevance” with the Gentiles is surprising. Much of the Western church today is on a cultural relevance kick. Give the culture what it wants with a little Jesus thrown in. Be positive, be humorous, be “light,” speak their language, frequent their haunts and attend their parties, keep up with their media, entertainment, and sports. And do all this in order to reach them with the gospel. But Jesus doesn’t strike me as being very Gentile friendly. He basically ignores them, almost

If I was Jesus, and thankfully I am not, I would more actively have pursued the Gentiles to try to teach His disciples the importance of getting the gospel out to the world.

talks down to them, speaks seldom to them, is not very funny with them, and doesn’t offer “bread and circuses.” He does, however, offer life!

After all, it took almost ten years after Jesus left this world for the disciples to get the message that God wanted to go to the whole world. And still it took a vision to Peter and a

6. Slogans and Symbols The common athletic slogan “No Pain, No Gain” seems to fit the Gentiles perfectly. They undoubtedly prefer “It’s all about You” or “Just Do It” or “Play More.” However, most of the

knock to the ground for Paul to get it. Two, I was surprised by the depth of Gentile faith having such limited knowledge of God. Rahab 34


Gentiles who interacted with Jesus either experienced great pain or observed it. And in many cases, it was this pain that became a severe mercy. Those who are outside the church likewise feel or have observed great pain. Be sensitive to it. I keep a running a mental list of men I know who, beyond the age of thirty, have become faithful followers of Jesus. Every one of them, with a single exception, has come to Christ out of deep pain, most often a bitter divorce. I cannot speak for all of them, but some I know have found that the pain so broke them that they had nowhere to go but to Jesus. They gained Christ!

hair resembling the horns of the devil, and eyes upraised in a look of guilt and disdain. In the background, the man’s wife and three children, dressed in their Sunday best, file past his chair on their way to church. All three females have slightly elevated noses in a pious posture with their Bibles in hand. The lone male, however, the youngest in the picture, looks longingly at Dad. If only Dad knew there was another Son who longed to know him too. This is a sad picture of a family.... but even though it was painted many years ago, it still depicts many families. In fact, if Norman Rockwell were to re-paint the same picture of families today, the father would be absent.

7. Connecting with Jesus Jesus characteristically sought to connect each spiritual profile with Himself in terms and

We as Gentiles have been blessed to be

concepts they understood. The two titles most often on the mouths of the Gentiles with whom Jesus interacts are: “Son of” and “King of.” Gentiles understood sons and kings. “Sons” carried the idea of special relationship and “kings” carried the idea of exalted position. Jesus wanted the Gentiles to come to know Him as the “Son of Man,” one with whom they

grafted, included in Jesus’ ministry of salvation.

could relate on every level; the “King of the Jews,” one who would usher in peace and justice; and the “Son of God,” one who could represent them before God. In Jesus of Nazareth they got all three.

nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity

Romans 11:16-24 (ESV), “If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the

There is a print of a painting by Norman Rockwell entitled “Sunday Morning.” The artist depicts a father slumped in his chair, still wearing his pajamas, smoking a cigarette, reading the sports page of the newspaper, his 35


unbelieving Jews by showing that in God’s sovereign plan; the branches that were broken off because of their unbelief will be grafted back in when they believe (11:23). In fact, God is moving salvation history toward that end (11:25-26). Applied to us, Paul’s message is: Guard against spiritual pride by remembering that salvation is by grace alone and by maintaining faith and fear before the God of kindness and severity. Amen.

toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.” The apostle Paul apparently knew from some of his contacts in Rome that there was a problem with creeping spiritual pride on the part of the Gentile Christians against their fellow Jewish believers (he deals with this more in chapters 14 & 15) and also against

Dr. Robert Straube serves as President of ICOF CSU. He is a member of the US National Fivefold Roundtable and President of Rock of Zion Ministries

unbelieving Jews. Left unchecked, this attitude would lead to division in the church, to antiSemitism that would choke out witness to the Jews, and to the spiritual ruin of those who continued down that path. In the above text, Paul counters this problem with an illustration of an olive tree and its branches. He shows the Gentiles that they are not the root, but rather are branches from a wild olive tree that have been grafted into the cultivated tree, supported by the root. Three times (11:18, 20, 25) Paul directly warns Gentile believers against spiritual pride. They were no better than the Jews, but were grafted into the tree by God’s grace alone. And if the Gentiles do not curb their pride, they could be broken off as the unbelieving Jews were. He also encourages evangelism toward 36


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In the past we would try to argue that Evangelical leaders who fall were not sincere believers, or were unrepentant, or that they did not really believe their Bibles, or were not adequately submitted. And in the midst of these arguments, we KNOW those ideas are, in some cases, rationalizations.

SUICIDE, EVANGELICALISM, AND SORROW By Pastor Ted Haggard

Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Church, and Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, both had sons take their own lives this year. I know of five other wonderful Christian families that also had sons who took their own lives. Some researchers are reporting that the suicide rate among Evangelicals is the same as that of the non-Christian community. How sad.

I can offer some guesses from personal experience as well as knowledge of others’ stories that, 1) Matthew Warren repeatedly prayed for God to heal his mind, and 2) Isaac Hunter frequently repented of the things in him that damaged his heart and marriage. I think Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and I know Ted Haggard, hated their sins, repented, prayed, fasted, memorized Scripture, and pleaded with God for personal holiness. I think there are very few hypocrites in our pulpits or on church staffs. I believe most people in ministry are sincere followers of Christ. But when God’s holiness is infused into our humanity, that sets us all up for some degree of struggle.

Back in my NAE days, I knew Joel and Rick. They are both sincere, wonderful believers with ministries that are admired. I also knew some of the parents of the kids who took their lives here in Colorado Springs. Good families. The news about Pastor Isaac Hunter breaks my heart. Great speaker, lover of God, and my guess is he loved the church. But he, like all of us, fell short. In the midst of divorce with accusations swirling, he resigned from the church he founded. He gave it his best shot, and his heart was broken.

I was so ashamed in 2006 when my scandal broke. The therapeutic team that dug in on me insisted that I did not have a spiritual problem or a problem with cognitive ability, and that I tested in normal ranges on all of my mental health tests (MMPI, etc.). Instead, I had a physiological problem rooted in a childhood trauma, and as a result, needed trauma resolution therapy. I had been traumatized when I was 7 years old, but when Bill Bright led me to the

This makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sick that he fell short, that’s a given for everyone except Christ Himself, I’m sick that our message did not do what we all hoped – it did not fix the problem.

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Lord when I was 16, I learned that I had become a new creature, a new person, and that I did not need to be concerned about anything in my past, that it was all covered by the blood. I did become a new creation spiritually, but I have since learned that I needed some simple care that would have spared my family and me a great deal of loss and pain.

Bakker was a thief, and Swaggart was a pervert. None of that is true. Because I’ve not communicated with the Warrens or the Hunters since late 2006, I do not know for sure, but my experience would suggest that the Warren’s have received some hurtful communications from other Christians saying their son had a demon that could have been taken care of if they would have simply taken their son to them for deliverance. No doubt Isaac also received some brutal mail from Christians after his resignation from his church. My sin never made me suicidal, but widespread church reaction to me did.

Contrary to popular reports, my core issue was not sexual orientation, but trauma. I went through EMDR, a trauma resolution therapy, and received some immediate relief and, as promised, that relief was progressive. When I explain that to most Evangelical leaders, their eyes glaze over. They just don’t have a grid for the complexity of it all. It is much more convenient to believe that every thought, word, and action is a reflection of our character, our spirituality, and our core. They think the Earth is flat. Everyone is either completely good or bad, everything is either white or black, and if people are sincere Christians, then they are good and their behavior should conform.

