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This past week alone I got sermon feedback from people in Washington DC, Hawaii, California and Iraq. Oh the wonders of the podcast. I’m told in three of these places my “Origins: God’s Green Earth” series is making the rounds and is quite a hit. Of course I appreciate feedback that is positive. Interesting to me, I’m getting triple the feedback I normally get in a message series and we are giving away hundreds of CDs. One lady on Sunday, a visitor, took a handful and plans to send them to her Ph.D microbiologist son with hopes that he’ll make room for God in his life. This morning I was mapping out the remaining messages in the series and had the thought… why quit so soon? There is so much more to say on this theme. I do believe it has end time relevance.
Also I know that those of you who attend CATG each weekend may never be able to run for President unless you disavow the crazy politically-incorrect things I’m saying right now and have said over the years. Actually we do need people in our midst to rise up and govern – that’s the Creation Mandate – rulership, dominion over the created order. Go for it! I promise to not pull a Rev. Wright.
Big thanks to my friend Steven M. Collins for this guest post. As usual, Steve opens the Scriptures in untraditional ways showing things we wonder why we didn’t see all along. Recently Steve gave me a preview of a fascinating paper he was about to post on his website – “Is the earth 6000 years old.” I’ve linked to the full paper here and also at the end of his guest post. After reading his paper a couple of times, I asked him to write a guest post here to sum that up and that is what is spelled out below. Steve lives here in Sioux Falls with his wife and family, has written five books on Israel, and is one of our life group leaders. More on his books and his blog on his website. Pray for Steve’s health – he’s unable to travel and take speaking engagements right now. Lord, touch this brother!
Pastor Steve, I am really enjoying your message series on “Origins: God’s Green Earth.” I agree it is critically-important that we understand the foundations of our beginnings in order to truly understand our Creator and his purpose for our lives. As you have been giving your “Origins” series, which has a strong emphasis on Genesis 1, I have been putting the finishing touches on an article which complements the subject matter of your messages. My article addresses the “Creation vs. Evolution” debate from an entirely new perspective.
My article strongly affirms a literal understanding and application of the scriptures, and I believe that by combining the account in Genesis 1 with creation accounts in other books of the Bible (Job, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc.), we can actually reconcile the differences between the scientific community and the Christian community regarding the origins of the earth and life itself. We know that God has eternally existed. Have the creative efforts of an ageless Creator (in the physical world) been limited to only the most-recent 6,000 years, as many “young earth” Christians maintain? Read the rest of this entry »
Al Gore is a prophet who lives wealthy and hypocritically off the offerings of his followers. Global warming has become a religious belief – there are believers and unbelievers, infidels and apostates, proselytes, evangelists, hypocrites and corruption. There are rituals, creeds and divination. There is blasphemy and “truth” albeit inconvenient. There is preaching, prophecy and indoctrination. There are disciples (the media), and the professors have become the high priests and apostles of evolution. Their textbooks are now Holy Writ. The faithful vow to follow no matter what the true facts may show. Abortion is the sacrament. A global Crusade is underway with converts and casualties. A Jihad has been called against the only thing in the created order that bears the image of God. The salvation of the planet is only in the extermination of people.
So much for the “separation of church and state.” So much for NOMA – the “non-overlapping magisteria” of science and religion. But then again, what do you expect, this isn’t science anymore, these are faith-based initiatives.
Happy Earth Day! Perhaps you are aware I’ve been preaching for a month or so on the theme Origins: God’s Green Earth. The series is all about the earth, the environment and the end times. This whole creation/evolution debate is a worship issue in that it’s about who gets the credit, the glory and the praise. I encourage you to tune in via the podcasts if you are outside the area.
This past weekend was especially important as I connected the dots between the population control movement and the global warming movement. This is not just about how we all need to drive hybrids and use high effeciency light bulbs. What we have here is an evil, unholy end-time alliance. (DVD’s of the message are available – you’ll want that over the audio-only version as some key video clips and charts that I used in the message are only on the DVD.)
Here’s the deal, media mogal Ted Turner is pouring his billions into Algore’s three-year propaganda campaign. If you haven’t seen the Ted Turner clip I showed a few weeks ago, check it out for yourself. He says “we’ve got to stabilize the population – there are too many people.” He advocates getting the planet from 6 billion people down to 2 billion through global one-child per family policies like they have in China, through forced sterilization and by getting reproductive health care services within walking distance of everyone on the planet. Of course that is all code for “abortion.”
First, the problem the globe is facing is de-population not over-population. We need more babies right now not less. Second, we all want to save the planet, especially Christians. God gave us the mandate to steward the earth and we abdocated that mandate and the world has picked up the “green mantle” in a misguided way. Third, Satan is at war with God and, people, human-beings are the only thing in the created order that bears the image of God. Satan is a liar and a deceiver. He knows people won’t buy the “kill people” agenda so he’s packaging it “save the planet.”
