What is a Relational Revival Hub Ministry Model?
Recently, I was updating and bringing clarity to some aspects of the vision for Living Flame Christian Ministries. In the process, I made this statement, “Living Flame Christian Ministries (LFCM) is a non-denominational, Christ-centered, relational revival hub ministry.” This is a quote taken from the first sentence of the Home page found at:www.livingflamecm.com.
Since the term, “relational revival hub ministry” might be new and unfamiliar to many in the Body of Christ; I thought it would be wise to write a brief explanation of what is meant. The word “relational” is meant to indicate that the ministry team at LFCM values cultivating lasting and committed relationships, both internally with the people planted in our ministry family and externally with local churches, community leaders, and Para-church organizations existing in our region.
The term, “revival hub,” is taken from the ministry model presented in a book written by Jennifer LeClaire and Ryan LeStrange. For those who may be interested in studying more about this model for ministry, I highly recommend reading this book. In the book, LeClaire and LeStrange give the following definition of what a revival hub is. They state:
“Although you don’t see the term revival hub in the Bible, it’s a new wineskin – or perhaps better called a resurrection of the original model of church – that is clearly presented in the Book of Acts. Here is our definition of a revival hub: a center that is focused on digging and maintaining rich wells of revival and Spirit-led ministry unto equipping, awakening and societal transformation. A revival hub is a base of tactical operation, organization, and deployment” (p.9).
Later in the text, the authors go on to state:
“There is no competition in the revival hub setting, but rather cooperation, teamwork and partnership. Revival hubs are atmospheres where iron sharpens iron (see Proverbs 27:17). Personal victories and advances are celebrated because when one member of the body wins, we all win” (p. 156).
So to summarize, a relational revival hub ministry model seeks the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom, and to that end the personal growth, development, and advancement of all involved. We long to see Christ’s Church operating in the full power, strength, wisdom, and authority that Christ has made available through His death, burial, and resurrection. We long to see the Church become the spotless, pure, and glorious Bride of Christ. Amen!
To watch an excellent sermon explaining the revival hub model, click Here.
Delivered To Be A Deliverer
Written by Dr. Christi Butler – Living Flame Christian Ministries – October 2017
Have you ever had one of those moments with God when you are reading the scriptures and a particular verse just seems to jump right off the page and land with deep impact upon your heart? Well, I had one of those moments a short time ago when I was reading through the book of Exodus.
My eyes happened to land on Exodus 3:7-8, which reads, “And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.”
As I was reading this scripture, written so many thousands of years ago, it was as if the Lord said to me, “I see the oppression that so many people are struggling with in their day-to-day lives. I hear the cry of the people in prayer, and just like I came to deliver the Israelites out of their bondage in that day and age, so to I am raising up a generation of believers who will walk in a great end-time anointing to bring healing and deliverance to those who are being held captive by the enemy of their souls.”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that the Word of God is alive? The Word is truly is a living document that the Lord is continually breathing upon to speak relevant and timely words to His people. During the time of the Exodus, God revealed Himself as a God who sees, a God who hears, and a God who is continually working behind the scenes to bring about deliverance for those who are struggling.
In the same way, the scriptures teach, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV). If God revealed Himself as a deliverer under the Old Covenant, then He is still a deliverer today. In fact, “Deliverer” is one of the names given to Jesus Christ in the New Testament (see Luke 1:68-75; Acts 5:31; Romans 11:26). By using the term “Deliverer,” I am referring to a person that is sent by God to rescue people from harm, to snatch people out of the grasp the enemy, or to save people from any form slavery, captivity, bondage, or oppression.
Throughout the Old Covenant, God has provided a historical record of the many times the Lord heard the heart “cry” of His people and He responded by raising up a deliverer (See Judges 3:9,15; Neh. 9:27-28; 1 Chron. 5:20; Ps. 22:5; Ps. 34:4; Ps. 81:7). If God was willing to respond to the prayers of people under the Old Covenant, then He will certainly hear and respond to the prayers of people today. Be assured, God looks with compassion on those who pray and actively resist the forces of darkness. The Lord is always moving behind the scenes to miraculously intervene and bring about answers to prayer. He can be relied upon to perform great works of deliverance for His people.