I can only imagine what many Christians must go through trying to reconcile the things we Evangelicals say are true with the realities of their own lives. Do we actually believe that the many pastors who have been characterized as fallen decided to be hateful, immoral, greedy, or deceitful? I think not. In my case, I was taught that life transformation took place at salvation and the power to overcome was inherent with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. My early Christian training was given by those who did not respect the mental

Not so. There are more grays in life than many of our modern theological positions allow. It would be easy if I were a hypocrite,

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health profession, nor the field of neural science. So I believed the solution to my struggle was exclusively spiritual, which turned out to be counterproductive. If I prayed and fasted, I was more tempted. If I just worked in ministry, I experienced relief and was not tempted. I thought it was spiritual warfare. It was not. My struggle was easily explained by a competent therapeutic team. But many in the church-world had to demonize the facts. My accuser failed his lie detector test and refused to take another, and I passed four lie detector tests given by three different polygraphers saying that the primary accusations were false. This so confused the narrative the church wanted to publicly present, they hid the tests from the public. The lead overseer actually told me, “Brother Ted, we do not believe in this psychological mumbo-jumbo, but we need to send you to therapy for the sake of the public. Then when you get home, we’ll get this demon out of you and your family and sweet Miss Gayle will be just fine.” I thank God for the therapy. It answered 30 years of prayer. I became the man I had always prayed to be because of the process I went through during the crisis. Though I do believe there is a need for deliverance in some situations, for that sincere overseer, the world is way too flat.

think our movement has abandoned the application of the Gospel, and as a result we spend too much time on image management and damage control. Maybe we should be willing to admit that we are all growing in grace, be willing to be numbered with the transgressors, and stop over-stating and overpromising. Jesus has been faithful to all of us in the midst of our pain, our suffering, and our disappointments. Why don’t we tell that? Every one of us have had sin horribly intrude in our lives after being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and God is faithfully healing us or has healed us. Why don’t we tell that? He has never left us or forsaken us when we’ve said and done the wrong thing. Why don’t we tell that? And when our children disappoint and hurt us, or we disappoint and hurt them, God sees us . . . and them. Why don’t we tell that as well? My heart physically hurts for the Warrens, the Hunters, and the five families that lost their sons. The pain is incredible. I don’t know that it will ever heal this side of Heaven. I also hurt for Pastor Zachery Tims who died alone in a Times Square hotel room trying to get some relief, and for Pastor Cedric Cuthbert who was accused of watching child porn at work, and for Pastor David Loveless who was let go after his affair was revealed. Shall I go on? I do not believe we have a problem because these and so many others are insincere or because we have not adequately emphasized holiness. I think we have a

Saints, I have a high view of Scripture and am persuaded that the theological underpinnings of Evangelicalism are valid, but I am growing away from the Evangelical culture we have created. I

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core, fundamental, essential problem with our application of the Gospel. We need to re-read the New Testament and modify some of our interpretations. The Bible is true. God is faithful. But at this point, too many are missing the mark. I know this is too long, and I would like to stop, but I can’t . . . not until I say one more thing. Everyone I’ve mentioned here has fallen because of obvious sin. But I did not mention the proud, envious, gluttonous, angry, greedy, blamers and scrutinizers in the body of Christ who have equally fallen but their sins are acceptable in our culture so they do not even realize their sin or need for repentance. Why? They are too busy with the sins of others. Often we actually laude these Pharisees and Judaizers because of their stand against sin, not realizing that they are still not teaching us the New Testament solution to mankind’s sin problem. When the New Testament becomes Torah in their hands, that law, too, stimulates sin. It’s time for us to stop what we’re doing and weep. We need to repent, enter into the prayer closet without cameras, notes, or any announcements that we’re praying and fasting, and repent for what we have created until our hearts are soft again. Our children are dying. Our relationships are broken. Our attitudes are arrogant. And our hearts are left confused. Ted also served as president of the 30,000,000 member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003-2006, where he became a public figure representing evangelicalism in the press and with world leaders.

Ted and Gayle Haggard are the founders of St. James Church in Colorado Springs, CO, the second church they have started during their 35-year marriage. Their first church, New Life Church, grew from 20 people meeting in the basement of their home to 14,000 people meeting on a $50 million campus.

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Why the sudden rash of pastors committing suicide? Suicide is not a new problem among clergy, but three known suicides in less than two months begs a deeper look at the issue.

Why Are So Many Pastors Committing Suicide? By Jennifer LeClaire

There is no lack of statistics about pastors and depression, burnout, health, low pay, spirituality, relationships and longevity—and none of them are good. According to the Schaeffer Institute, 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression, and 71 percent are burned out. Meanwhile, 72 percent of pastors say they only study the Bible when they are preparing for sermons; 80 percent believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families; and 70 percent say they don’t have a close friend.

More than 2 million adult Americans made a suicide plan in the past year, and about half that many went through with the plan. In another church tragedy, Isaac Hunter—the son of the spiritual adviser to President Obama—has reportedly taken his own life. Hunter’s death is making national headlines because of his megachurch father Pastor Joel Hunter’s influence on the White House, his marriage troubles and an undated suicide note found last year, but his death is far from the only pastoral suicide in recent months.

The Schaeffer Institute also reports that 80 percent of seminary and Bible school graduates will leave the ministry within five years. It’s not clear how many commit suicide, but it is clear that pastors are not immune to it. Psychologists point to several reasons why people commit suicide, from depression to psychosis to stressful life situations. But one thing is certain: Whatever drives someone to take their own life ultimately begins in the mind. Suicidal thoughts precede suicide.

Just days ago, a pastor who was grieving his dead wife reportedly shot himself in front of his mother and son, expressing that he was hearing his dead spouse’s voice and footsteps. Pastor Ed Montgomery and his late wife, prophetess Jackie Montgomery, served at the Full Gospel Assemblies International church in Hazel Crest, Ill.

“Suicidal thoughts have numerous causes," according to Mayo Clinic. "Most often, suicidal thoughts are the result of feeling like you can’t cope when you’re faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation. If you don’t have hope for the future, you may mistakenly think suicide is a solution. You may experience a sort of tunnel vision, where in the middle of a crisis you believe suicide is the only way out.”

In November, a Georgia pastor killed himself in between Sunday services. Larrinecia Sims Parker, wife of the Rev. Teddy Parker Jr., found the pastor in the driveway of their home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Houston County coroner Danny Galpin reports.

As it turns out, suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. Nearly 8.3 million adults age 18 43


and older in the United States—that’s 3.7 percent—had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, according to a study called "Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Adults > 18 Years" released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although some suicides are impulsive, most are planned out. More than 2 million adult Americans made a suicide plan in the past year, and about half that many went through with the plan.

Paul told us, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:4-6). No one can take your thoughts captive for you, but you can take your own thoughts captive, and it starts with girding up the loins of your mind (1 Pet. 1:13).

Again, suicide starts with a thought. Indeed, every action we take starts with a thought. As one who struggled with depression for years, I am not trying to oversimplify the solution, but rather merely point out one contributing factor. Many of the harmful actions we take originate from the seed of a thought Satan whispers to our souls. That seed grows as our minds reason out the benefits of acting on the thought. For those contemplating suicide, I believe the seed grows in their minds as they reason themselves out of living because life’s circumstances are too overwhelming.

Paul also offered this advice: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9). If we do what the Word says—if we meditate on what the Word tells us to meditate on—the enemy’s seeds won’t take root in our souls.

When the enemy plants a vain imagination in our minds, we have two choices: cast it down or meditate on it. When we meditate on vain imaginations, we tend to connect demonic dots that create skewed pictures of reality. Believing what we see in our thought life is real, we talk ourselves into taking action based on a wrong perception. Although there are issues of chemical imbalances, I believe this is what happens with many suicides. The enemy plants a seed in the form of a thought that an already distraught soul doesn’t discern as a demonic attack on their life.

If you see your pastor or anyone else struggling with depression or hear them speak disturbing thoughts that aren’t in line with the Word of God, pray and ask God what He would have you do. Then do it. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, and the enemy is targeting our spiritual leaders in this hour. Let’s rise up and battle against this disturbing trend in the name of Jesus.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books. Emai: jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com

If we want to win the battle against suicide in the pulpit and the pew, we need to, among many other things, take a hold of Scriptures that instruct us about the battle in our mind. 44


.

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THE AUTHORS WERE APOSTLES

apostolic authority. Matthew was an apostle. Mark is considered by many to be “Peter’s gospel,” because Mark was closely associated with the apostle Peter (1 Pet. 5:13). That relationship notwithstanding, Mark had his own God-given ministry (Acts 12:25; 2 Tim. 4:11). The author of Luke was an associate of the apostle Paul (Col. 4:14; Philem. 24). Luke also wrote Acts (1:1). John was an apostle. He wrote John, three epistles bearing his name, and Revelation (Rev. 1:4, 9). Paul wrote at least the thirteen epistles that bear his name (RomansPhilemon). The author of Hebrews is not known for sure. But whoever its author was, he received revelation from God (Heb. 1:1), the truth of which was confirmed by the twelve apostles (Heb. 2:3–4). James was a half brother of Jesus (James 1:1; Gal. 1:19) and a leader in the apostolic church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; Gal. 2:9). The apostle Peter authored two epistles (see 1 Pet. 1:1; 2 Pet. 2:1), although he used Silvanus as a scribe to pen the first one (1 Pet. 5:12). This leaves only Jude, who was also a half brother of Jesus (Jude 1:1; cf. Matt. 13:55), and he too spoke with prophetic authority (vs. 3, 5,) There is good evidence that all twentyseven books of the New Testament come from the apostles and their associates.

