Meet the Gateway People to the Muslim World

A few years ago at a conference, I held a large banner that read: “Azerbaijanis: God’s gateway people to the Muslim world.” One quizzical individual pondered a few minutes before asking me whether this was a real place.

Azerbaijanis get that a lot.

They are one of the few peoples that span numerous countries with different linguistic and cultural contexts. The Republic of Azerbaijan is home to 9 million Azerbaijanis, but its low profile on the world stage leads many to underestimate its significance. While the exact number of Azerbaijanis worldwide is unknown, it ranges from 30 million to 50 million. Their largest concentration is found in Iran, where estimates range from 18 million to 30 million.From the mountains of Ararat and the Azeri region of Naxchevan (named from the old Azeri words Nuh chixan, “where Noah came out,” based on Genesis 8:4), to the highest echelon of power in Iran (the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, is an Azeri), Azerbaijanis are a people who shouldn’t be ignored.

Dispersed Among the Nations

Until the beginning of the 19th century, Azerbaijani homelands were part of the Persian Empire. Following war and treaties with Russia, the Persian Empire ceded to Russia what is now Azerbaijan and, along with it, significant Azerbaijani populations in the city of Derbent became Russian territory.

At the beginning of the 20th century, many Azerbaijanis fled and resettled in the eastern provinces of Turkey. Current estimates of Azerbaijanis in Turkey are between 500,000 and 600,000. In the country of Georgia, their numbers range from 240,000 to 500,000. In Russia and the former Soviet Union, 1 million Azerbaijani form a significant minority. And in northern Iraq, a people called the Turcoman, who speak Azerbaijani, are estimated to be 2.5 million. These Azerbaijani of the dispersion speak Azerbaijani, Farsi, Turkish, Russian, Arabic and many other local languages.

Although national boundaries present challenges to Western workers, they aren’t so problematic to Azerbaijani believers. Natives from Azerbaijan go to Iran and share the good news of Jesus. Pastors from Baku go to northern Iraq and are welcomed as brothers rather than foreigners. Azerbaijanis from Baku share their faith in Georgia, having freedom to do so without government intervention.In 2009, the translation of the Bible into modern-day Azerbaijani was finalized, at last making the whole of God’s Word accessible to believers in their mother tongue. Moreover, the first Azerbaijani study Bible was published last year. With God’s help, these resources will help Azerbaijani believers grow in the gospel and take it to the nations.

Least-Reached People Reaching Other Peoples

The Azerbaijanis are considered a least-reached people group. Estimates of the number of Azerbaijani believers worldwide range from 7,000 to 14,000. Yet a growing number have recently come to faith in Christ. Many understand the unique role they have in reaching their own and other peoples.

Brother Idris, for example, grew up into a life of violence and crime in Azerbaijan. As he was poised to commit a serious crime, Christ appeared to him in a dream, exposing his life and the consequences of his path. He informed the gang he’d changed his mind about committing the crime; they thought he was crazy and went ahead without him. All were arrested. Idris gave his life to God, and over the years God has used him to pastor a network of small churches reaching his own people as well as Azeris in Georgia, Iran, and Russia.Another brother, Feridoon, grew up as an atheist Marxist in Iran. He believed God was a crutch for the weak-minded. A believing classmate challenged Feridoon to read the New Testament and, not wanting to look scared, he did. The words of doubting Thomas struck him. That night Jesus appeared in his bedroom and showed him his nail-pierced wrists. Terrified, Feridoon fled to a well-known local believer’s house, where he was encouraged and counseled. Over the course of a few days, he began to realize Christ is indeed real, and he gave his life to him. Since then Feridoon has led many to the Lord in various nations. He has translated the Bible into several languages, and he speaks to thousands about Christ by radio and TV programs—all because a friendly student challenged him to read the New Testament.

God is at work among the Azerbaijani people.