All this fuss over whether it’s getting warmer or colder is just a smokescreen for something far more devious. It’s like the devil is distracting mom and dad by getting them to fuss over the thermostat all the while he is taking their children.
Jesus spoke of the convulsions in nature as sign posts of the end of the age. He said it’ll all be like birthpangs. We know there will be false prophets at the end of the age, but if it’s like “birthpangs” then we can expect some false alarms, some false labor. Just like years ago when I rushed my pregnant wife to the hospital and they sent us home a couple hours later because it was “a false alarm,” Jesus is saying “heads up, there will be some false alarms before this all comes to pass.”
Think about these things as one billion people today, earth day, sound the “alarm.”
Leadership Journal is perhaps THE journal of journals for non-charismatic evangelical church leaders. It has its roots in Billy Graham and Christianity Today. It’s contributors are THE who’s who in the evangelical world – Willow Creek, Saddleback, etc. This was the camp that produced me, and then spit me back out when I started pointing out the Bible lists more apostles than just the Twelve.
You can imagine my delight to flip through my latest copy of Leadership Journal (Spring ’08 – it’s not online yet) to discover the issue has two feature articles saying what I’ve been saying for a dozen years (and what the New Testament has been saying for 2000 years.) Apostles exist today!!!
Really, this is nothing new. Ephesians 4:11-13 explicitly says apostles are vital to the church, and will continue to be, “UNTIL we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
For those who didn’t know there was any debate here, believe me, there is. In 2004, I wrote a book about these things (Obtainable Destiny, Creation House Press). At that time, the book was not welcome in evangelicalism. (The book is a commentary of sorts on 1, 2 Timothy and Titus which I decided to dub… the “Apostolic Epistles” instead of what we are all taught they were… “the Pastoral Epistles.”) My point was these guys were not sent out (apostolos) to be pastors and “hold people’s hands” for 30 years. They were apostles-in-training. My evangelical colleagues were okay calling me a church “planter” or a home “missionary”, but as I tried to point out, neither of those terms are found in the Bible. And to be clear, I wasn’t asking or interested to have a title attached to my name – it was about the recognition and release of the gift and its operation in the church.
I’ve come to believe the adversary doesn’t sweat much when 100 pastors is a state operate in their gifting. But the devil freaks out when 100 apostles are released in a region. Getting over our apprehensiveness with this gifting and its operation today will get us over a major hurdle in advancing the Kingdom of God in our regions.
My D. Min. studies, yes under my good friend Dr. C. Peter Wagner, led me to the conclusion that the closest thing to a church planter in the New Testament wasn’t a “pastor.” Pastors take care of sheep already in the fold. Evangelists win the lost but then they leave town. Only the apostle goes forth to establish lasting Kingdom outposts where they weren’t previously. Apostles are the pioneers, the church planters.
Suggesting such however, even just five years ago, you would have thought I was advocating we add a fourth person to the Trinity! I know there are wacko’s out there claiming to be apostles who are not. But even there, the fact that there are false apostles means there are real ones. In five more years, this will all be a non-issue and we can get on with the work of God and stop picking at each other. Here’s a quick summary of these two Leadership Journal articles:
ARTICLE #1 - Note the title/subtitle…THREE OVERLOOKED LEADERSHIP ROLES: We’re familiar with pastors and teachers, but todays world needs a leadership team that includes three biblical but forgotten functions. Here are some highlights…
If we take the five categories of church leadership from Ephesians 4:11, [we are] training leaders to be teachers and pastors for established congregations, but where [are] the evangelists, the prophets and the apostles to lead the mission of the gospel into the world… this divorce of apostles, prophets and evangelists from pastors and teachers has been disastrous for the local church and has damaged the cause of Christ and his mission.”
There is a great chart called the “Fantastic Five Diagram” which is old-school five-fold ministry stuff from the charismatic camp.
ARTICLE #2 – title/subtitle… APOSTLES TODAY? Rediscovering the gift that leaves churches and well-connected pastors in its wake. Apostles leave new churches in their wake!!! That’s it! I love the first sentence…
We all know about the apostles named Peter, Paul and John, but have you ever heard of Andronicus or Junia? Some are surprised to discover that the New Testament identifies more apostles than the twelve…
You get the idea. Evangelicals are just now discovering apostles do exist today. And, I’m thrilled! Maybe we can all work together again. And just maybe, the self-appointed, unaccountable heresy hunters will come under conviction and realize these verses are in the Bible after all.
In 2003, I wrote a little 29-page booklet called “Maximizing Momentum: All Aboard the Move of God.” Long story, but it has since turned into a full-length book. Actually the full length book has been done for two years already. Last summer, I trained 100 church leaders in Ghana on these points. In the last five years I’ve taught this stuff at leadership retreats, to church plant launch teams, and to mission pastors. The feedback I’m getting is that there is nothing like what I have here and that the church desperately needs this message.