OR PROPHETS By Adrien Coleman -----------

The same principle applies to the New Testament: propheticity determines canonicity. The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets“ (Eph. 2:20). Apostles, by their very office, were accredited spokesmen for God. It was they whom Jesus promised: ”The Holy Spirit … will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you“ (John 14:26) and the Spirit of truth … will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). It was the “apostles’ teaching” in which the early church continued (Acts 2:42) and it was the apostles who were given special signs (miracles) to confirm their message (Heb. 2:3–4). Those confirmatory signs were given to other apostles than the twelve, such as the apostle Paul, who had “the signs of a true apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12). There was also the gift of prophecy (1 Cor. 12:10). Some “prophets,” such as Agabus, even gave messages from God to apostles (Acts 11:27–28). John the apostle considered himself one of “the prophets” (Rev. 22:9). So, in the New Testament as well as the Old, the determining factor in whether a book was canonical was its propheticity.

Adrien M.Coleman is a Native of Lafayette,La., married to Diane W.Coleman. Father of {3}. Living for Christ for 49 yrs, but finally made him the Head of his Life 14yrs ago.

Every New Testament book was written by an apostle or prophet. Thus each book has either apostolic authorship or apostolic teaching. And in either case it possesses 46


LIFE CHURCH OF KENTUCKY MAKING DISCIPLES

502.410.4263 http://www.lifechurchky.org

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There are two words in this passage that bring out the true power and scope of the message in the scripture: Will and Purpose.

What is a Mandate? By John L. Hairston

The word will is the Greek word, thelema, and it is defined:

“1) A Mandate is an Official trust or authority handed over by a superior to a subordinate to give authority to act, judge, or govern as a representative of a court, country, or sovereign. 2) Applies to jurisdiction, territory, and execution of official business. In times past, this was thought of a causative term used to identify a charge delivered by a pastoral or angelic official via specific message” The Prophet’s Dictionary: The Ultimate Guide to Supernatural Wisdom, pp. 322323, Apostle Paula A. Price, Ph.D

“When it denotes God’s will, it signifies His gracious disposition towards something.” This means that “in the beginning God…” had a desire that pleased Him that He moved to act. What was the action? He Created. What this tells us is that God’s desire (will) moved Him to act. What was God’s desire? To create Heaven and Earth.

The Superior and Sovereign is Almighty God, Elohim; the Subordinate is the Church and its local assemblies. The authority to act is the Great Commission, and the governing portion is in conjunction with the Holy Ghost in the affairs of the earthly administration of the Kingdom of God. The jurisdiction is earth; the territory is the place where you are operating in the earth.

How do we know? Because He did it! God’s gracious disposition towards Heaven and Earth defines its purpose. But it is in the understanding of the PURPOSE of Heaven and Earth that we find the essence of the Will of God, and what the true object of His will was: “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:18 KJV

Now, to truly understand a mandate in the context of the Kingdom of God, we have to understand the source of the mandate. Let’s begin with scripture and build on that foundation:

In an article written in the Anointed Fire Magazine (October 2012 issue), I wrote:

“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Ephesians 1:9, 11 KJV

“Again, God didn't need an earth or a heaven to reside in, for He is SELF-SUFFICIENT, and has need of nothing. So, He created earth for something else; according to the above scripture He created the heavens and the earth to be INHABITED. 49


as the Great COMMISSION. So, we now know that from the LOGOS comes the COMMISSION. We must keep in mind, that there is ONLY ONE WILL of God, ONE LOGOS, and ONE COMMISSION. Yet, to fulfill the Commission there are many MANDATES.

If we align this with Ephesians 1:4, we begin to see that God created Man for a relationship, and the earth was the environment that this relationship would take place. So, the Heavens and the Earth, which in all actuality is the Kingdom of God, was the place where God chose to place the object of His intended relationship in. The Earth was created FOR MAN, as a gift, where He could enjoy an intimate and eternal relationship with God.”

All mandates must trace itself back to the COMMISSION. No mandate is an authority unto itself, but is a strategic portion of the COMMISSION. Every Community of Believers, in the region that it is in has a MANDATE that is issued from the COMMISSION. Mandates in the context of scripture are the various operations and administrations mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:5-6:

So, the essence of God’s Will was Man and the relationship and Covenant with him. The purpose (prothesis), when it applies to the will of God, deals with all the provisions and means by which God will execute His will. So, the Purpose of God is the Will of God plus all of the provisions and means to accomplish the Will of God.

“And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same the same God which worketh all in all.”

Now, out of this established and eternal Will of God came the WORD (Logos) of God. In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning GOD…”, which means there was ONLY GOD and HIS WILL. In John 1:1, we read, that “the WORD was WITH GOD”; and verse 14 of St. John we know that the WORD became flesh.

Apostle John L. Hairston is married and father of 4 children; ministering and living in Seattle, Washington.

What is the WORD? The Word is the Greek word LOGOS, and denotes a MANIFESTED STRATEGY or PLAN. We know that the WORD spoken of in John is Jesus Christ, and He was the MANIFESTED STRATEGY of God to redeem man and reconcile the relationship and renew the Covenant with man. Jesus always stated the He was SENT BY THE FATHER, thus the LOGOS comes from the WILL and PURPOSE of God.

A multi-dimensional gift to the Body of Christ, and rising voice of the People, Servant John L. Hairston has been graced by the Living God to sound an alarm in the Churches of America. Being equipped with an Apostolic anointing and the mantle of Teacher, there is an authority and power in this Transformational Ministry.

Now, Matthew 28:18-20 is unanimously accepted 50


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the only profession who is expected to suffer silently. And because religion has sold this false notion that suffering for Christ somehow equates to piety, suffer they do.

Suffering Silently The Death of a Messenger of Hope By Bishop Derrick Day

Apparently, this young man had no one he felt he could reach out to. He couldn’t see as far as the hills. I make it a point, as part of my personal ministry, to reach out to pastors and leaders. I will pick up the phone and check on them. I will make myself available as a sounding board or a listening ear. Why? I do it because I believe someone needs to! I don’t do this for accolades and I don’t take a dime for it. I do it because I, myself, have friends. Good friends. My friends tell me when they think I’m spot-on about something or if I’ve gotten completely sideways. I thank God for their camaraderie and counsel.

A young man committed suicide on Sunday. This could be any Sunday in any place in America – I mean, this stuff happens, right – but there was a sad twist to the story. The young man was a Pastor. His name was Teddy Parker, Jr.

I don’t care who you are, how anointed you think you are, or how powerful people perceive you to be, you need friends!

As a pastor, myself, my heart goes out to his wife and children, his parents, his friends, and his church family. I am praying fervently for them all.

I’ve also heard pastors say, today – in the aftermath of this tragedy – that pastors suffer unduly from mistreatment by congregants. This is true but it is only one lane of the proverbial two-way street – there is a lot of browbeating emanating from the pulpit, today, as well.

Here’s the thing that hurts so badly here – the preacher of the Gospel is supposed to be a messenger of hope. I ask the question, where was his hope? I mean, we can respond with the Scripture that has become a religious cliché, “I look to the hills from where my hope comes from.”

Here’s the problem: For centuries, religion has taught that God will depart from you – that the Holy Spirit would leave you as David feared. But the truth is, God will never leave nor forsake you. Jesus gave us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for this express purpose.

According to a Barna survey, 70% of senior pastors say they have no close friends. A pastor friend of mine said that the Pastor is 53


There’s an old religious cliché that says “You can trust God even when you cannot trace him.”

we may be equipped, encouraged, and edified. Time to send this notion that God will leave or forsake you, and all other similar religious lies, down hell’s toilet – before they cost another precious life.

UTTER RUBBISH If you are born-again, you don’t have to trace or track the Holy Spirit any more than you have to track or trace your own liver. He’s in there and He will never leave nor forsake you.

© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)

Derrick Day is the founder and Pastor of Agape Dominion Outreach Ministries based in Surprise, AZ. He is married to the lovely Pastor Angela Day and they are the proud parents of a houseful of sons.

When I read the following quote, I realize this young man bought into a horrific religious lie and it cost him his life. “You know a lot of times, we feel like when we are going through stuff and it’s a lot that there’s nobody there with us. And guess what? God intends for you to feel that way. I know y’all been saved a long time. I know you super spiritual and you know you real holy but there are times in your life, not y’all but me. There are times in my life when I’m going through some stuff where I can’t feel God there,” he confessed.

Derrick also serves as Founder and Bishop of Kingdom Covenant International, a ministry governance organization dedicated to planting churches and grooming leaders to make disciples, mature believers, and multiply ministries. He also serves as the North American Five-Fold Roundtable Chairman for the International Circle of Faith (ICOF).

“I try to pray but I don’t feel like God is hearing me. I try to serve but I don’t feel like God is using me. And there are times in your life when God purposely withdraws from you, he doesn’t withdraw for the sake of leaving you but he withdraws so you can grow and mature,” he added, in a show of encouragement.