During the time of the Exodus, Moses was set aside by God and strategically positioned to carry out a divine assignment that would result in the deliverance of millions. In the same way, the Lord has “deliverers” in this generation that have been secretly hidden away and trained by the Lord. God has specifically prepared them for such a time as this. And like Moses, they will boldly confront the forces that seek to oppress and enslave God’s people. They are God’s warriors, God’s dread champions; they are members of God’s hidden army that is rising in the realm of the spirit. These champions will lead spiritual captives out of bondage and into freedom through faith in Christ. In Second Corinthians 3:17, the Apostle Paul said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
The anointing of the Holy Spirit is always working to bring people into a place of liberty and freedom through Christ. Whereas, Satan is always working to enslave people and keep them perpetually in a state of captivity and bondage. The remedy for Satan’s schemes is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed One and He has poured out the Holy Spirit on the Church to empower and equip the saints to boldly confront and deal with Satan’s spiritual attacks.
The same anointing that was placed upon deliverers in the Old Covenant, is the same anointing that Christ has given to the Church in this age to combat the forces of darkness. Throughout the Bible, when the Lord chose someone to function as a deliverer, He frequently chose a person that did not seem to be qualified according to the world’s standards. He chose unlikely candidates and then He placed His anointing upon them so they could fulfill a calling that was far beyond their natural capabilities.
In the same way, the anointing God has given to believers in the last days, is a burden removing, yoke destroying, anointing that empowers people with the wisdom, grace, and authority they need to help others find freedom in Christ. In Galatians 4:7 NKJV, the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Paul is showing members of the early church, that through faith in Christ, they can positively know they have inherited a relationship with God the Father. Paul is explaining to the church, that through this relationship with the Father, believers have been given an inheritance that includes access to the Holy Spirit who is the anointing of God. The Church is “an heir of God.” Therefore, the Church inherits the anointing of the God they serve.
In the Old Testament, this anointing worked through Moses to bring deliverance. In fact, it worked through many Old Testament saints such as Joseph, Gideon, Sampson, Deborah, Daniel, David, and others to bring people out of bondage and into freedom. This anointing was continually working in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Therefore, scripture says that Christ, “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38). Then, after Christ rose from dead, He poured out this same Holy Spirit on the Church. He gave the Spirit to the believers so that they might do the works that Christ did and even greater works (John 14:12).
The anointing of the Holy Spirit is a gift given to the Body of Christ, and it is a gift that has been given for a purpose. The anointing of the Spirit has been given to the Church so that the Church might go about bringing healing and deliverance to all who are hurting, broken, and oppressed. Jesus Christ has already empowered the Church, but now He needs the Church to identify with the grace they have been given and begin to step into their end time calling. This is the day, this is the season, this is the time. “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1 NKJV).
A Prayer for the Home and Family
By Dr. Christi Butler / May 2016
Recently I was preaching a Mother’s Day message for a church in Temecula, California and I was exhorting all the mom’s about the importance of praying for their homes and their families. As a result of that message, I felt led to write out a scriptural prayer that mom’s can use to intercede for their families. Please feel free to share this prayer with anyone and everyone. I have also made an audio recording of this prayer on youtube. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30iQnlmTKAY&feature=youtu.be
Dear Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, I come boldly before Your throne today on behalf of my home and my family. I pray that You would wash me and cleanse me in the precious blood of Jesus and hear my prayers and give ear to my supplications (Ps. 143:1). I pray that these prayers would be set before You like incense and the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice (Ps. 141:1). I pray that as I intercede on behalf of my family, You would be gracious to me, You would bless me, and You would cause Your face to shine upon me and my household (Ps. 67:1).