New Challenges

Events of the past two years have brought new challenges and diminished the free flow of people and ideas in the region: renewed persecution in Iran, local fears and insecurities prompted by the growth of ISIS, unfavorable news reports about the unjust policies of Azerbaijani leaders, and the threat of renewed hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. An increasing focus on nationalism has led to legislation and business policies that have prompted some expatriate workers to leave.

Nevertheless, we continue to see growth and maturation in Azerbaijan’s church. In many ways, they really are God’s gateway people to the Muslim world.

How You Can Pray

Would you join in prayer for your Azerbaijani brothers and sisters?

  • Pray that God would embolden and empower Azerbaijani believers to reach others for Christ.
  • Pray for growing unity among the few Azerbaijani churches in Azerbaijan, and for local believers and leaders to be strong in faith and patient in trials.
  • Pray that believing workers who bring needed skills and professions to Azerbaijan would benefit the country and be given gospel opportunities.
  • Pray for missionaries and church planters to the Georgian Azeri minority, and for ministries mighty in prayer for spiritually dark places.
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Secret to Building a Soul-Winning Church

by Charles T. Crabtree, Pastor and soul-winner.

Among my friends in Springfield is a rather wealthy businessman who claims to have visited Bass Pro Shops only once or twice because friends wanted to see it. He is not the least bit interested in fishing, so the new equipment he could buy stays on the store’s shelves. The sleek new bass boat he could purchase stays on the showroom floor. And the fish he could catch in nearby lakes continue to swim unmolested.

 

Another friend who also lives in Springfield is not nearly as well off as my other friend, but no fish is safe anywhere in the region. He is a dedicated fisherman who does not let the lack of new equipment stop him from catching fish. He goes to Bass Pro Shops on a regular basis to buy what he really needs and to drool over what he cannot afford.

Both of my friends live in proximity to a major supplier of fishing equipment and wonderful lakes full of fish. Both could be effective fishermen, but only one chooses to catch fish. Therein lies the secret to a soul-winning church.

It was not by coincidence Jesus began to build His Church initially by choosing a number of disciples out of the fishing industry. His call to these men included a promise which interested them: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19. He was saying to them, “Your motivation and skills in fishing are the dynamics I am looking for in a new kind of fishing industry.”

Every believer should follow the Master and become a soul winner. Since the Church consists of believers who are called to be witnesses, it is logical to expect every church to be a soul-winning church. Sadly, this is not the case. Far too many believers, including clergy and laity, are apathetic to the opportunity for soul winning. If Jesus promised to make His followers fishers of men, it raises a question whether those who choose not to win souls are closely following the Master.

SOUL-WINNING DESIRE

The soul-winning church begins with the want to before it can move to the how to. My friend who does not fish could be scolded over and over for not fishing, or he could be instructed against his will in how to fish and what equipment he needs for fishing; but it would do no good. The want to has to be born in his heart. Fishing has to become a desire. It must become a significant factor in his life.

How can I possibly make my disinterested friend become a fisherman? How can I motivate believers to become soul winners? How can leaders create a soul-winning church when there is no passion to reach the lost?

It all begins with the birth or renewal of desire. Somehow, soul winning must be seen as a joy, not a drudgery; a passion, not a duty; a thrill, not a downer.

SOUL-WINNING MOTIVATION

We would do well to remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength. This principle is at the heart of soul-winning motivation.

When Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men,” He was offering His followers a better way of life. Before Jesus came, they had been satisfied to catch a certain kind of fish. Their lives revolved around the fishing business so they could exist. Jesus came to them with a new basis for living so others could live.

No pastor or spiritual leader will ever motivate believers to become soul winners by making them feel guilty, pressured, or coerced. The only way believers will become soul winners is if they can experience the joy and fulfillment of leading someone to Christ.

Believers will only be motivated to become soul winners by soul winners. My disinterested friend will never get into fishing by himself. He is only going to get interested when somebody he cares for begins to testify about the thrill and satisfaction of catching fish. He will never head for the lake with fishing tackle if simply told he should by someone who does not fish. He will not get the urge to buy a boat if he hears horror stories about fishing—no nibbles for 8 hours, the one that got away, the boat that went aground, and everyone got motion sickness.

