-If God Did It Before He Can Do It Again


We live in ‘interesting times.’ Sometimes considering all of economic difficulties, cultural changes, wars and threats of terrorism, along with weather that is extreme to the point that some are calling it ‘Biblical’, I wish I was living in a different generation when life might have been easier for a Christian.

However what is happening in these times can also be exciting. Christianity around the world is growing faster than any generation before and I recently read that the were more Christians living today than all of the previous generations combined. Here in America and in the West we seem to be in decline but in reality we are seeing a great harvest with revivals happening in many countries, some of which are somewhat secret.

On Sunday during church I thought about all of the moves of God that have happened in my lifetime along with some special men and women of God that came and gone ministering in special ways. The tent revivals following WWII, the Charismatic Renewal that touched mainline churches, the Jesus People movement that touched at least a million folks, the charismatic movement that followed along with The Vineyard, KC, Toronto, and Florida and many others. Thinking about all of the moves in this generation including what is happening in China, Africa, and Iran, I came away with a new conviction that what we have seen in the past we will see again and maybe even greater things since the difficult times before us may call for it.

I spent 2015 praying the Psalms asking for revival in our land and started 2016 with the same conviction. I have prayed for the Kingdom to come down and touch the church and awaken it as never before. Now on Sunday came the inspiration to pray for every miracle and healing I come across while reading the Scriptures to happen again. What God has done in the past he can do again in this generation.

Today I ran across the following article and account of a dream in Charisma with the same message:  Prophetic Dream: God Did It Before and He Will Do It Again(Link NLA)

Here’s a short quote from the article:

I heard a second phrase in these dreams. … “If I did it then, I will do it again!” Every miracle we have ever read about in the Word, every revival or awakening from a past season, every example of a city or nation turning towards Christ becomes a foreshadowing of what God desires to do again!

Amen! I am praying to see it all again and even more starting in 2016.

-Leaving Nazareth

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.  –Mark 6:5  ESV

Several weeks ago following the Jewish (Biblical) New Year we began to see some changes at VCC Church in Laguna Niguel, California. Almost immediately healings began to increase exponentially with 32 coming during our services the first weekend following the new year. The words that clearly came to me when I tried to discern what this might mean for the future were these:

Paradigm shift and Time to leave Nazareth.

What I believe that it means is that it is now a new ball game for our church and I believe it could also be for every church in America that the Lord has been preparing for revival.

The enemy intends to marginalize the American church, and contain it within four walls while bringing actual cultural condemnation upon it but God means for us to become the light shining in the darkness with a contrast that can no longer be ignored or denied.

The American church has lingered in Nazareth far too long and we have become satisfied with decreasing expectations and have even marveled at a few healings in our midst. We have become comfortable with the picture of Jesus reading and teaching the scriptures in the Synagogue and have accepted that as a major vision for the ministry of the church. Even the few wonderful healings we have had are considered exceptions and we call them ‘supernatural’ when they are supposed to be a natural part of our DNA. But Jesus did so much more on the road and in the marketplaces on the way to Jerusalem- major healings, miracles, and the raising of the dead- all life changing events for those involved and demonstrations of the reality of the Kingdom.

Meanwhile there is an unprecedented world-wide harvest going on all around the 3rd world with millions coming to Christ with miracles and signs following. Tragically most American Christians are not even aware of the major breakthrough of the kingdom in far away places while America and the West are increasingly becoming secular in the dominant culture and world view and rejecting the very Biblical foundations on which this nation and civilization were built.

It is time to leave Nazareth and head toward our destiny in the New Jerusalem with the Kingdom breaking out in our midst all along the way. What this means is that the old preconceptions about the church and what is possible are about to change. It can no longer be contained within the four walls of the church but the Lord is calling on us to take it to the streets, neighborhoods and marketplaces.