As I begin today, I wish to pray for Your grace and protection over my home and family. I believe that in the realm of the spirit, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty in God for the pulling down of every stronghold (2 Cor. 10:4), and I believe that the blood of Jesus is one of the mightiest weapons we possess, because it is written in Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him [Satan], by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
Therefore, I take the blood of Jesus in the realm of the spirit, and I apply it to my home, to my family, to my marriage, to all my family members, to my property, my pets, my finances, my health and all that concerns me. Just like the Israelites in Egypt took the blood of a lamb and applied it to the doorposts and everyone within their house was protected from the death angel that passed through the land (Ex. 12). So to, I take the blood of Jesus and apply it spiritually to my household and to everyone in it. Just like Rehab the harlot hung the scarlet cord in her window and everyone within her household was protected (Josh 2:18). So to, I lift up this standard of the blood and I believe the blood of Jesus covers my home and my family in their coming in and in their going out.
I say, in the Name of Jesus, no weapon that is formed against me or my household shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against us in judgment shall be shown to be in the wrong (Is. 54:17). I take authority over every assignment of Satan to steel, kill, or destroy (John 10:10), and I forbid the enemy to harm my family or my loved ones in any way. Matthew 18:18 says, “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Therefore, in the Name of Jesus, I bind the enemy and every demonic force assigned against me and I loose the angels of God to accompany, defend and preserve me, and to bear me and my household up in their hands lest we dash our foot against a stone – Because, it is written in Psalms 91: 11-12, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” You have also said in Your Word, that the angels of God are ministering spirits sent to minister to those who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14), and that the angels harken to the voice of Your Word to perform it (Ps. 103:20). Therefore, send your angels to minister to my loved ones and to protect us in all of our ways, in our coming in and in our going out.
Furthermore, Heavenly Father, I confess and believe that You are a shield around us (Prov. 30:5), and You set a hedge of protection around us just like you set around Job (Job 1:10). I believe, according to Psalms 91:1, that my whole family shall be hidden in the secret place of the Most High, totally invisible and inaccessible to the enemy. Cause my household to be hidden with Christ, in God (Col. 3:3). And, I will say of the Lord, “You are my refuge and my fortress; My God, in You I will trust (Ps. 91:2).” I pray, according to Psalms 91, that You would deliver us from every snare of the enemy, from every sickness, and from every evil plot. I declare that no evil shall be able to come near my home or my family (Ps. 91:3, 10). Instead, I believe that we will tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm us (Luke 10:19).
I believe the Lord gives His angels charge over us and these angels encamp around us because we love and fear the Lord (Ps. 34:7). For You God are my refuge and my strength, an ever present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1). And, I believe and confess that My help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Ps. 124:8).
Therefore, I will rejoice in my God and my enemies shall turn back, fall, and perish at Your presence (Ps. 9:3). You Lord will go before us and You will also be our rear guard (Is. 52:2). For You have promised in Proverbs 11:21 that the posterity (or the offspring of the righteous) will be saved, delivered, and rescued from every evil attack. For You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head (Ps. 3:3).
Therefore, we will be strong in the Lord and in the power of Your might. We will put on the full armor of God and we will stand firm against the devil and his schemes. We will stand and having done all, we will continue to stand (Eph. 6:10-18). Furthermore, we will be faithful to pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, and we believe You will hear and answer our prayers (Eph. 6:18). Cause our ways to be pleasing in Your sight and make our enemies to live at peace with us (Prov. 16:7).
According to Isaiah 49:25, contend with those who contends with us and intervene to save my children from every plot of the enemy. I pray that everyone in my household would continually submit themselves to God, and that they would resist the devil and the devil will flee far from them. I pray that they would draw near to God and You would also draw near to them in return (James 4:8). I pray that my household would cleanse their hands and purify their hearts from every sin and cease from being double minded. Instead, cause them to have a heart that follows hard after you (James 4:8). Cause every member of my household to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and help us all to run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2).