The main reasons we do not have enough soul winners are:

  1. We do not have enough soul-winning pastors and leaders. If soul winning is not a passion and joy in the life of leadership, it will certainly have no place in the lives of those who follow. People are not interested in theoretical truth.
  2. We drive people by guilt rather than leading them by an excited and effective role model. A lot of people are turned off by preachers and teachers who shout mandates, but leave out the promises.
  3. Soul winners talk too much of their failures and have no record of effectiveness. You can just imagine how motivated new believers will become when they hear about doors being slammed, testimonies being refused, and statistics showing how few who pray the sinner’s prayer really become true believers. It reminds me of the proverbial ineffective broom salesman who knocked on the door with the question: “You don’t want to buy a broom, do you?”

SOUL WINNING BY EXAMPLE

The soul-winning church begins with an excited, influential soul winner. No person in the church is more influential, than the pastor. Pastors can have soul-winning churches if they are soul winners themselves—in the pulpit and outside the pulpit.

Believers are weary of being told what to do. They want to be shown what to do. They must be shown how to be effective witnesses and soul winners in the marketplace. A revival of soul winning in the church will take place when spiritual leaders become fishers of men outside the pulpit and then share the joy and fulfillment of these new experiences from the pulpit.

The most effective motivation in creating soul winners is not preaching about soul winning but telling about it. I saw this over and over in my own ministry. When I was pastoring, I would often preach about soul winning, but I was most effective when I could tell the congregation about a soul I had led to the Lord that week. What a joy I felt when people I was baptizing turned to me and thanked me for leading them to Christ at their workplace or in their home. In those moments, my congregation was able to relate to me as a witness of Christ as well as a pastor. As an under-shepherd, I was able to say to them with authority, “Follow me as I follow the Lord, and I will help you become fishers of men.”

KEYS TO A SOUL-WINNING CHURCH

  1. The soul-winning church has soul-winning leaders. They create a hunger in others to become effective witnesses.
  2. The soul-winning church makes room for those who win souls to share their joy and testimony with the congregation. Pastors would do well to have a witness box or a soul-winning window—time set-aside in the service—to give opportunity for others to share the joy of fishing for men.
  3. A soul-winning pastor will give opportunity for souls to come to Christ service after service. Altar calls are a priority in a Pentecostal church. If no one comes, it is still a victory because the opening of the altars reminds people why the church exists. Of course, when someone responds, the joy on earth becomes the joy of heaven.
  4. The soul-winning church has effective altar workers. The training of altar workers creates soul winners. If people learn how to lead people to a saving knowledge of Christ at an altar, they will be able to do the same in a car, in a cafeteria, and in the corner of an office.

Some time ago, I was preaching in a soul-winning church that had a wonderful choir. I learned that a person wanting to join the choir had to attend one musical tryout and three training sessions for altar ministry before they could take their place in the choir. When I gave the altar call, choir members streamed out of the choir loft to meet those coming to Christ. It is no wonder this particular church is flourishing.

 

used by permission

Unity, Great article by Ron Allen

The Arch of Constantine
Under Constantine’s rule, the church began to get lax in its faith. (Pixabay/lorenzogallo)

On Feb. 27 in A.D. 380, Roman Emperor Theodosius made Christianity into the official state religion. It was one of the most catastrophic events in church history.

Up until the time Constantine legalized the Church in A.D. 313, the great strength of the church was the fact that the kingdom of God resided within the believers. Under Constantine, the church became “respectable” and began to attract the ambitious and worldly who would make a show of outward piety without an inward transformation. After A.D. 380, the church was swamped with unconverted pagans, and the outward rituals replaced the inner power for most church members.