In addition to his labor in the Kingdom, Derrick is also a software engineer, a former newspaper columnist with the New Journal and Guide and a former radio talk-show host with WNIS-AM in Norfolk, Virginia. He and his wife have coauthored the book, “Satan, Let Me Refresh Your Memory,” (available at amazon.com, smashwords.com, barnesandnoble.com and Apple iBooks). They are currently working on several other faith-based fiction and non-fiction books.

When I read this, I had to fight to keep my breakfast down. If you’re inclined, you can read the article I got this from, here. It is not the will of God for anyone to be alone, much less suffer that way. The Kingdom of God is in us to connect us that

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Dr. Bernie L. Wade President of International Circle of Faith will be at Agape Dominion Outreach on Sunday

January 5th, 2014

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LIFE CHURCH OF KENTUCKY MAKING DISCIPLES

502.410.4263 www.lifechurchky.org

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Dear Friends, Thank you for your time. This is BY FAR the most EXCITING letter that I have ever written! After spending the better part of the last 20 years working as itinerant Missionaries strengthening national pastors in a plethora of countries, Daisy and I felt the call to bring our ministry gifting to make a tangible difference here in the United States. As you know America is fast losing its way. In America, there are less followers of Jesus Christ today than there were in 1960. The daily news portrays an America that has largely forgotten God. Somehow we have to make a difference! Our vision is to make a real and lasting impact in our area of the country. As a third generation minister, I have been blessed to see my parents and grandparents play major roles in guiding people and helping them through life’s trials. We have been blessed to spend the last 30 years in a plethora of ministry roles from principal of a Christian school, to assistant pastor, to executive pastor of one of the largest ministries in the country. These experiences have prepared us for the task at hand. We’re planting a church near Louisville, Kentucky and couldn’t be more thrilled!!! Daisy and I are pleased to have heard the call of God to be part of a ministry team to launch this new church in Oldham & Henry County

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area of Kentucky (Northeast of Louisville, Kentucky). We call our church, LIFE CHURCH.

We are committed

to MAKING DISCIPLES for Jesus Christ. We are further excited to have both of our children and their spouses working with us in this effort. While we are grateful to witness those seniors who have committed their entire lives for Christ. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who preserved the Gospel for us! Yet, we must face the fact that American Churches are facing a rapidly aging membership.

Too many

churches are not reaching the younger generations. This trend has to stop! We are pleased that with God’s help are already reaching this generation. The average age of our initial group is 23! In a day when the age of the average church member is 50 (or in many cases even older) we are excited about what the future holds for such a young and excited group focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It was the American Statesman and Founding Father, Patrick Henry that boldly declared, GIVE ME LIBERTY

OR GIVE ME DEATH. It is from this great American that Henry County, Kentucky is named. Like Patrick Henry, we are boldly declaring the Life and Liberty of Jesus Christ to those in this area. Like our founding fathers we have pledged our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to this initiative. According to statistics, more people are coming to Christ as a result of new church plants than any other way! We are following the training and methods of the Association of Related Churches (ARC). Their program for church plants usually results in more than 200 guests their first Sunday! 58


We are also thrilled that we have also been invited to be a member of Pastor Joel Osteen’s, Champions Network. This is an international network of Churches. Pastor Joel Osteen is the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston Texas.

You can find us on their web site.

Our passion is to lead people to a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. We desire to create a fun, exciting and life-changing worship experience. We want to help people in 4 areas of their life: 1. Salvation. Born of the water and the Spirit. 2. Delivered. Free from bondage and slavery of sin.

Free from the

world’s settling hurts and wounds. Helping people settle with their past. Getting them involved in small groups. 3. Redeemed Helping them find their redemptive calling. What they supposed to be doing. Discipleship. Discovering their spiritual gift (s) call and passions. 4. Fulfilled - Live fulfilled lives; make a difference. LIFE CHURCH is launching in 2014. So, we have lots to do between now and then—build a team, raise funds, purchase equipment and secure a location! WE NEED YOUR HELP! Most importantly, we ask you to pray and believe with us that people will be FOREVER impacted. Thank you for your prayers, support and friendship. The LIFE CHURCH team is currently working on the following:  Getting our website up and running: www.lifechurchky.org Building our Team. We have 20 people on our ministry team so far! This includes worship leaders, children’s ministers, musicians, 4 Pastors & 4

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Evangelists, Hispanic & sign language ministry leaders & more.

We

expect to build our core ministry team to around 50 people.  As a part of our vision we are pleased that God has helped us start a local outreach to help people with food, clothing, counseling and more.

We call this effort LIFE SUPPORT.

 We are very close to securing a location for our worship services! Here we need your help. We need to raise $24,000 over the next 12 months. We need your help with a one-time gift or a monthly gift. We need 20 who will stand with us with a $100 a month donation for the 12 months of 2014. NOTE: (These funds will be used for our building lease and equipment. All of our ministry team members volunteer their time; so, thankfully, we don’t need funds for staff! Ask God what He would have you do to help! Thank you!)

IMAGINE WHAT WE CAN DO WITH YOUR HELP! We know that we cannot do this alone and ask you to partner with us as we build LIFE CHURCH. Whether it is through prayer, coming to our services, helping us get the word out to anyone you know who lives in the Henry/Oldham County Kentucky area or supporting LIFE CHURCH financially, we greatly appreciate your support!

God bless you for your faithfulness!

We look forward to keeping you updated on all that God is doing. Thank you so much for your love and support in our lives. Your tax deductible donations can be made online www.lifechurchky.org. Checks or money orders can be made out to LIFE CHURCH and mailed to LIFE CHURCH, 304 First Street, Campbellsburg, KY 40011. We look forward to hearing from you! Start the New Year off helping to impact the Kingdom! 60


Again, thank you!

Bernie Bernie L. Wade, Thd. Bernie.wade1212@gmail.com 502.410.4263 (Life Church office) OR 502.655.8572 (Mobile)

Below are some of the names and faces of our ministry team for you to use as prayer points for LIFE CHURCH. We affectionately call this group our Dream Team.

David & Leah Allen

Bernie & Daisy Wade

David & Joy Willoughby

Bernie & Blanca Wade

Juan & Marisela Fuentes

Junior & Cindy Hersley

William & Rebecca Goins

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goats or cows to get prosperity. They poured libations on the ground so the gods would hear their prayers. Today similar practices continue, only the juju priest has been replaced by a pastor who drives a Mercedes-Benz.

5 Ways the Prosperity Gospel is Hurting Africa By J. Lee Grady

I am aware of a pastor who buried a live animal under the floor of his church to win God’s favor. Another pastor asked his congregants to bring bottles of sand to church so he could anoint them; he then told the people to sprinkle the sand in their houses to bring blessings. The people who follow these charlatans are reminded that their promised windfall won’t materialize unless they give large donations.

I’m not an African, but in 2008 some Nigerian friends gave me a Yoruba name (“Akinwale”) because I have been to that country so often. My visits there, along with trips to Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Egypt, planted a deep love for Africa in my heart. My first grandson’s arrival this year from Ethiopia made the connection even stronger. I’m often asked to describe how God is moving in Africa today. Since I’m an optimist, I usually tell of the large churches, the passionate praise and the intense spiritual hunger that characterizes African Christianity. But there is also a dark side, and I think it’s time we addressed one of the most serious threats to faith on the continent. I’m talking about the prosperity gospel. Of course, I know a slick version of this message is preached in the United States—and I know we are the ones who exported it overseas. I am not minimizing the damage that prosperity preaching has done in my own country. But I have witnessed how some African Christians are taking this money-focused message to new and even more dangerous extremes.

2. It fuels greed. Any person who knows Christ will learn the joy of giving to others. But the prosperity gospel teaches people to focus on getting, not giving. At its core it is a selfish and materialistic faith with a thin Christian veneer. Church members are continually urged to sow financial seeds to reap bigger and bigger rewards. In Africa, entire conferences are dedicated to collecting offerings in order to achieve wealth. Preachers boast about how much they paid for suits, shoes, necklaces and watches. They tell their followers that spirituality is measured by whether they have a big house or a firstclass ticket. When greed is preached from the pulpit, it spreads like a cancer in God’s house.

Here are five reasons the prosperity message is damaging the continent of Africa today: 1. It is mixed with occultism. Before Christianity came to Nigeria, people visited witch doctors and sacrificed

3. It feeds pride. This greedy atmosphere in prosperity churches has produced a warped 62


so-called “Cashgate” scandal is that professing Christians in the administration of President Joyce Banda have been implicated. One of these people stole millions of kwacha from the government and hid the cash in a teddy bear! Most people today in Malawi live on less than $1 a day, yet their leaders have been known to buy fleets of cars and huge plots of land with money that was not theirs. Sadly, the prosperity gospel preached in Malawi has encouraged pastors and leaders to follow the same corrupt pattern. As a result, God’s people have been financially exploited.

style of leadership. My Kenyan friend Gideon Thuranira, editor of Christian Professional magazine, calls these men “churchpreneurs.” They plant churches not because they have a burden to reach lost souls but because they see dollar signs when they fill an auditorium with chairs. A selfish message produces bigheaded opportunists who need position, applause and plenty of perks to keep them happy. The most successful prosperity preacher is the most dangerous because he can convince a crowd that Jesus died to give you and me a Lexus.