According to Ps. 51:10, I pray that You would create in all of us a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within us. Cause us to faithfully serve You all the days of our lives. I pray that we would no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world, but we would be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2). And finally, I pray according to 3 John 2, that my household would prosper in all things and be in health, just as their souls prosper. Cause their souls to prosper and cause their light to so shine before men, that everyone would see the good works performed by those in my family and glorify the Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
As far as the salvation of my household is concerned, I confess and believe that You (God), will give everyone in my household a heart to know You. They will be Your people and You will be their God (Jer. 24:7). I declare in faith that as for me and my house; we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15). We will serve the Lord, and Your voice we will obey (Josh 24:24). My household shall call on the Name of the Lord and they shall be saved (Acts 16:31; Joel 2:12).
Father, You have said, in 2 Peter 3:9, that You are not slack concerning Your promise as some count slackness, but You are longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. You have also said in, 1 John 5:14-15, that if we ask anything according to Your will, You hears us. And, if we know that You hears us, we can know that we have the petitions we have asked of You. Therefore, I thank You in advance for the salvation of my household and my children.
I know that You hear me and the prayers of a righteous man or woman of God avail much (James 5:16). I believe that You are the God of the Breakthrough and You are working miracles behind the scenes to bring my family to the saving knowledge of Christ. In a spirit of faith, I call every unsaved loved one to come out of darkness and into the light of the glorious gospel of Christ. I pray that the light of the gospel would shine on them and they would be turned from darkness to light and turned from the power of Satan to God. I pray that they might receive forgiveness for their sins and an inheritance among those who are being sanctified by faith (2 Cor. 4:4; Acts 26:18).
I command every veil and every form of spiritual blindness to be removed from their eyes and I pray that all my family members would come to their senses and escape snares of the enemy (2 Tim. 2:25). I believe that the scales are falling off their eyes right now in Jesus Name (Acts 9:18). I believe and confess that my husband and children will come to Christ and continue to live in Christ, being rooted and built up in Him and strengthened in the faith (Col. 2:6-7). My family members will become rooted and established in the love of Christ and they will come to know, with all the saints what is the width and length, and depth and height, of that love. They will know the love that surpasses all understanding and knowledge and they will be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:18-19).
I believe that my household will love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength, and with all their mind (Luke 10:27). My family will love others and love one another, just as You have loved us, and we will never pay back a wrong for a wrong, but we will be kind to each other and to everyone else (John 13:34-35; 1 Thes. 5:15). I thank You Father, that according to Eph. 2:10, we are Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Help us to walk in every good work You have foreordained for us to walk in. Prepare the way in front of us and remove every stumbling block and obstacle, in the Name of Jesus.
Lord, in Psalms 112:2-3, You have said that the descendants of the man or woman that fears the Lord will be mighty on the earth. Cause my children to rise up and do mighty works for Your Name. Cause them to become imitators of God and to walk in love (Eph. 5:1-2). Cause my children to flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim. 2:22). Cause all my children to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Tit. 2:11-12). Cause everyone in my family to give attention to Your words and incline their ears to Your sayings (Prov. 4:20). When my children turn to the right or to the left, cause them to hear a voice behind them saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Is. 30:21).
Furthermore Lord, cause all of us to be filled with all joy and peace because we trust in You and may we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13). May we continually offer sacrifices of praise to You and may the fruit of our lips confess Your Name. May we never forget to do good and to share with others (Heb. 13:15-16).
Father, I believe that my children and my household are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. I believe my children were chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love. For they have been predestined to be adopted by God as sons and daughters according to the pleasure of God’s will (Eph. 1:3-5). And I believe that all my sons and daughters will willingly choose to walk into that destiny in the Name of Jesus.