You say, what then is the hold up on it’s publication? Money. Still no breakthrough there but I’m going to press ahead getting it ready. My editor finished her work on this last summer and now I’m thinking about a creative layout and title. We had a little brainstorming session the other night on possible titles. At present, as you can see in the graphic, I’ve been going with the title “The Big Mo: Seizing the Crescendo Seasons of God’s Ever-Increasing Kingdom.” However, nobody in Africa last summer could figure any of that out – especially the “big mo” thing. My translator looked at me like I had broke out into tongues.
We are kicking around a few title ideas right now -
1. Unlocking the Secrets of Momentum
2. Momemtum Made Easy
3. Momentum Secrets
4. Crescendo: Momentum for the Church
5. Pastor Steve lights a fire under the butt of believers
6. Escalation in the End Times
I need some major feedback on this so, please, freely comment. If you are creative, shoot me a fresh title suggestion. If you like one of these, which one?
Sorry to disappear from the blogosphere for a few days. I hope you were able to function for a few days without my life-giving insights into whatever I’m interested in. (Blame a hotwire.com $39 a night La Quinta hotel room that promised wireless internet but apparently the wires were missing that would have made it actually work.)
We just got back from Birmingham late last night. Went with 11 CATG peeps to Church of the Highlands for a spectacular church planting conference. Many things are rolling around in my head right now that will soon gel into more vision and passion for what we are doing right here in SD!
It’s always great to travel with friends. Lots of laughs… like yesterday when Pastor Dennis mis-spoke during a conversation about his baldness and talked about his using viagra and how that didn’t help his hair grow (he later tried to assure us he meant to say rogaine.) We flew from Birmingham to Dallas with Brian Houston - that was cool for the star-struck among us. I want to publicly thank Kathy for packing light this time… we knew you could do it!
Here’s some highlights:
– The greatest church planting “tool” is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told his followers after three years of equipping… stay here in the upper room until you get what you really need to go out and take territory. Jesus sent people out to plant churches with POWER!
– Great word from Brian Houston on how we often focus on what we don’t have and only take notice of the lack… we miss what is right here in our own house- people, potential. We learned THE Darlene Zschech was once just a lady in his church named Darlene – now her song made America Idols top ten list - shout to the Lord! We often don’t see the “oil” in our own “house” because it doesn’t look like its going to look like when God touches it. We’ve got to raise people in our midst up and release them!
– Regarding prayer… a man on his face never falls from that position. Do we as leaders, at our core, really believe that prayer matters? How we run our ministries reveals whether or not we really believe that is true. The hard days in prayer are more important to God than the easy days.
The Global School of Supernatural Ministry at Church at the Gate ended tonight with several wonderful waves of healing. Sessions on hearing the voice of God, the five-step model for healing prayer and how to receive Words of Knowledge set the stage for God to move. No hype, not even music, full lighting, yet the atmosphere of God in our midst was tangible. Twenty or so words of knowledge came forth and then the testimonies started popping up. A couple dozen people noted at least 80% improvement. We asked God for more.
My testimony tonight is my right shoulder is pain-free for the first time in months and I have full range of motion. CATG Doc’s have told me I have rotator cuff surgery in my future but that I should wait until its intolerable – Dr. Myles at church has been working on it weekly for a few months.
If you have a testimony to share, click on the comment link under this post heading and share it!
God is good!
We’re in revival mode this week here at CATG! Thanks to Jerry & Marilyn for this little gem of an idea on how to wake up the church!
The Global School of Supernatural Ministry got underway here at Church at the Gate this afternoon. Things are off to a very strong start. Several had personal prayer appointments with the team prior to the first meetings. The first session covered some of the basics of prophetic ministry and the protocol there. Session two focused on the Kingdom of God in the marketplace – meaning… teams of three or four were equipped and sent out into the community (Mall, Walmart, where-ever God led) to pray for people. I’ve heard some great stories already from that time.
Tonight, worship was powerful which opened a great door for a great word on the life of David. The message was that God took one whose identity was a lowly shepherd boy and gave him a new identity and a new name. And, that God is taking us out of the miry clay and saying we are royalty – appointed and annointed to do Kingdom works. Our identity isn’t sickness, defeat, etc. Satan is trying to kill our identity in God. But, we must walk out into our new identity as stewards of the Kingdom and everything around us is affected by the Kingdom in us. We ended with prophetic ministry and praying for healing.
If you are in the area and can make it to the session tomorrow night (7 P.M.) I promise you’ll be blessed. If you attended today and God spoke to you, challenged you, or touched your life in any way, USE THE COMMENT LINK TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY WITH THE REST OF US.
Here are a couple of important links to check out.
The first is a link to my pro-life blog where you’ll find a 24 minute video of the main portion of last Sunday’s celebration at VoteYesForLife – 46,000 signatures were collected by the petition deadline. My daughter Kaitlyn does the closing prayer at about minute 21 or so.
Second, Kristen has an important video clip on her blog on the Church of Oprah that I’ll hope you’ll all watch. I’m filing this link under “end times” and you’ll quickly see why.