On the Road Again…

Well, not exactly on the road. I am in an airport – the first of three for today. Regina to Minneapolis – 2 hours going east and slightly south. Then a 4 hour wait for a flight going west and slightly north. A 3 hour flight gets me into Sacramento airport just after 11:00 p.m. their time and 12:oo midnight my original time. Then a wait for baggage, find my ride, drive 25 minutes or so to Woodland where I will be staying and ministering. Check into hotel – up in the room by 1:00 a.m. I hope.

Regina … my departure point for this jaunt – needs to come into the modern age. There are no hot spot or wireless internet connection available for those of us sitting and using our laptops. Not in the restaurant not lobby nor boarding area. So, you type and save and then copy and paste later when you reach a destination that has left the Stone Age and entered the technological age.

Planning on reading a great book while flying today – the whole book as I will be in the air 5 hours and the book is less than 200 pages. While in the airport in Minneapolis I will find a hot spot and connect to a wireless network and post this start of the ministry trip.

The End Times Wars #2

As mentioned yesterday – there are a number of wars either raging within the Chuirch in these last days or about to be fought in the Church. The first is subjective experiences versus objective truth as currently being seen and fought in the born again, Spirit-filled Church (see The End Times Wars #1).

The second war will be one fought over the concept of biblical authority.

We live in a society where God’s standards for living are no longer considered by many to be the absolute moral standard for life. Each individual apparently wants to determine what is right and wrong for themselves. These personal standards are applied to their life and they live by what they have determined to be correct or appropriate behaviour. These “standards” are not applied to others and they don’t attempt to force others to live by their standards – they are simply their personal beliefs.

Many Christians live this way. Young “Christian” couples living together before marriage and even having children. Then coming to the pastor to be married. No shame. No indication that they think they did something wrong. No sense of godly sorrow and repentance. Why should there be? By their standards they did nothing wrong. And, they don’t live their lives by God’s moral standards (The Ten Commandments). They set their own standards and so they have lived correctly and properly as far as they are concerned and according to their personal standards which is the “authority” by which they shape their lives.

The Christian Church teaches that God has set the standands and that the Bible is our ultimate and only authority upon which to base our lives. The Christian Church – the true Church – teaches that God has set the standard and we are to live up to it. He has determined the Moral Law and we are required to live our lives looking to this law as the standard by which we are to live. Failure to live up to God’s standard constitutes sin. The Bible states: “Sin is the transgression of the (Moral) Law” (1 John 3:4) and thus living together before marriage is, in God’s eyes and by His standards, a sin.

This is just one of many examples I could mention.

God has, according to the book of Hebrews, also placed certain people in the lives of Christians as authorities. The pastor of the Church, the elders, the teacher … these are people that the Bible states we should submit to as they are God-given authorities to help us to live a life pleasing to God. This, of course, assumes that they teach and live by the scriptures and that they understand that the Bible is the ultimate and only authority in the life of a believer and are submitted to it themselves.

So,the war is raging within the Church. We see the battle on nightly internet broadcasts where leaders of so-called “revivals” teach nightly without reading or presenting truth from God’s Word, the Bible. They teach and share based on experiences, dreams, visions, angels showing up, wind, and dead people bring revelation to them in hotel rooms.

We see the battle in many churches which no longer proclaim God’s Word but instead teach man’s opinion about the Word or even simply personal opinion about life with no reference to the Word whatsoever. Denominations ordaining homosexuals, performing same-sex marriages and declaring that homosexuality is a valid and God-given alternative life-style. Good example.

We see the battle in the emrgent church where the “leader” presents the scripture verses for the morning and then becomes an enabler who helps those in attendance to express what they think about the verses being reviewed. Not a teacher teaching God’s Word but a facilatator of a group “pooling their opinions and thoughts” – dare we say ‘pooling their ignorance’. That might be politically incorrect – but it is true.

Submission to authority – people that God has placed into leadership and the Bible as absolute truth – these are the two battle fronts for the second war being fought within the Church; the battle over who and what constitutes authority in the life of the born again believer.