When Jesus described false prophets as wolves in sheep’s clothing, He warned us to examine their fruit. Matthew 7:17 says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (NASB). What is the fruit of prosperity preaching?

4. It works against the formation of Christian character. The prosperity message is a poor imitation of the gospel because it leaves no room for brokenness, suffering, humility or delay. It offers an illegal shortcut. Prosperity preachers promise instant results and overnight success;

Churches have been growing rapidly in many parts of Africa today, yet sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where poverty has increased in the past 25 years. So according to the statistics, the prosperity gospel is not bringing prosperity! It is a flawed message, but I believe God will use selfless, broken African leaders to correct it.

if you don’t get your breakthrough, it’s because you didn’t give enough money in the offering. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him; prosperity preaching calls us to deny Jesus and follow our materialistic lusts. There is a leadership crisis in the African church because many pastors are so set on getting rich, they can’t go through the process of discipleship that requires self-denial. 5. It actually keeps people in poverty. The government of Malawi is currently under international scrutiny because of fraud carried out by top leaders. The saddest thing about the

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady.

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that was done was like trying to put out a forest fire with a glass of water. With human trafficking, abortion, divorce, homelessness, poverty, fatherlessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and age, sex, and racial discriminations among the many social ills running rampant all over this nation and the world, one may reasonably ask—Where is God in all of this? Or better yet, where are God’s people, the ones that he has chosen in the world, in all of this?

The Silent Church and Political Correctness By Providence Crowder

The people of God? We are here. Some of us you may not recognize, but if you look closely, you will see us on Sunday mornings climbing into our cars and heading to church. And, if you visit our church, you will see us singing praises to God from wooden pews, and waving our hands in the air, and you may even see tears streaming from our eyes. You will see us at the church picnic, the church concert, the church “revival,” the church car wash, the church bake sale, the church fashion show, Bible study, the pastor’s anniversary service, or any number of other church functions.

I admit I am no fan of the current U.S. President or his administration. Personally I feel that the path that the Democrat Party and modern liberals are taking this nation on is a disastrous one. But, putting my personal political preferences aside, I recognize that as a Christian, our political systems and governments are severely flawed and dominated by sinful people with selfish motives. Christians are waged in spiritual warfare with the powers of darkness—and the sources of our national woes go beyond what any Democrat, Republican, Constitutionalist, or Libertarian can remedy.

Don’t look for us in the streets, don’t look for us in the hospitals, or the prisons, or anywhere people are broken. We are busy tending to our church services. BUT, if you come to our church, you will be blessed! Don’t look for us to help the poor—that’s why some of us pay taxes, so that the government can do it. They will be fair, I trust my politicians.

We live in a world filled with crime and violence wrought by men and women consumed with hate and motivated by selfish pride. With brother wronging brother, neighbor offending neighbor, and nation pitted against nation, it seems, as philosopher Edmund Burke has suggested, that evil has prevailed while good men sat idly by and did nothing—and the little

Many of us stand with President Obama, and even praise his homosexual agenda in the 65


public sphere and in our pulpits as being inclusive and just, but don’t look for us to stand up to our government bureaucrats and demand justice for unborn children who are being legally slaughtered by the thousands daily— abortion is a political issue that’s divisive. Most of us—aside from the extremists—are politically correct.

pay tithes and offering! Who would pay to keep the lights on in our impressive edifices? Ok, I hope you get my point. “If the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?” (I Peter 4:18). We as people of God have many shortcomings. We are imperfect beings commissioned to deliver a perfect message to the world—Jesus saves! But we fail in our mission when we are consumed with our own needs, wants, and sinful lusts. We fail when we are unconcerned with the needs of our fellow man.

Sure, we will evangelize to the lost—the drug dealers, thieves, murderers, and prostitutes . . . IF they come to our church and hear our pastors preach. His words will surely prick their hearts. Don’t fret if you are unable to make it to our church service, we will add you to our prayer list and ask God to heal and deliver you.

With all the misery and human suffering, our indifference—our apathy—is literally killing people! The Word of God commands us: “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9). Yet, we have been silent when we should have been vocal, and have spoken when we should have remained silent. Many of us have believed the hype from the secular world that we should be silent on social and even political issues because faith, the world says, is a personal matter and those in the Church should keep their opinions and beliefs to themselves. The enemies of the gospel would have Christians hide their light under a bushel, but the Bible teaches no such thing. The Bible teaches, “Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).

Don’t expect us to openly condemn fornication, adultery, or homosexuality. We may casually mention it in a sermon or two, but the truth of the matter is, we are living in the 21st century and have realized our error in taking the Scriptures literally. We now understand that God accepts us all just as we are and we should not judge such matters—at least that’s what we say in the public sphere. But in reality, many of us know and believe what God says, but we struggle with the same sins secretly. We don’t want to live right—it’s too hard. Nor do we want to condemn such things too loud or too often because everybody is doing it! People don’t like to be judged. They don’t want to be told they are sinners. People may be offended and call us judgmental. If the government finds out, we are sure lose our tax exempt status.

We as Christians do great damage to our witness when we are indifferent concerning human suffering, or silent in the face of evil. German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer boldly proclaimed, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Even philosophers such as John Stuart

So we can’t, God understands. If we were to condemn the actions of fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals, people will tune out and stop coming to church. We won’t be able to fill our church pews and we would have no one to

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Mill recognized the mandate for action in the face of evil. He is quoted as saying, “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”

Just as Dr. King used politics as a tool to rebuke the unjust laws of his time, we can also, as long as we do not err by confining God to a political ideology. We all have personal preferences concerning politics, but we cannot confuse our personal political preferences with godly directives. For example, if our preferences lead us to vote for one political party over another, that is fine and well. As citizens of this nation, we are afforded a voice in governing. But as Christians, our political ideology or inclinations should be aligned with God where God Law and man’s laws are in conflict.

Finally, pastor and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the reigns of racial segregation and legalized discrimination in America, was forced to contend with spirited enemies on one front and an apathetic and sleeping Church on another. He used political pressure as one means to bring an end to unjust laws that denied human dignity to his fellow man.

Where human laws and institutions infringe upon God’s supreme Law, Christians must decide who their allegiance is to—man or God?

Dr. King defined just and unjust laws as follows: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law … Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

As a Christian, I also understand that worldly governments are godless entities without souls and without consciences. They were established by God to promote good and punish evil (Romans 13:1-7)—but how can sinful men promote good if they do not know what good is? How can our governments be just if the love for God and fellow man is not in the hearts of those who govern? The Bible teaches that “Out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). These things are in the heart of every sinful man, rich and poor alike. That is why it is imperative for Christians to be vocal in promoting what is good and shunning what is evil. Dr. King argues that “the Church is not the master or servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”

Dr. King had much to say concerning the Church and its moral failures. In 1965 during a speech, Dr. King is quoted as telling his Georgian audience: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the vitriolic words and other violent actions of the bad people but the appalling silence and indifference of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only the words and acts of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.” King was moved to remind us all that, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

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Although laws do not change a man’s heart, laws are necessary to establish order and promote justice. As Dr. King has pointed out, “the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s important.” This is why a prudent involvement in public affairs has been essential to Christians past and present. Government sanctioned lynching of innocent men, women, and children was a pretty strong motive for the people of God to stand up in the face of evil and declare to the Pharaohs of recent times to leave the people be and do them no further harm!

fail in this purpose, “they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” People cannot see God in us, nor will they receive our message of hope, healing, and salvation through Jesus Christ, if we are indifferent to their suffering. God is concerned with justice.

Mrs. Providence Crowder loves to serve God through serving people. She is married with two children.. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan Wesleyan colleges.

When man’s laws are oppressive or unjust, it essential that men of good conscience do all they can to promote justice here and now—and declare what is good and denounce what is evil. As Dr. King has emphasized, when laws

Visit her website:

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International Circle of Faith Social Media Coordinator Volunteer

 

Position Overview Social Media Coordinators help engage the target audience via various social media channels

Functions, Duties, & Responsibilities 

Expectations Education/Certifications/Experience 

Bookmarking sites, Flickr, Forums, Wikis, blogs, etc Ability to identify threats and opportunities in user-generated content Basic SEO knowledge Ability to produce quality editorial and technical output

Degree in marketing, journalism, new media, advertising, entertainment or social media experience. Will train in lieu of experience. Digital or communications experience

Computer Skills  Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite

Utilizes posts, tweets, podcasts, articles, videos, or screencasts to interact Moderate and promote communications that encourage the exchange of user-generated content Create strategies and tactics to increase participation and ensure the clarity of the message across social media channels Coordinates campaign calendars with online activity Contact:

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities  Demonstrated, participatory expertise in various social media channels, including LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Twitter,

Dr. Ralph Day ICOF VP of Social Media

502.410.4263 (ICOF) biewebmaster@gmail.com 73


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"We apologize for our oversight and any confusion this may have caused," said Jennifer Byrd in the letter, published at Truth Wins Out. "The Salvation Army does not consider homosexual orientation a sin. Please know that we serve anyone who comes to our doors without discrimination."