It isn’t going to be about  few gifted leaders that people come from afar to see but like Jesus sending out the 70 (or 72):

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. –Luke 10:2-3  ESV

It will not be about professional ministers except God has raised up pastors all around America with a vision for preparing his people- regular Christians to be involved in the coming revival and as they participate their testimonies will be just like those 70 (or 72) that Jesus sent out:

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”  –Luke 10:17  ESV

Put it to the test and see if it is not a brand new ball game where you are. Just start praying for the sick around you and see what happens. Pray for the guy that doesn’t have a job and see if he doesn’t finally get the position of his dreams. It is a new day on the road to New Jerusalem. Not everyone will come but those who do will be blessed and they will receive a new vision for the American church and Kingdom ministry.           

-Gracelines: Examples of The Kingdom Breaking Through


     (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Last year was an extraordinary year at VCC Laguna Niguel and 2013 seems to be even more so. ‘More’ is the key word. The church is experiencing the Kingdom breaking through in a number of different ways especially in healings and miracles.

One thing that we have decided to do in the last several years is to continue to pray for healing until proven otherwise –death proving the otherwise. Some of our congregation have finally received remarkable healings after years of prayer with no results. This has encouraged us to keep on keeping on.

Along the way we are also learning to rejoice and celebrate even minor victories when God brings any kind of relief or partial healing. Some Christians seem to find partial healings to be somewhat controversial nevertheless we are dedicated to always celebrate what ever God gives us. Yet we also continue to pray for even greater blessings.

The most important change for us came when we began to notice that healings or miracles in one area seemed to open to door and dial up the faith for others to receive similar blessings. We started calling these ‘Gracelines’ since a whole line of similar healings, miracles, and testimonies have followed.

For 5 years or more our church had become a ‘migraine free’ zone where a large number of people in our congregation who used to suffer from severe reoccurring migraine headaches had received substantial healing. Doesn’t sound like much unless you are plagued and occasionally disabled by that malady.

Then this last year one of our key leaders in our healing rooms received a remarkable healing of his eyesight in one eye which had severely degenerated. Then later he and others had prayed for a lady who was legally blind and her sight impossibly began to increase over a week or so until she could actually read again. More remarkable healings in eyesight have followed and continues to this day. In my own case, I had one eye with distorted vision. When I looked upon a straight line or board with my one eye it would look crooked to me with a jagged line in the center but after prayer one day in church that went away. Still need glasses but at my age I am truly thankful for the blessing of better eyesight.

Then another brother who had continual pain in his shoulder for 5 years was healed and it has opened to door to many others with shoulder trouble and severe pain to be healed. The testimonies are still coming in on that one. Then there was another with knee problems with similar results and breakthroughs.

Another Graceline opened when a pastor’s wife testified that she had lost a necklace that was really dear to her and prayed for its return for several days. Then one morning it just appeared around her neck. I know that is a strange one for many and I have no theological explanation for it but it has opened a door for others to pray for lost things with amazing results. Many have received dreams or visions of the location of what they had lost after prayer.

On one occasion I could not find my keys after looking everywhere I could think of for 30 minutes or so. Finally time was up and I really needed to get going to work. Usually at that point in the equation I would have been fuming and yelling at my dear wife and blaming her for moving them but then I remembered a couple of the Graceline testimonies and turned to prayer instead and immediately had a picture of myself working in the garage the evening before and found my keys right where I left them on the work table. All this may sound trivial to some but believe me my wife is even more thankful for this blessing than I am.

Then there was a couple early last year who are worship leaders/musicians who testified that they had prayed for money to pay their rent and while driving down I5 Freeway money rained down on their windshield and when they pulled over and picked it up they found that it was just enough to pay the rent with $10 left over which they gave to a homeless person the next day. Then after that another lady testified that when she went to buy a car, the vehicle she really needed was several thousand more than she knew she really had but the Lord told her to buy it anyway and when she handed over the cash she had in an envelope it somehow had multiplied and was exactly enough to complete the sale. This not only opened a door but a deluge has followed with new testimonies nearly every week.

We have started to call these- ‘mail box miracles’ since so many of the testimonies that followed have revolved around folks receiving needed prayed for unexpected money in the mail. In these dire economic times, many in our church are living from week to week trusting in God like never before to bring what is needed to support their families. One week I was a couple hundred dollars short of the expense money I needed for an out of town business trip. I had prayed for help in that area but still was completely surprised when I received a $200 check in the mail from a Christian contractor I had used for referring him to a neighbor across the street for a job. Amazing.