The End Times Wars #1

The Christian Church has fought many battles over the centuries. It has fought many enemies. These enemies have been both external and internal. Right from Bible times Paul warns us of the “wolves from within” that will arise and harm the sheep. And letters like 1 John were written to defend believers against heresies from without like Gnosticism.

I believe we are entering a time or a season when, once again, we will need to defend “the faith once delivered to the saints” against both external and internal threats. In fact, I believe there are three wars that are going to be waged similtaneously in these last days.

The first war (the other two will be discussed in the next two blogs posted on my site)is within the Church and will see Christian fighting Christian. It is the war between those who base their Christian walk on God’s Word and those who base their spiritual life and walk on experiences. It is the objective (The Word) and the subjective (experiences, dreams and visions) clashing within the Church. Christians disagreeing on what forms the foundation for their faith.

The one camp is those who have experiences and use these as the foundation for their Christian faith. These experiences can be dreams, visions, angels appearing, orbs of light, manifestations of various kinds, wind blowing, third heaven experiences, or whatever is in vogue at the moment within the circle they belong to.

Now, I am not against experiences. I believe we are to have an encounter with the living God (salvation) and one with the Holy Spirit (The Baptism in the Holy Spirit). I believe that the Christian faith includes daily encounters with the supernatural – afterall, we have a relationship with a supernatural God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to operate daily within the life of the believer. But, experiences need to be tried and tested, judged and scrutinized. The test of any and all manifestations and experiences is to be the Word of God, the Bible. It is our only standard and contains absolute truth.

Those in this camp of experiences will not be testing and judging their experiences by the Word of God, the Bible. They will “proof text” what they are experiences by making reference to a verse here or there that is often stretched beyond belief to apply it to the experience. It will be used out of context and misinterpreted and misapplied as proof that the experience was from God. Their Christian walk will be based on subjective experiences and feelings. These experiences are their primary source of ‘life’ and the Word is secondary, if considered at all.

The second camp also can experience the supernatural and have encounters. However, their walk is 100% based on the objective Word of God – the Bible. This is their only plumb line and everything they hear and experience must line up with a proper interpretation of and application of God’s Word. Verses and references will not be taken out of context; they will not be misused and wrongly interpreted simply to ‘prove a point’ or ‘back up an experience’. The Word will be central and experiences will be secondary and tested directly to God’s Word using generally accepted methods of bliblical interpretation and application. This is the camp containing the believers who are basing their faith on the objective Word of God. They do not exclude having experiences – but experiences are always tested and proved to be of God.

Objective – subjective. The Word or experiences. The lines are already being drawn. An internal war within the Body of Christ. The End Times War #1.

It not all it’s cranked up to be

Many people think it would be neat to have a trans-local ministry traveling all over the place preaching and ministering. As someone who does just that – let me assure you that it really does have to be a calling from the Lord that makes you do this as it is neither fun nor exciting and can soon wear thin.

I travel, on average, 5,000+ Km every 6 weeks by car to minister God’s Word – teaching, preaching and prophesying over people. I live in hotels and motels, eat at restaurants, and am away from my family and the sanctuary of my home and study for days at a time – somethimes weeks at a time. I fly from one venue to another doing the same thing on a regular basis. Not my choice of a way to live – but I do it because of God’s call on my life and His grace is there – so I do willingly.

I was reminded of this just now when I received a v-mail (voice mail) on my Blackberry from Dennis Cramer. After a long week of constant ministry I put him on a plane here in Regina yesterday at 2 p.m. He was to go from Regina to Toronto to Philadelphia and then to State College where his car was – then 1.5 hours driving to home base. Missed his connection in Toronto and then missed his connection in Philadelphia. So, he had to spend $280.00 for a hotel room (only 2 available) and purchase meals. So, this morning he finally flies to State College and then finds his car to drive home. Home mid-afternoon Monday instead of midnight Sunday … and out of pocket $325+ for added expenses.

Ah! Life on the road. Trans-local ministry at its norm. Seldom do things go as planned and hoped for. I too can say that from experience. Example: Swiss Air selling our tickets out from under us because we arrived 30 minutes before the flight was to leave and so we were a “no show” in spite of the fact that we were there and could see the plane. 9 hours to wait for another connection to Germany and then a long wait for a different connector to Kiev, Ukraine.