Salvation Army 'Does Not Consider Homosexual Orientation a Sin'

The offending links, posted under the site's resource list for dealing with "sexual addictions," included Harvest USA, which bills itself as a "ministry committee to offering hope in Jesus to men and women struggling with sexual brokenness and sin." The second resource, Pure Life Ministries, boasts 35 fulltime "biblical counselors and support staff" who its website promises are dedicated to "bringing the hope, healing, and restoration found only in Christ to those who have been touched by the leprosy of sexual sin." Pure Life's website notes that most of its counselors and staff are themselves "graduates" of the faith-based counseling programs.

The Salvation Army removed two links to organizations that advocate so-called ex-gay or reparative therapy from its website Tuesday, after LGBT organization Truth Wins Out contacted the charity group about the supposed endorsement of the scientifically discredited practice that aims to turn gay people straight.

Both organizations advocate the scientifically discredited practice of "reparative therapy," which aims to turn gay people straight through prayer and counseling. Reparative or "ex-gay" therapy has been disavowed by every major medical and psychological organization in the country, and its use by licensed therapists on minors has been outlawed in California and New Jersey.

"We thank the Salvation Army for acting swiftly and decisively in addressing our concerns about links to ‘ex-gay’ organizations," said Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen. "This is a step in the right direction and congruent with their antidiscrimination campaign. We hope this action leads to further progress in gaining the full confidence and trust of the LGBT community."

"Harvest USA and Pure Life Ministries are two destructive organizations dedicated to demonizing LGBT people," Truth Wins Out associate director Evan Hurst said in a statement. "The Salvation Army did the right thing today by removing these ‘ex-gay’ groups from its website before they could harm more innocent victims."

In a letter sent to Truth Wins Out Tuesday, the Salvation Army's director of communications claimed the "ex-gay" links were part of an archived page that was inadvertently republished when the organization re-launched its site last month.

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The Salvation Army, a Christian organization, has had a strained relationship with the LGBT population. In 2011, several LGBT advocates called for a boycott of donations to the Salvation Army's iconic bell-ringers collecting change outside storefronts in red buckets, citing allegations that the evangelical charity refused to serve LGBT people because it considered them "sexually impure," according to NBC. But Tuesday's statement from the Salvation Army's director of communication indicates an apparent shift in tone, as the organization strives to fulfill its new antidiscrimination policy, which prohibits the denial of services or employment based on race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, or sexual orientation.

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The Ministry of

will be “caught up” or raptured before the world gets so bad that they must grow their own food or take care of themselves apart from the worlds system further citing that this is God’s judgment being poured out on mankind to which believers are not appointed. While it’s certainly true that believers in Jesus Christ are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9), we are most certainly appointed to endure tribulation (Matt. 24:21, Acts 14:22, Romans 5:3) as a matter of fact Jesus promised that we would endure tribulation if we were his true followers and that we should rejoice in it for he had already overcome the world (John 16:33).

Preparedness By Dr. Jason Hunt __________________

Have you ever thought about how to best prepare your family, friends or church for a natural disaster, national crisis or other life altering event? You’re not alone. There is a growing segment of the body of Christ becoming more interested in survival and disaster preparedness as His coming draws near. This interest is not limited to the church alone, but the world has taken a renewed interest in becoming more self‐reliant in large part due to uncertain economic climates around the world and our dependence upon the worlds systems to provide for our food, clothing and shelter. It wasn’t that long ago that our grandparents and great grandparents grew their own food, raised their own livestock and mended their own clothing. Farmers markets were once places of bartering in local communities wherein each could trade in their produce or livestock for items they had need of such as milk, fabrics, soap, candles and other such items.

Tribulation simply means trial or trouble‐ problems we’ll have to deal with as we await our Messiah’s return. Tribulation has nothing to do with wrath or judgment, as it is a condition of the world’s transition from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. How much tribulation will we endure? Well, that’s a question for another article for now, let’s set aside our theological minds and hear from the heart of God. What is sure is that in some measure, we’ll have some problems to contend with be they house fires, tornadoes, snow and ice storms or an economic upheaval and all that my friend is a type of tribulation.

Yet, there are many within the body of Christ that refuses to get back to basics, citing their belief that they 78


as he ate the meal, with his staff in his hand prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. It was that very night that Moses was summoned by Pharaoh to leave Egypt with all the Hebrew people‐ thus the great Bug Out occurred which we call the Exodus. These are but a few of dozens of examples. Over the last decade God has equipped reformers and teachers that have grasped this concept and taken upon this ministry of preparedness. Back in 2001, a school was founded specifically for the purpose of training God’s people for a ministry for such a time as this.

The church for the most part has not been equipped to deal with these issues effectively as they’ve been looked upon as realms outside the scope of ministry. But upon careful inspection of the scriptures, you’ll discover that survival; preparedness and self‐reliant living apart from the worlds system have always been at the core of every book of the Bible and at the heart of the plan of God for the ages. We can look at Noah as an example of a Doomsday Prepper‐ God foretold of a massive flood and the destruction of the world, but gave Noah a plan of escape. His escape was to endure tribulation in a floating bunker called an ark, God’s place of refuge.

That school is Frontier Christian University which offers ministry based degree programs with a major in Wilderness & Outdoor Education and minor in Family Preparedness. Not only are graduates of these programs experiencing explosive growth in their churches outreach efforts to youth, men and families, but they’re branching out to create schools of survival that cater to the unchurched and lost in their communities such as Campcraft Outfitters (www.campcraft.us ).

Joseph who interpreted Pharaoh’s dream is another example of a Doomsday Prepper‐ God foretold Pharaoh of a terrible famine that would cover all of Egypt and Joseph, the servant of God was given the strategy to endure the time of trouble by collecting 1/5th of the annual increase of Egypt over seven years. Not only did Egypt thrive during this time of trouble, but they were able to feed the surrounding nations as well out of their abundance.

I, as the President of Frontier Christian University, travel to speak to churches and other groups on how to best connect the dots between the Bible

Moses is yet another example of a survivalist. During the first Passover, God instructed him to be fully dressed 79


and being Prepared and offer training in a variety of topics to establish a sustainable ministry of preparedness in a local body. This type of ministry speaks to the fears families have today and addresses them head on with practical and actionable Bible teaching which spurs personal growth and greater spiritual edification.

About the Author: Dr. Jason Hunt is the President of Cities of Refuge Network (C.O.R.N.) and President of Frontier Christian University located in Bethlehem, Kentucky. He’s a contributing writer to magazines such as Prepare and Self‐Reliance Illustrated and has over two dozen published titles related to the Christian life.

Perhaps you’ve been struggling with the questions and issues related to being prepared or on how to address your congregants’ fears concerning the state of world affairs; please contact us as we’re here to help! We’ve experienced more growth over the last few years since implementing this type of ministry than the ten previous years combined. We’re winning souls, making disciples and effecting change in the body of Messiah. You can learn more about Frontier Christian University by visiting:

Jason is also an Outfitter and owner of Campcraft Outfitters which specializes in outdoor gear and classes for life’s off grid adventures.

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search the scriptures and the

WHY DO WE NEED A

ideas of the Church through the

CONFESSION OF FAITH?

ages to see how our own beliefs compare. We should make sure

By Jeff Phillips

our theology is sound. Christians have always

“Why do we need any doctrine

struggled with theology. In the

at all? Why don’t we just love

early centuries of the Church,

Jesus?”

there were many views concerning the covenant and

It sounds right, but just ask the

the person of Christ. Some of

person to clarify what he means.

these robbed Christ of His deity.

Ask him a simple question like,

Others robbed Him of His

“Who is Jesus?” If he answers,

humanity. There were also

“The Jesus of the Bible” ask in

differences about which

return, “What does the Bible say

writings should be included in

about Jesus?” Any answer we

the “canon” (officially

give to these questions is some

recognized as Scripture),

form of a doctrine or theology

differences about church

about the person of Christ.

government and differences about many other

Even the statement, “no

things.

doctrine but love, no creed but Christ” is a theology. So, the

The early Church had several

fact is all believers in Christ

councils to define what the

have doctrine or theology. Our

people of God believed. The first

doctrine may be either

of these councils is recorded in

homemade or learned from

the Bible itself, in the Book of

someone else, but we all have

Acts. More councils followed in

one. What we should do is 82


the next few centuries as

source of Promise Land

Christians sought to define their

doctrine.

faith. Through the ages, the

The real focus of Christian unity

overwhelming majority of

is centered around the person of

Christians have agreed with the

the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the

decisions of these councils.

truth. All other truths, even time-

They have stood the test of

honored, highly treasured

time. The most important have

Christian truths, must be written

been repeated in poetical forms

with a lower case “t,” and be

called “creeds” (from the Latin

preceded by the article “a.” To

word “credo” meaning “I

enshrine anything else as The

believe”).