I pray that whatever my children find to do, they would work at it with all their hearts, as working for the Lord and not for men (Col. 3:23). Furthermore, I believe that Your divine power has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness, and that through the knowledge of You, we have been called to glory and to virtue (2 Pet. 1:3).
Heavenly Father, please help us to live in that glory and according to Your standard of virtue. Show us Your ways and teach us Your paths; lead us in Your truth and teach us. For You are the God of my salvation and on You I wait all the day (Ps. 25:4-5). I will trust in the Lord with all your heart. I will lean not to my own understanding, but in all my ways I will acknowledge You, and I believe You will direct my paths and the paths of my children (Prov. 3:5-6). I believe, the steps of the godly are directed by the Lord and You delight in every detail of our lives (Ps. 37:23).
I believe, that just like Jesus, my children, shall daily be increasing in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). I declare that my children shall be true worshippers of the Lord and they will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). I believe the work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My household will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in a secure dwelling, and in quiet resting places with God (Is. 32:17-18). I confess and believe that You will go before us, and make the crooked places straight; You will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron (Is. 45:2). In other words, You will destroy every stronghold the enemy tries to erect in our lives.
I declare by faith, according to Jeremiah 31:17, that there is hope in my future and hope for my family and my children. All my children shall come back to God and back to their spiritual boarders. All my children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of my children (Is. 54:13). For I am persuaded that You are well able to keep all the I have committed to You in prayer (2 Tim. 1:12). I commit my family to You God and I trust You will perform these things that I am praying. I pray that You would make the righteousness of those in my household to shine like the dawn and the justice of our cause like the noonday sun (Ps. 37:5-6).
Furthermore, Father, I pray that my children would listen to counsel and receive instruction, that they would be wise all the days of their lives (Prov. 19:20). I pray that the Lord’s counsel would stand in their lives (Prov. 19:21). Lord, You said, in Prov. 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Therefore, I believe that You will bring my children in remembrance of the truths they were taught in their youth and You will convict them of truth in their inner man. I believe that You will teach us, O Lord, to follow Your decrees and to keep them to the end. You will give us understanding and we will keep Your law and obey it with all our hearts. Direct us in the path of Your commandments. Turn our hearts towards Your statues and not towards selfish gain. Turn our eyes away from worthless things and preserve our lives according to Your Word (Ps. 119:33-37). Help us to do nothing out of selfish ambition of vain conceit, but in humility to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3)
Father, I also pray that you would set a guard over the mouth of every person in my home (Ps. 141:3). I pray that everyone in my family would not allow any unwholesome talk to come out of their mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up (Eph. 4:29). May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 19:14). Cause us to always speak the truth in love, so that we may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—(Eph. 4:15).
Furthermore, I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to everyone in my household, the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who You are, and that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened and flooded with light. I pray that we would know what is the hope of our calling in Christ and what are the riches of the glory of the inheritance that is ours in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:17-18).
Cause my children to incline their ears, to hear the words of the wise, and to apply their hearts to knowledge (Prov. 22:17). For, like the Apostle John, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (3 John 4).[ And if my children are lacking wisdom in any area, cause them to ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to them (James 1:5). I pray that the Spirit of the Lord would rest upon my husband and children. I pray they would possess the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Is. 11:2). I pray for this seven fold Spirit of God to fall upon my whole household in power. I invite the Holy Spirit to fill my home at all times and continually teach us and train us about the way we should be living before the Lord.
I pray for the blessing, the anointing, and favor of God to come upon my household. I believe that I am blessed with believing Abraham according to Galatians 3:9, and because I am blessed, I believe my household is also blessed. I speak the blessing of God over my home and family: Blessed shall be my family. We will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor shall we stand in the path of sinners. We will not sit in the seat of the scornful. Instead, our delight shall be in the law of the Lord, and in His law we will meditates day and night. Therefore, everyone in my household shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. They will bring forth fruit in its season. Their leaves shall not wither, and whatever they do shall prosper (Ps. 1:1-3).