Three guys (my team traveling to Ukraine for two weeks of ministry) in an airport in Switzerland for 9 hours waiting after they actually saw their original flight take off. This after 15 hours in airports and planes just to get to Switzerland. So, a wash down in a washroom sink (so much for privacy), a change of clothes, brush your teeth and then go find something to eat and a piece of floor in a corner to stretch out on to catch a few hours of sleep in the public waiting room of an international airport where no one spoke your language. Then on to Germany and another wait and then a flight to Kiev arriving 26 hours late and having missed your first speaking engagement.

Yup! Not sure why anyone would think trans-local ministry is “fun” and something to covet. Unless God calls and pours out His grace on you to do it – run as fast and as far as you can from it.

By this time my friend and internationally known prophet – Dennis Cramer – will hopefully have arrived home … unless weather, natural disasters, car trouble, or some other unexpected event prevented him from reaching home plate and his family.

The joys of a trans-local ministry!

Established and Successful

When I was younger my parents were thrilled that I had decided to go to university and work for a commerce (Business Administration now) degree. Then, in their mind, I could become established and would be successful. I could have a house, a boat, a cottage, two cars, 2.3 children and live in Westmount (a wealthy and upper class subburb of Montreal where I grew up.

Then I felt the call of God to enter the ministry and they were anything but happy. They thought that I would be wasting my life and would never have the opportunity to be established and successful.

The Bible talks about being established and succeeding at “life”.

2 Chronicles 20:20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.”

This is a great story … Jehosphaphat the King is leading his troops, God’s people, into battle. The enemy is stronger and bigger in number than his army is. He prays and the Lord gives him a battle plan. God tells him to put the choir out front as they march into war and to have them praise God for the victory that they have yet to see. They are to believe His Word and praise Him in faith.

Jerhosphaphat understands that the people of God must believe what God has spoken. He knows that this believing is more than head knowledge – it includes acting upon the word God has spoken. If they do – and if we do – then things will work out and they will be established. Of course, we must not forget to turn our ears to the word of the prophet for with them – if we hear, heed, cooperate and obey – we will be successful.

If we listen to and obey the Word of the Lord – the Bible – we will be established. Paul talks about this in Ephesians were he tells his people that he is praying for them. His prayer is that they would be rooted and established in love. (Ephesians 3:17). In Colossians he also writes of being “rooted in Christ and established in faith” (Colossians 2:6-7). This is not a contradiction as “faith works by love” and so being established in love and established in faith works like a hand in a glove.

As believers we need to know the Word and let the Word so transform us (Romans 12:1-2) that we are rooted and grounded – established – in Him and know His will which is always expressed in and through His Word.

The word “succeed” in the Hebrew means ‘break through’. If we listen to the current “now” Word of the Lord – prophecy – then as we hear and obey we will break through the things that are hindering us in our walk with the Lord and our ministry for Him. Every believer needs to have breakthroughs on a regular basis as life ‘comes at us’. This is one of a number of ministries that today’s prophets fulfill in the Church.

Yesterday we were part of a joint service of three Churches here in the city in which I live. Three very different churches coming together to worship and receive the ministry of the Prophet (Dennis Cramer). Here we saw 40+ people receive life-changing prophetic words from the Lord. All of them were words that encouraged people to reach for their destiny in God. In some cases it was more than evident that the Word of the Lord through the prophet broke through long existing pain, woundedness, generational curses, and other hinderances to a healthy walk with the Lord.

We are to be established and successful. Firmly planted and rooted in God’s love, walking by faith in Him. This is the exciting life of every born again believer.

So, I may not live in Westmount and have a country home in the mountains north of Montreal – but I am certainly established and would consider that in my life I have seen and am enjoying success. Afterall, I am doing what the Lord called me to do 40 years ago.