Truth apart from Him, who claimed that title, is idolatry. We

The most important of these

certainly do not wish to make an

was the Apostles’ Creed. No one

idol of this confession of our

knows for sure when it was

faith.

written. We do know it was being quoted as early as the

Our Confession of Faith, like all

second century, in a form very

doctrine and theology, is a

similar to what we recite now.

declaration of truths about “The

There are almost no Christians

Truth.” It is an attempt to give

anywhere, with all our

us a handle on His Gospel, as

differences, who do not accept

we understand it.

the doctrines that this creed teaches. It is a core of faith that believers in Christ everywhere hold as a common heritage. It is that common heritage we will discuss here because that is the 83


Melissa has served Mercy29 establishing orphanages in India. Melissa is ordained through Destiny Ministries and is a member of AACC and she also serves as a Board Certified Biblical Counselor recognized by the American Association of Christian Counselors. Melissa’s photography is award winning and is in circulation. Her work is seen across the world by her photocompositions of brochures, books, advertisements, PSAs, as well as in the entertainment and music industry. She also writes a blog of inspiration and encouragement.

Pastor Jeff and Melissa Phillips serve a growing number of believers that are hungry for a revolutionary experience. Their ministry network has crossed denominational lines, building relationships that enable church leaders to walk in both purity and power.

They have four sons; Lyle Benjamin, Bryson Roth, Jordan Heath, and Spencer Edward.

Not only having knowledge but also experiencing it through the Holy Spirit. They planted Promiseland Metro in May of 2010. Pastor Jeff has a heart to see the body of Christ grow and develop both individually and corporately. Leading by example he strives to maintain a disciplined lifestyle that represents Christ. Throughout his ministry he has been involved in many different avenues of servant hood. Some examples of this are ministries such as Mercy 29, Iris Ministries and ministering in several nations including South Africa, Guatemala, and the Holy Land. Pastor Jeff’s Biblical Education includes a Bachelors in Biblical Studies (B.B.S.) and Master of Theology (Th.M.) with Omega Bible Institute and Seminary. He is also ordained through Destiny Ministries. You can’t be around Pastor Jeff for very long without knowing he is a man with a vision and a purpose of seeing others come to Christ.

Pastor Jeff’s Blog www.jefferymphillipsblog.wordpress.com Missions: www.Mercy29.org Church Plant: www.irisnashville.com Melissa’s Blog: www.melissaphillipsministries.com

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ARE THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN REALLY OPEN?

rend (tear, rip to pieces) the heavens! That You would come down!" (Isaiah 64:1). You may have prayed this hundreds of times, but here are some questions to ask: Is the veil rent in the tabernacle? Of course. What does that mean? Everyone can now enter beyond the veil – into what was before the mystery.

By Dr. Kluane Spake

Why do we have soooo many Church Conferences and articles about “How to Open the Windows of Heaven?” The church of Jesus Christ has far more inheritances than it realizes. Salvation means you don’t have to blast open the Gates to penetrate heaven and with your prayers in order to see the power of God released.

Did Jesus already “come down?” Yes, of course!! Any questions? Did Jesus finish His work? That’s what He said! I hear questions like, “If the blessings of God are in the heavenly realms, how we bring them down?” My friend, that’s what Jesus already did! Believe it! --Yes, Malachi is conditional promises based on your obedience. But, be careful to not live in the Old Testament so much that you miss the power of the New! Don’t just believe out of your own experiences! Change your mind – refine your belief systems – discover greater Truth… and you will see more happening in your life! All the promises of God are Yes and Amen! What you believe in your heart, so it shall be! (***).

Really? Do your prayers open heaven? Can you plead, shout, holler, yell, sing, dance, or petition enough to get God to answer you? Do you have to tear them open? Why? Is God unwilling to answer you? And anyway, just how good do you have to be? We end up with a faith that is based on what I do (works) rather than what Jesus already did. Why do you pray for what you already have? Why do you pray for what God has already done?

Jesus, the Pattern son, was baptized and the heaven’s opened (Mat. 3:16) and …. The Bible never says that the heavens closed again! God the Father tore open the heavens because He issued in a whole new era of dispensation.

That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead does already dwell in you. He positioned Himself IN YOU, and that means YOU carry that same Spirit in your mortal body – you can sit where He sits. He knows what you will face and He ever intercedes. The Holy Spirit intercedes for you, and Jesus stands in the GAP for you. Some tell how Isaiah prayed, "Oh, that You would

Open = open wide, loosen, start, plow, to be loose, to be free! You have the promise of walking and living in an open heaven – NOW, if you choose to believe. If you live under closed heavens, 86


they are closed for you. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within -- and that means most warfare is between your ears. You have to believe!

when he saw a ladder set up on the earth, that reached up to hea ven, and Angels ascended and descended on it. God promised to give him the land (Gen 28:1214).

Over you is an Open Heaven. No demonic power can close what God has opened. If God opens, who can close it? God opens doors for us. And when He opens a door, no man can shut it (Rev. 3:8). Acts 7:55-56, “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I SEE HEAVEN OPEN and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Like Stephen, can you say this out loud with me? “I see Heaven OPEN!”

In Psalm 78, the manna that the Israelites ate in the wilderness was associated with the doors of heaven being opened (Ps. 78:22-25). Then I SAW the doors of the Temple, the Tent of Witness in Heaven, open wide (Rev. 15:5). I looked up and saw that heaven had opened. Suddenly, a white horse appeared (Rev. 19:11). I just read a well know preacher who said, “We can stimulate the heart of God to open the windows of heaven for blessing in our lives.” Listen… it is not by personal effort! What a relief to know that a loving God choses to keep Himself near. You and I are not responsible to open heaven! It is not by your might or your power, but by His Spirit that we can come boldly to the throne. Why not use this Scripture (also in Isaiah) instead? “This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus … TO OPEN DOORS BEFORE HIM SO THAT GATES WILL NOT BE SHUT: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. " (Isa, 54:1-2).

This Open heaven releases treasures! The already open windows of heaven mean that spiritual communication is ongoing, just as it was before the Fall. Jesus restored us into right positioning. The ALREADY open heaven provides the entrance to all that is new. The open heaven means you can do nothing to open it! It already is!! Today, take what is yours… Align your thoughts to this truth! Be conscious and begin to delight in the fact that the Spirit of God dwells in you and become alert to the FACT that an Open Heaven surrounds you at all time. Discover the intense passion of God’s love for you.

Dr. Kluane Spake is an internationally recognized and Commissioned Ambassadorial Apostle and Prophetic Keynote Speaker, Author, Ministry Mentor to Christian Leaders, and Friend. spake@mindspring.com http://kluane.com 218-248-7247 - call to Schedule

RELATED SCRIPTURES: When Jesus met Nathanael, he said, "Hereafter YE SHALL SEE HEAVEN OPEN, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."(Jn. 1:51). It is possible to see it. Jesus referred to Jacob's dream at Bethel, 87


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In their quest to find happiness they reached heights that others only dream of but in the end they're like the fabled dog in Aesop's Fable...while walking over the bridge with a bone in his mouth...looked down into the water and saw his shadow...reaching for the bone which looked bigger in the shadow he lost both of them.

BROKEN DREAMS By Timothy Spell

Morning devotion here while drinking a cup of coffee. The haunting strains of "here we go again" sung by the great Ray Charles is being played in Starbucks...and then he says... play it Billy... meaning the late Billy Preston.

Ray Charles & Billy Preston both were raised in church singing only the sacred. They re both gone and all we have is the haunting memory of what could have been. A life without God ,in the end leaves you with nothing but broken dreams singing with Ray Charles, "Here We Go Again".

The song is a mirror image of the collective lives of those who once knew what it was to be touched by the presence of God but lost their way seeking for fame & fortune in a world that leaves them broke, busted & disgusted, lonely, empty, finally destitute of God.

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2. Someone Who Will Challenge You. This is a person that sees your potential and pushes you to reach it. They are not someone who is afraid to confront your laziness or procrastination. They will be a constant voice that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone.

Does Your Dream Have A Good Ground Crew?