I confess and believe that my children shall be the head and not the tail. They will live above only and not be beneath. I pray that they would always heed the commandments of the Lord and would be careful to observe them (Deut. 28:13). Cause my children to be blessed in the city, blessed in the country, blessed in the fruit of their body and the produce of their ground. Increase all that they set their hands to do and bless their food supplies. Cause them to be blessed when they come in and blessed when you go out (Deut. 28:3-6).
Father, in the Name of Jesus, I acknowledge that You have set before us life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore I pray that everyone in my household would choose life and that they would love the Lord. I pray that we would obey Your voice, and cling to You, for You are our life and the length of our days (Deut. 30:19-20). Furthermore, I believe that You God will cause all things to work together for good for me and for my household because we love the Lord and are called according to Your purpose (Rom. 8:28). I believe that You will go before us and be with us; You will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:8). And I pray that You would never allow mercy and truth to forsake us. Instead, help us to bind Your promises around our necks and write them on the tablet of our hearts (Prov. 3:3). With this, I conclude this prayer and I believe that You cause Your Word to accomplish and prosper in the thing for which it is sent (Is. 55:11). In the Name of Jesus, Amen!!
Becoming a Living Flame of Love
Article by Dr. Christi Butler Feb. / March 2016 — For more related articles please visit http://www.livingflamecm.wordpress.com
Recently I was invited to share a message entitled, “Becoming a Living Flame of Love,” in Temecula, California at Legends of Faith Church. I believe this is a timely Word for the body of Christ, as well as a word that is near and dear to my heart, because it reflects the vision the Lord has placed in my heart for God’s people in these last days.
I have a passion to see the body of Christ as a whole come to full maturity in the faith and do great exploits in the Name of Jesus as they spread the influence of God’s glory across the face of the earth. I believe God’s people are being called to become “burning ones.” In other words, individuals who are radiating the light, life, and love of God everywhere they go.
Believers are being called to come up higher, to become “living flames of love,” that cannot be stopped, quenched, or contained. A clarion call is going forth in the realm of the spirit. God is preparing His Bride. He is calling for His people to go deeper into His fiery heart of love. He is calling the church into a passionate love affair with the Son of God, and He is calling all believers to awake, arise, shine, and take their place in God’s end time army of soul winning warriors for Jesus. Hallelujah!
There is a flame that should be burning in the heart of every believer. It is a flame that has burned in many notable men and women of God throughout history. As I write, I am reminded of Charles Finney, John and Charles Wesley, William Booth, John G. Lake, Katherine Kuhlman, Aimee Semple McPherson, Maria Woodwoth-Etter, Smith Wigglesworth, T.L. Osborn, Oral Roberts, and so many other fiery evangelists that could be named. I love to study the history of revival just because I want to catch the fire these people carried and spread that fire to the next generation. I hope all the readers of this article want the same thing!
At any rate, the fire of God has been one of the subjects rolling around in my heart this month. The church needs some fresh fire. I think there are many Christians in the church who have heard about the day of Pentecost; they have read about how the fire fell on those who were gathered in the “upper room” in prayer; they have heard Acts chapter 2:1-4 quoted in church, but they have never actually had a divine encounter with a living God of Fire. They have never been touched, overcome, and totally transformed by the fiery God of love that scripture describes.
This should not be the case. If Jesus Christ is the same “yesterday, today, and forever,” as the writer of the book of Hebrews claims (Heb. 13:8), then the same God that came of the Day of Pentecost should be showing up in our churches today. Every believer in Christ should know what it means to be tangibly touched by the fire of God, and every believer in Christ should be a living flame of love that is burning brightly in this world for Jesus. The world should be able to look at every Christian and know, without a shadow of a doubt, Jesus is alive and living in His people today!