Prophets for profit

We have two more days of the first of two annual visits of Dennis Cramer the prophet. He has been coming to my neck of the woods now for 13 or 14 years. He is a personal friend to me and my family as well as a loyal worker for the Network of Churches and ministries that I founded almost 30 years ago. (www.denniscramer.com / www.lifebuildersnetwork.org)

Yesterday he ministered to 60 leaders from around our Network. Those attending also included some leaders from several other networks. He taught on the Church today as compared to the Church of the book of Acts. And brought it right home to the heart by discussing the changes we need to make in our leadership style and in our churches to bring them up to biblical standards.

His main point was that the Charismatic or Spirit-filled Church needs to return to her roots. We were born in power (Azusa Street) and the gifts flowed as the power began to work. It is time to return to those roots and expect God’s power to manifest and move in each and every assembly of our respective churches. It is time to function in the gifts as leaders. It is time to teach on the gifts and then train, equip and release our people to flow in the gifts.

Will this be somewhat messy as the saints practice and learn “on the job”? Yes! But nothing that the Holy Spirit cannot gently handle. The problem is not in the messyness – it is in the settleness of the leaders. We are concerned about the mess that we will have to work with. We are concerned that some people may leave and take their tithe with them. We are concerned about what others may think if things really do break lose and the gifts and power manifestations begin to appear in our services. We are concerned about what people might think of us as the leader of such a church. If only you realized how seldom they do think of you. The problem in our “branch” of the church today is not with the people – it is with the leaders. We have settled. We have camped. We have become CEOs of small, medium and large-sized corporations. We are no longer pioneers. Vance Havner once said – “It is a terrible shame to have been born again in the fires of revival and now find ourselves living in the ashes”.

It is time for leaders to stand up and be just that, leaders! It is time to close the door to your study and become reacquainted with the Holy Spirit and resensitize yourself to His presence and His power. It is time to become filled to overflowing with His power and presence and have a daily encounter with the Spirit of God. Then, to step out of the study and simply obey what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Long post – but I need to say several other things.

Pastors and leaders – get away from your office. When did the “pastor’s study” become the “pastor’s office”? 15 years ago I purposely created a second room for myself and designated it a study. It has a desk, laptop, comfotable reading chair, coffee pot, etc. just like an office – but without a phone. Paperwork is kept in the office and only my Bibles and note pad are allowed in the study. It is lined with shelves loaded with books, CDs and DVDs that I use in my studies and research. I spend from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in this room without even thinking of the office that is 6 feet away. I study, pray, write, read… then I go and shower and shave and ‘report for work’ at the office around 11:00 a.m.. This still allows more than an 8 hour “work day”.

Let me suggest that by 2:00 p.m. pastors should be gone from the office and be out in the coffee shops talking with their people and witnessing to or sharing with those that are not saved. Listen pastor: this is what you signed up for – to be with God and with God’s people. You didn’t sign up to be a paper pusher for the organization known as the church. You were called and ordained to be a leader and an important part of the organism called the Body of Christ.

Then, in the evening, a time of direct ministry to the Body – meetings (cut out as many as possible), services, and outreach where you can preach and teach, equip and release the people of God to do what they are called to do – minister.

Just a thought or two that arose in my heart after listening to a prophet of the living God call us all back to the task at hand – to be involved as Jesus builds His Church. He stepped on a lot of toes, shot a few sacred cows, and set a few truths in order as he brought the Word of the Lord to the leaders and helped to repair the foundations.

It is always profitable to our Network to bring in the prophet of God. Although, at times, painful.


The Back Burner

I am part of the Born Again, Spirit-filled Church a/k/a the Charismatic Church which believes in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second experience or encounter after salvation. This branch of the Christian faith believes that when the Holy Spirit comes “upon us” we receive power and gifts. (Acts 1:8)

As I travel I am grieved to see that the gifts and the power have not been released to do what they are meant to do. We have kept the gifts within the four church walls and use them to minister to other Christians during services and at other events.

However, when Jesus spoke to His disciples just before His ascension He said this: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses…”

So, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the resulting power and gifts are meant to be used by Spirit-filled believers to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel in all nations.” We are to be using the gifts to minister supernaturally to the lost – our family members, friends, work associates and total strangers.