The first to clothe themselves in the new mantle of the state religion were the emperors themselves. The bishop of Rome was eventually forced to trade church recognition for military protection in Western Europe, beginning with Frankish King Clovis, in order to remain independent of the Eastern Roman Emperor. When the European church split between Protestants and Catholics, the local kings and rulers forced their own views to be followed in their realms, and millions of Christians were martyred. The marriage between church and state meant that religious questions would be solved with the sword instead of the Spirit.

The religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries left much devastation and little change, and the idea of religious toleration, espoused by Paul in the 14th chapter of Romans, began to take hold. The idea that Christians with different doctrines could be united in their diversity appeared in the 18th century with the First and Second Great Awakenings and the interdenominational missionary societies. The United States, itself a patchwork of states with Catholic, Anglican, Quaker, Methodist and Congregational backgrounds, became a symbol of unity in diversity and its religious freedom is still a light to the world. The sword, which brought division, had begun to give way to the spirit which brings unity.

The Pentecostal and Charismatic movements which swept the world in the 20th century brought a Holy Spirit awakening in much of the church. However, the Spirit movements also cried out that “The broken body of Christ” would be healed. Now, in our time, a historic video sent by Pope Francis to Evangelist Kenneth Copeland has opened the door for spiritual unity in the body of Christ in answer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17.

We believe that 2017 is a strategic year for church and nation. It is the 500th anniversary of the reformation, and God is calling His church to reconcile in answer to the prayer of Jesus. We invite you to pray with us for unity at the unitedinchrist.comand Teshuvah2017.com websites.

Let us pray for reconciliation of the church and focus on expanding the whole Kingdom of God. Pray that the world will know us not by our swords, but by our love and unity in the Spirit.

Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God, and the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage, and co-founder with his wife Pat of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.

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Averaging 3,000 souls a week!

But needing to average 87,000 to obtain our goal. And so we continue!

I may be repeating this, but it Blesses me and I wanted to make sure this story was included.——-

Have you heard the one about the Chinese Christians who go to difficult places? Two couples at a time go and open a shop or restaurant and then one of the men goes on a street corner and starts preaching the Gospel. “Don’t you know that you will be arrested?”, and with a smile comes the startling answer, “Yes, that is the idea!”. So, in jail, they can teach and preach and evangelize the other prisoners, who will in turn tell their family members and so on. The other couple is a support to the wife and children who are now alone. and to the guy in jail, because many of these places will not feed a prisoner, they must rely on these friends and family.
Who, besides Jesus, does this?     Amazing!

Fear Not

***  Perfect Love Casts out Fear

John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Let’s look at this verse closely and see if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.

 Jesus says, “I’m telling you this so you won’t worry about it, so that you might have peace. The word might just goes to say that Jesus knows that not everyone that calls on His name, will walk in the peace he is offering. Even those who take Him at His word here, might have peace most of the time, but every once in awhile they might miss it. Bottom line,… HE knows it may happen, so don’t worry about that either.

 Still looking at that first sentence, notice that He says, “In ME” you might have peace. This peace is not happening to those of the world. This peace is for the redeemed, for this peace, Jesus paid for with His blood. (see Isa 53:5). He made this peace available to you, but it is your choice to walk in it or not.

 In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 In Him, In Him, In Him!! I can’t say it enough! Know Him, Seek Him, desire Him! Because when your time of tribulation arises, you need to be “In Him”, enveloped IN HIS perfect love that casts out all fear… and THEN! You’ll be ready for anything.

 Rev 12:11  And they overcame him ( the evil one) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

* * *  The Power of our Confession over Fear

Okay, now let’s look closely at this verse because this verse lists the two things you need when tribulation comes.

#1 – The Blood of the Lamb – We are marked, we are washed and the Blood testifies that we are made righteous because of Jesus Christ! (Mat 26:28) Any thought that opposes this righteousness, anyone who opposes this truth is NOT from God. Cast that thought away from you!! And, any person who says differently is grossly mistaken and needs to be recognized as someone that the devil is using to frustrate the gospels work. Whether they do it mistakenly or purely to deceive, the Bible says to mark them, make note and don’t give any value to what they say. And if it is serious enough, talk to your Pastor about it, he would appreciate knowing that this is happening and would want to protect other sheep.

Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

 #2 – The Word of their TestimonyMark 11:23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (salvation, healing, provision)10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 Our testimony is what distinguishes us as children of God! God made us like himself, unlike the animals which cannot speak. He made us in His image, a triune being that has been given authority here on earth with the same creative force that He used to create the universe. He gave us the ability to speak and declare a thing and gave us clear instructions how to use it, if we are listening.

 My favorite example is the Shunammite woman who desired to be a blessing to the prophet Elisha because she loved God. Here is the story in 2 Kings:

 2Ki 4:14  And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 15  And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 16  And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 17  And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. 18  And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. 19  And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. 20  And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21  And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. 22  And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 23  And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. 24  Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee. 25  So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: 26  Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 27  And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 28  Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 29  Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. 30  And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her. 31  And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. 32  And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. 34  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. :35  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

This story is so awesome!! and it may seem like I am off subject, but there is an important message in this!

First look in 2 Kings 4:16 where  Elisha said,… and it was so, just like God in Genisis 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. I want you to realize that Faith speaks! Elisha said, God said, and let’s see what the Shunamite woman said…

… notice with me that when the day of tribulation came, this lady didn’t go crazy and scream at God, blame her husband, or cry out in lament, which no one would have blamed her for at all, but she understood that this would never have gotten her son back! Instead, she didn’t say anything contrary to scripture; to her husband or her servant “It shall be well.” She said. Then Gehazi asked “How is it going with you? Your husband? Your son? and she said, “It is well.” 

You see some will say that she was lying, but she chooses to believe God who gave her that child in the first place and she chose NOT to believe the circumstances that said he was dead.  (Rom 3:4  … let God be true, but every man a liar; )

 And even with this next line she refused to speak doubt and fear,…

Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?

In saying this, Elisha knew exactly what he needed to know and immediately sent Gehazi to bring him healing, by laying his staff upon the child, but let me explain something important here. Elisha had faith that the staff touching the child would heal him, but very clearly this lady lets him know that her faith is in something else.

“As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.”

.This woman’s faith, was in Elisha coming and ministering healing, in person. And he did.

 So why couldn’t Elisha just heal the boy anyhow? Listen to what Jesus said to the blind men who believed that Jesus could heal him.

Mat 9:29  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

According to your faith!! So where is your faith? Make sure that your praying, lines up with your believing! If you are praying for a divine healing, but you really think God will use the Dr.’s to bring about your health, then be honest with yourself and others. It can hurt the faith of others if you tell them that you are praying for a divine healing, and it is not what you are really believing for!! They may question God’s willingness to heal and it could hinder them from growing spiritually. So please be honest with yourself and others, Where is your faith? In Dr.’s, in news casts? or in the word of the Living God? The word will make your prayers more effective and your ability to pray those prayers with a real fervency.

James 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

* * *   The Power of the Word of God to destroy fear and Death

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psa 18:30 As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.

Heb. 1:3  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. 

The Tenerife airport disaster on March 27, 1977, at 17:06:56 local time was a collision involving two Boeing 747 passenger aircraft on the runway of Los Rodeos Airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. With 583 fatalities, the crash remains the deadliest accident in aviation history.

I heard a wonderful testimony about a man that had been meditating all week on the word of God, and particularly on his divine protection and the ministry of angels. He was on the American Airlines plane that had just landed that day.

Psalms 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

The roof of the plane he was on, was ripped open as the second plane, trying to take off in the wrong lane due to fog, tried to rise high enough over the plane they now were close enough to see, but were too close to miss. This passenger cried out to Jesus, claiming the protection that every Christian can claim, that is found in the scriptures! In a moment, as the plane burst into flames, he was out of his seat, standing on the back of the seat in front of him, then crawling out the huge gaping hole in the roof of the plane.