The other day while waiting to catch a connecting flight, I took a picture of the ground crew. There were a few things that caught my attention as I noticed the workers and all the different activities that were involved in getting the aircraft ready for takeoff. The crew was busy doing the following:

. 3. Someone Who Believes In Your Dream. This person needs to believe in your dream as much as you do. They may even see themselves as a key component that you need in order to actually reach your destination. They are excited to be on the journey with you.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Loading the luggage on the plane. Refueling the tanks. Taking out the trash. Re-stocking the drinks and snacks (yes, the famous peanuts & pretzels). 5. Walking around the plane giving it a pre-flight safety inspection.

4. Someone Who Is Smarter Than You. You don’t know it all, and you will never know it all. The huge reality is there are some parts to your dream that are beyond your education and skill set. It is important for you to have this person on the crew. Keep in mind, this person cannot function properly on your ground crew if you are jealous and insecure.

After witnessing this for several minutes it became apparent that this was no doubt an analogy of someone’s dream getting ready for take-off. The real truth is that your dream will never get airborne without a good ground crew. Here’s what you will need in a good ground crew member: 1. Someone Who Believes In You.

You need this person to be at their best, so you will need to be secure and confident in who you are. Get these people on your crew and you will soon be cleared for takeoff……

A person that believes in you is usually a person that will be a great encouragement along the journey. Just like adding fuel to the plane they will refuel you in times of discouragement and opposition. Trust me, you need this person on your crew. 93


Silent Praise is transforming churches with their ministry to the deaf community. – Dr. Bernie L. Wade ICOF President

TO ORDER SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:

SILENT PRAISE ATTN: Evangelist Jackie Wade 283 Summit Dr. Campbellsburg, Ky. 40011 94


Nepal Ministers training

AFRICA Kenya Crusade in Mwanza, Kenya

Tanzania

AUSTRAILIA

ASIA Malaysia

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INDIA

Message Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. YOU WON'T LOSE HEART IF YOU BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE 1. Believe in the Scriptures. Believe in God's character. Believe God will do for you what He has promised. Believe means to stand firm; to trust.

Introduction: The person living an unshakable life is one who builds on the unshakable word of God. His life is anchored, immovable, and indestructible. To live this life, it is important to make faith declarations. A faith declaration unites the heart and mouth to declare by faith the word of God and unshakable life declarations.

2. Scriptures on believe. a. Abraham believed God's word that He would be the father of many nations when he had no children. He believed, then he saw. Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness. b. Jehoshaphat believed God would rescue them from the enemy. He believed and worshiped, then he saw.

Today's declaration comes from the last two verses in Psalm 27 and is "I will not lose heart." Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Our declaration: I will resist the lies of the enemy that seek to blind my eyes to the goodness and greatness of God working in my life. My God is for me and is able to strengthen my heart at all times so I refuse to lose heart.

c. II Chronicles 20:20 Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper.

Isaiah 41:10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

d. Psalm 31:23 Love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful (the believing). 96


e. Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me."

PAKISTAN

f. Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. YOU HAVE TO SEE 1. Open up your heart and see with faith-eyes what the natural man cannot see with natural-eyes. See God working in the dark. See God turning situations around. See God in every aspect of life.

I am Rev. Azar naz ,Chairman LIGHT OF THE WORLD MINISTRIES REGISTERED IN PAKISTAN. I am also Chairman All Churches Pastors Counsel in Pakistan.20 Pastors are working with me in different areas in Punjab. Last night on 16 October 2013, there was a whole night meeting in my church.

My dear Brother's & Sister Who believe in him they will receive ..Peace, Joy , Hope & strength......etc Believe in him And Receive the Blessings In Jesus Name Your Brother In Christ Pastor Mekala prakash

Started from 8:30 pm and close 4:30am on 17 October morning. there were 74 people, 25 people accept Jesus as their Personal Savior and baptizing with water, 20 people received the baptizing with Holy Ghost. One young man was abnormal since his childhood. Now he is 28 years old, when he came this meeting under the Shadow of the Holy Spirit touched him and he is healed completely right now. Praise the Lord, You are requested to pray continue for them all. God bless you. 97


NEW ZEALAND

Keep watching! http://www.icof.net

ARIZONA ICOF Fivefold Roundtable – Phoenix with Chairman – Bishop Derrick Day

SOUTH AMERICA Chile

NORTH AMERICA USA We are excited to announce that a new web site is coming for ICOF Global. The IT Dept has removed the old site and a new one will be up soon! New pages for ICOF History are already up http://www.icof.net/about/history

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INTERNATIONAL CIRCLE OF FAITH COLLEGES, SEMINARIES AND UNIVERSITIES EDUCATING TOMORROWS CHRISTIAN LEADERS

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WANTED INTERCESSORS Together we are making a real and lasting difference for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

IF YOU ARE AN INTERCESSOR WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are putting a team of intercessors together to pray for our new church plant. We know that we can never accomplish the vision that God has given us without intercessors.

Or Call

LIFE CHURCH of Kentucky is in the process of a new church plant. As part of our launch team we need a plethora of God called intercessors. We would love for you to be part of what God is doing in our area.

502.410.4263

If you will commit to praying for LIFE CHURCH of Kentucky we will commit to give you timely updates on the needs.

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But don’t do that. Let it reveal to you the weakness that God is trying to show you. God doesn’t send adversity to be against you, but to benefit you. (out of weakness, we are made strong) The cares of this world are the stiffest competition for your attention God has.

ADVERSITY IS TEMPORARY!!

The Purpose of Adversity

One of my favorite lines of scripture in the Book is, Genesis 40:1 “…and it came to pass…”

By J. Samuel Willoughby

Psalms 34:17-22 The righteous cry; and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. You need some rest and peace? Take up His yoke. Murrel and Joan Ewing wrote a song that says… “The storms don’t decide how long they will stay…when the Master says, ‘Enough!’ they just go away…”

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The simple Truth about the Christian walk, is that adversity is no respecter of persons…it comes to every man, regardless of status or experience levels. When Jesus told the story in Matthew 7 of the contrast between the housebuilding sites of the wise versus the foolish man. The ONE constant in the story is, the flood comes to all!

Hebrews 12:6-7 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Hebrews 12:10-13 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

When adversity comes, many foil God’s plan and purpose by trying to remove the adversity. 104


11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

In our self-examination we need to ask ourselves, “Have we dishonored our teaching in any way?” Adversity is often God’s way of conquering our pride. Think of Moses…Joseph…David…Apostle Paul. Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Adversity is God’s wake-up call for self-examination—

Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Time for us to thoroughly examine our actions, our attitudes, our motives, the things that drive us…If not we’re liable to miss the little OBLIQUE turn in life’s road…

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. Some things are just not honorable! According to James 4:6-7 God “resists” the proud! That word means “to set the battle in array against”. God goes to war with us when we allow pride to govern us!

1 Corinthians 11:28-32 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

James 4:6-7 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Revelation 4:10-11 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above

Ephesians 6:2-3 Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth;

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measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Bishop J. Samuel Willoughby brings a lifetime of ministry experience to his role as a Teacher in the Body of Christ. He is a member of the International Circle of Faith Fivefold Roundtable for North America.

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Fellow Laborers in the Gospel, The International Circle of Faith (ICOF) has been given a vision and a mandate to herald the importance of the Five-Fold Ministry Gifts (Ephesians 4: 11) to the church for the following objectives:    

Equip the Saints for the Edifying of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12) Unify the Church in faith (Ephesians 4:13) Encourage the Saints to be grounded in truth and doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) Bring the Saints into maturity in Christ (Ephesians 4:15)

Because these objectives have not been met, the Church – by-and-large – has been operating in a diminished capacity, not fully manifesting the power of the risen Christ and demonstrating the Greater Works (John 14:12) that Jesus told the Church it would do. For this reason ICOF is looking for sons and daughters of God who long to see the power expressed in the first-century church in the modern church. We call this initiative the Five-Fold Roundtable. Participation is simple. There is a conference call held on the first Monday of every month at 8:00PM EST (7:00PM CST, 6:00PM MST, 8:00PM PST). Here is the conference call information:  

Phone Number: Passcode:

(712) 432-0373 680181*

If you’re inclined to be a part of this vision, you can start by forming your own local Five-Fold Roundtable. This will require stepping outside your comfort zone to introduce yourself to, and fellowship with, ministry and Christian business leaders in your area, sharing this vision with them. In order to make the vision plain, we have broken it down into three areas:   

Identify Five-Fold leaders locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally Equip Five-Fold leaders to reproduce first in their local ministries then in their community Deploy Five-Fold leaders to displace the powers of darkness with the Kingdom of God

If you desire assistance with this, you can email me directly, and ICOF will bring resources to bear to help you with your effort. We look forward to laboring with you! Yours in Christ,

D.E. Day Bishop Derrick Day, Chairman ICOF Five-Fold Roundtable 107


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January 2014 NEXT WAVE