Now, the gifts should flow in the Church and during worship services as well. Why? Because this is where we learn to flow accurately in the gifts. This is where we “practice” the gifts because in the Church we will find forgiveness when we make mistakes and acceptance when we don’t measure up to our own standards. So, we learn to flow supernaturally in the gifts within the Church but then it is time to graduate – ministering the gifts outside the Christian fellowship to a lost and dying world.

I believe that the Charismatic Church in general has forgotten the purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts. We have internalized them. So, it is time to bring about a change that is very necessary if we are going to win the lost and transform nations. It will take the believers walking and functioning in the supernatural as a normal part of life to impact society with the Gospel today.

Secondly, I believe the Devil is fighting to keep the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as something “back there” and “out of sight and out of mind”. He is working hard to prevent the Baptism and the gifts coming to the forefront in the Church because he knows how dangerous a Spirit-filled believer out seeking and saving the lost can be to his demonic kingdom. So, many in so-called Spirit-filled churches are not baptized in the Holy Spirit and do not function in the gifts of the Spirit. Still others have received the Baptism but have not been taught what the gifts are and how they work. It is time for this to change.

So it is time pastors and leaders to be teaching on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is time to train the saints under your leadership to flow supernaturally on a daily and regular basis. It is time to reach out and use the gifts that Jesus has given to us to do what the Lord has commanded us – “to seek and to save the lost” as Jesus did (Luke 19:10).


Flowing in the Apostolic Anointing

If you believe there is an apostolic anointing upon your life, there are certain practical steps to take to flow properly in it. This is true if you are a member of an apostolic church and simply flowing in the anointing upon the church and its calling and ministry. It is also true if you have a full-time calling into the role and function of an apostle. Without these disciplines in your life, you will never flow fully in what God has for you. There are four main disciplines.

Read more


Dreams and Visions

I am deeply concerned about the current state of the Church where ministries – even anointed men and women of God – are teaching from their dreams and visions and not from the Word of God. They are taking their dreams and visions and calling them the “word of the Lord” when they have not compared their content from the dreams and experiences to the true Word of the Lord – the only plumb line or standard that we have – the Bible. Read more

The Prophet

This is an exciting week. I have my friend Dennis Cramer from Dennis Cramer Ministries with me. He is a prophet of the living God and has been coming to the network of churches that I founded, and still oversee today, for the last 14 years. He is a proven and seasoned gift to the Church and to me personally. I look forward with great anticipation and expectation to his twice a year visits to our area.

We have a busy schedule for the week we are together. He is currently teaching a three day School of Prophecy. The first time he ever taught this school was right here in this city at my local church. Now he has taught it all over the world more than 80 times. I am still waiting for the royalty cheque for having given him such a good idea. The students (about 40 in number) are hungry and are receiving a tremendous foundation and understanding of the gift of prophecy, the role of prophets and apostles, and how God is building His Church today. Awesome three days.

Then we have a leadership day for the leaders of our Network and for those who are friends of the Network. Senior leadership only – and they can invite the person they are mentoring to come with them. These Leaders Days are always wonderful times in the presence of the Lord. Denny preaches in the morning – this time on the Church from the book of Acts / the Church as it should be – and then ministers prophetically in the afternoon session. These morning teachings have been very powerful over the years and the recording of them now form a major part of his products on his web page. We also sell all of them through our web site as well. Have a look – great revelatory teachings for leaders and believers alike.

On Saturday we are doing a major city-wide service in the city of Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan. Then three churches are coming together for a joint service Sunday morning in the city of Regina. An exciting week with an anointed man of God and a walking gift to the Church.

Many people will be touched by eternity this week. Churches will be changed forever, as well. They always are when Dennis Cramer ministers prophetically. It’s exciting to see and to hear the wonderful results or fruit from his visit. As time goes on and people share with me what his prophetic gift did in their lives I just rejoice and thank God for the gift He gave to His Church – the prophets. God is so good.

Then before he heads home we are going to drive 9 hours into the north of the province to fish for several days. A long drive into an area where there is no phone service and very few roads. But, great fishing. However, this is where his prophetic gifting fails us – he does not have a clue where the fish are.