Taking the Word to the World

Archive for November, 2013

Best Decisions are made at a Pentecostal Altar

Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made were at a Pentecostal altar. Thirty-four years ago, at an altar, I met Jesus Christ. Not the Jesus merely portrayed on the stations of a cross, or the Jesus pictured in homes, nor the Jesus pinned around one’s neck, lapel, or on the dashboard of a car. No, I met the real Thing. Promised. Present. Right there; at the altar. My life was forever altered. Behind that altar I was baptized in the saving name of Jesus Christ. At that altar I later received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

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I found myself at the altar—every week. There, I started feeling the tug to Africa. Well, not really a mere tug, but a continual wave of African faces.

I said, “I do” at a Pentecostal altar. Now married for going on thirty years, I’m still saying “I do” and still building an altar in my home. I dedicated both of my children at a Pentecostal altar. Their eventual vocation selection didn’t matter. What mattered was, is, and is to come that they serve God and bow their knees to His name. At an altar!

I’ve had the awesome privilege of praying literally hundreds through to the Holy Ghost at altars spread across the globe.

Last night I found myself at an altar….again! I’m not ashamed of my weekly trips to a communal altar at my church. Neither am I embarrassed of the altar I invisibly build and sacrifice upon on a daily basis.

One of my favorite Scriptures, prayed and acted upon daily is: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

It’s my daily prayer. At times I drag myself on to that altar. Sometimes I fall off. What do I do? Pull myself back on to the altar again. God is concerned about my availability and willingness to be a living sacrifice. Paul felt it was so important that He begged us to offer our lives daily.

One African missionary tells of a thanksgiving service where many gifts had been placed at the front of the church including a huge basket. When it looked like all the gifts had been given, the pastor prepared to go on with the service. He paused as a skinny, frail old man made his way to the front of the church. Empty-handed he went to the large woven basket and climbed inside. With no offering to bring the man had decided to give the only thing he had–himself. It is the gift of gifts.

During this holiday season let us renew our commitment daily. Find your altar again today; stick with it, stay on it, and never stray from it.

Why Bible Schools?

Why Bible schools? That’s easy. We firmly believe in Joel’s ancient prophecy and promise reiterated on the birthday of the apostolic church: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17). The future is bright. The greatest days of the apostolic movement are right ahead of us. Bible schools prepare passionately for the future!

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Countries will be turned upside right with apostolic revival. Cities will be changed. Communities will be impacted. Revival will come. Church growth will happen. All that—and so much more—calls out for multiplication. Train workers. How else would we reasonably prepare for the monstrous end-time harvest?

Within Global Missions, Bible school training remains one of the pivotal, fundamental things we do. With around three hundred schools outside of North America we are bent on facilitating the global harvest and worldwide revival. Our strongest nations are places where we have the strongest Bible school programs. One such nation has over eighty schools. What next? Open more Bible schools. Train more laborers. Develop more discipleship and mentoring methods. Equip more Bible school instructors. We are aggressively active and adamant about it. Expect no less with seven billion people on the planet still waiting for trained harvesters. The future demands it now!

Printed in IBC Perspectives

What Will Not Be In Heaven?

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According to the Book of Revelation in heaven there will be no more…

  • Tears (21:4)
  • Sickness (22:2)
  • Pain (21:4)
  • Death (21:4)
  • Thirst (7:16)
  • Hunger (7:16)
  • Sin (21:27)
  • Sun or moon (21:23)
  • Judgment (22:3)
  • Night (21:25)
  • Temple (21:22)

Promises in God’s Word!

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19).

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It was one of those rare moments sketched in memory. During the introduction to my Sunday morning message I asked the African village congregation, “How many promises are there in God’s Word for you!” Enthusiastically, a young girl raised her hand and said, “There is one promise in God’s Word.” Someone else added, “There are two promises.” Finally, the church drummer enthusiastically proclaimed, “There are seven promises in God’s Word for His people.” All were wrong. All were far from the answer.

There are 7,487 promises in the Bible from God to man, and many of them are directed to us. Sadly, through ignorance, we live far below what God has in mind for us. We are the children of the promise (Romans 9:8; Galatians 4:28) and the heirs of promise (Hebrews 6:12, 17). It is our inheritance. God has many good things in mind for us.

A Very Little Man in a Very Big Tree

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Once upon a time there was a very little man and a very big tree. Their relationship to each other, my friends, is a very interesting story. You see, one day the very little man had a very big problem. This is what it was: He wanted to see a King and he was too selfish; too much of a bad man; too proud; and too short to see Him. (He didn’t deserve to see him anyway.) Yet, being used to getting what he wanted he was sure he would find a way. As he was mulling over his predicament he looked up and saw it: the very big tree. So, he decided to climb it, borrowing it’s height as his own so that he could see. When he reached the top, he found that he could indeed see very well. He watched breathlessly from his tall perch, his eyes glued to the King who wore no crown. Suddenly, the man he wanted so much to see looked up and called his name: “Zacchaeus! Come down from that tree! I’m going to your house today!” So the very little man climbed out of the very big tree and went home with the very big God – The God That Visits.

Great story! It’s incomprehensible how a God with so many other things to do and so many places to visit would take the time to visit Zacchaeus. Yet, He did. Now, He is willing and waiting to visit with us as well. “God is so very big and we are so very small” you may say. “How can we ever be deserving of a visit from Him?” Well, you certainly do not want to miss any of His potential visits and should prepare for them by serving, obeying, magnifying, and expecting Him all the time. Yet, when it all boils down to it, the best of us very little people still find ourselves very little deserving of a visit from a God such as ours. That is one of things that makes Him so unique. He loves us all and wants to spend time with each and every one of us. All we need provide is the desire to see Him. We serve the God that visits even the undeserving.