The fire that fell on Pentecost was not an incident that was meant to be left behind in the annals of history. Instead, that fire was the express manifestation of a living person. His name is the Holy Spirit, and He is One with the Father and the Son [Jesus], and He is every bit as real and as powerful today as He was on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is called to help, strengthen, equip, and empower the body of Christ. Furthermore, it is by the presence of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is “with us” and “in us,” until the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). The Holy Spirit is given the title of the “Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9). Therefore, when the Holy Spirit is operating through God’s people, so is Jesus, and Jesus is the most anointed fiery evangelist that ever lived. He is the role model of a man who was living as a “living flame of love.” I pray that the church would come to a full realization of who it is that has taken up residence within their hearts.
At any rate, when Jesus left this earth, he left His followers with specific instructions about how to have this same empowering presence of God in their lives. He said, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). In other words, Jesus told His disciples to come together and pray until they experienced being, “endued with power from on high.” Christians praying for an increase of the anointing of God is a totally scriptural concept and it is something the modern church needs to return to.
Furthermore, John the Baptist said, in Matthew 3:11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” So, the endowment of power that Jesus talked about in Luke 24:49, actually involves being baptized or “immersed,” in the fiery presence of God. This is further proven to be true by the fact that the answer to the prayers of the saints in the upper room came as “a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:2-3).
Fire was an express manifestation of God’s presence. This was true for believers on the day of Pentecost and this has also been the witness of scripture throughout recorded history. For example, in the book of Genesis, chapter 15, God made a covenant with Abraham, and in the night, God came as a burning torch of fire and passed between the pieces of an animal sacrifice (Gen. 15). In Ex. 3:2, Moses encountered God in the flames of a burning bush. In Ex. 13:12, God led the Israelites out of Egypt and His presence was manifest as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. In Ex. 19:18, God’s presence came down on Mount Sinai in burning fire and smoke. Later, when Moses set up the tabernacle in the wilderness, God’s glory was manifest and a fire that came from the Lord’s presence to consume the offering (Lev. 9:23-24). Furthermore, as worship was established in the tabernacle, the Lord commanded that the fire on the alter was to be kept continually burning as a symbol of the Lord’s presence in the midst of His people (Lev. 6:12-13). This fire on the alter in the temple was a shadow and a type of the fire that is to be kept burning on the alter of our hearts as New Testament Christians. (I have written previous blog articles entitled, “Tending the Flame Part I and II,” from July 2015, that discuss this fire in our hearts in more detail).
To be complete about this teaching, I must continue discussing God’s habit of manifesting His presence by fire throughout the Old Testament. In the book of Judges, Manoah and his wife provide an offering to God, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them in a flame of fire and consumed the offering (Judges 13:19-21). In 1 Kings18:24 the prophet Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a contest and the fire of God falls from heaven to consume the offering. Solomon also saw the fire of God fall from heaven and consume his offering when he dedicated the temple (2 Chron. 7:1). — And then there is the wonderful prophetic visions of God experienced by Daniel, Ezekiel, John and others where the prophets actually saw visible manifestations of God’s presence.
In Dan. 7:9, Daniel describes his vision saying, “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire.” Then in Rev. 1:14, the Apostle John writes, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire,” and so on …
The point of all of this is that Our God is a God whose presence is often experienced through the manifestation of fire. Paul tells us in Heb. 12:29, “Our God is an all consuming fire.” With these truths in mind, believers should be awakened to the reality that a baptism in fire is a complete immersion in the presence and anointing of God, and it is this type of immersion in God’s presence that is meant to empower and equip the church to bring in this last days harvest of souls. When the early church experienced the fire of God, the fruit of that encounter was that the church “turned the world upside down” with the power of the gospel (Acts 17:6).
If the church today is no longer effective, and the world is changing the church instead of the church changing the world, God has an answer — The answer is this: we need the fire of God! Therefore, let us contend, let us “tarry,” let us return to prayer and to the old paths. Let us dig again the wells of revival and see the God of the bursting forth of might waters come forth (2 Sam. 5:20). Hallelujah and Amen!