Isa 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 Isa 43:2  When thou passes through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walks through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

He remembered standing on the plane’s roof then the next moment he was standing besides the runway a safe distance away in the grass. He was humbled as he realizes that God’s hand had divinely delivered him from the horrible tragedy that was all around him, but it had no power over him.

John 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

-SF

Interesting Things about Demons

I had a crazy dream a few days ago, a demon was reaching out of a musical instrument trying to grab me. Maybe you know what it is like to rebuke a demon when you are sleeping,..hahaha, you know,… the words just wouldn’t come out until you’re awake. Even though there was no fear, I was just angry to see it! Now there were two things I noticed in this dream; #1. It couldn’t touch me, and #2. neither could I make it go away by rebuking it,… I knew it was ineffectual.
“What was that Lord?” and as soon as I asked, I remembered an instant with this kind of instrument where work was done, there was a dispute about payment and it was “said” to have been paid,… taken care of by an individual, with some evidence that it had really happened. Well after the creepy dream, my husband and I checked with the repair guy and his anger was still boiling about it. (It has been almost 2 years now.) Here are the facts,…
* It can’t touch me, I had nothing to do with it. BUT, the instrument is now in the care of the praise team that I lead, so now that I know, that this has not been resolved, it is mine to make right. God supplies our need and we will walk Godly before this man. Christian people need to walk holy before God and man! So in knowing about it, the “ball” (or demon) was in my court, (think courtroom)
1 Peter 1:16 …for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
 
* If we neglected to handle this matter, I believe I would have to deal with that demon as well as the ministry as a whole, even though we did nothing to deserve it. BUT, the demon will leave, because we will make things right! Not because we stomp our feet and say it is not our fault. It will cease it’s attack or claim on anyone or anything in this ministry because of the honor we give this man. God has been so good to us, making things right is honoring and pleasing to Him.
Romans 12:9-13     Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
 
* We are called to be like Jesus and He was not cheap. He gave everything for us and calls us to do the same. So many christians have been so faithless, not believing that God will repay. I have seen to many splits and fights because a person wants to control the money, and I have even seen people stealing offerings taken up for for missionaries or some other worker. Where there is strife there is every evil work, and for people who love to fight over money, the demons are having a heyday.

1 John 3:16-18 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

I am so blessed to be in a church that honors God in their finances, one that raises money for the specific purpose of winning souls. I have seen several people try to ruin this ministry, but we rise to the top because we seek to honor God with our tithes and offerings. I have friends who left to go to a very nice quiet church because there was no struggle. Battle Line ministry isn’t easy, but we sure are making a difference in the world. Let’s Do It!

A Vision 2020 Perspective

I remember Pastor Rob talking with me in the early days as we were finding out what the Vision was. We were trusting God, that it was even possible, as we figured out the dynamics of raising money to win souls. We went to pastors meeting, after Pastors meeting, again and again, looking for like minded people to walk with us in this Vision, “We don’t need another program” some would say and others would tell Pastor Rob what an amazing idea it was then step back into the isolationist mentality that we have condoned in our church life.
We reached out to evangelist and other soul winners, and a few let us partner in their harvest, as they partnered in ours. Most allow us partner with them, but, to count only the souls that we were able to pay for, because, out of fear of offending others who had been a part of that harvest. Because of that, they felt like they were unable to partner with our Vision (i.e, so, if we were able to fund 1/3 of a crusade so we got to count 1/3rd of the souls saved). With that, we were just a purchasing agent, trying to find the highest yield for the money we had raised, the biggest bang for our buck, winning the mostest with the least-est amount of money. AND, It seemed fine over the years, as we believed and still do, that we will see large sums of money come into our hands to win large sums of souls for Christ. But, that anointed place of unity is more amazing, wholly holy and it is a powerhouse pulsing with life for the lost. God bless you Pastor,… Evangelist,… Apostle,… Teacher,… Prophet, who loves souls and saw that the synergy of working together, will indeed change the world! With every avenue available, let us be able to say (honestly… selah) that we will reach the lost at any cost.   -SF