We have a lot of business owners in our congregation and these have been particularly tough times for small businesses but God has been faithful through it all. I will save that for another post. But another door which has been particularly significant is the ‘job’ Graceline. So many of our folks have lost jobs in this economy and have been out of work that we started actually taking time on Sunday morning to pray for those who needed new jobs or business with remarkable results. While the jobless rate in our county is still above 10% nearly everyone in our congregation is now working and paying their bills.

Bottom line- this is not revival but it is better than we have ever seen before and I have already posted about the even more remarkable things happening in our outreach ministries. But there is nothing happening here that isn’t happening or can’t happen elsewhere. It is just now happening more often. It is a matter of our faith and expectations being dialed up and increased exponentially in certain areas in response to the testimonies and experiences of other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our understanding of ‘Gracelines’ is that when you take the time to acknowledge and rejoice in what God is doing he seems to open up the door to The Kingdom breaking through even more in the same areas. We have also found that including testimonies in our regular Sunday services has encouraged our people to live by faith and include God in their everyday living. Blessings have followed, miracles and healings have increased, Gracelines have continued, and our faith, expectations, and thankfulness have gone to another level.   

-Outside the Walls: The Kingdom Breaking Through


(Ziggerat in Laguna Niguel, CA: Wikipedia)

Last February VCC Laguna Niguel sent a team to India and had incredible results during the 2 weeks or so that they were there with 10’s of thousands coming to Christ, along with hundreds of healings including a number of miracles which featured lame folks that now walk and blind who now see.

On the plane on way back, Pastor Mike pleaded to the Lord for similar results back home in South Orange County, California. At the time we were hopeful for revival to break out in our church. While our services at VCC seemed to dial up considerably in 2012 most of the healings, miracles, and salvations that one would associate with revival actually began to happen among our people ‘outside the walls’ of the church at Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, at the malls and at high school games. Even at the federal ‘Ziggerat’ building across the street but particularly at our Mercy Warehouse Ministry just across the parking lot.

The Kingdom started breaking though in the food warehouse in March. Since then as far as we can tell over 403 people have come to Christ along with several hundred healings and miracles which continue to happen nearly every time we open the doors of the 24,000 square-foot facility. Meanwhile the faith of the warehouse volunteers for talking to folks about Christ and praying for healing in that ministry has risen to another level entirely. It is no longer Nazareth in that place but far closer to India.

It wasn’t until the last few months of the year after numerous accounts and testimonies that it began to dawn on us that the Kingdom was breaking through and God was doing some extraordinary things among our people ‘outside the walls’ of our church.           

-Thousands of Christians to Celebrate Sukkot in Jerusalem


          (Image via Wikipedia)

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is welcoming more than 6,000 Christian pilgrims from up to 100 nations for its annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, which begins Thursday evening at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.

Also called Sukkot or Feast of Booths, the Feast of Tabernacles is a biblical holiday and one of three mandated Jewish festivals to return to the temple in Jerusalem. The weeklong festivities mark Israel’s largest annual tourist event and the largest solidarity mission to Israel this year,…”

The International Christian Embassy was founded as an act of support and solidarity with the 3,000-year-old Jewish claim and connection to Jerusalem. It is considered the world’s largest pro-Israel Christian organization, with branches in 65 nations and a reach into over 130 nations around the globe.

Response: What a great opportunity to show support for Israel in the face of all of the Muslim opposition surrounding them. Also the International community right now seems to be looking upon Israel as a burden that can no longer be tolerated.

Unconditional love and support provides a needed positive Christian witness to the Israeli’s at a time when it is beginning to look like they are all alone.           

-Times, Seasons, and Transition


        (via Wikipedia)

The times we are in remind me of the old Byrd’s hit song- ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ (Based on Eccl. 3:1clip_image002).

The first line is particularly poignant:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

We are in a time of transition in the natural with fall in our midst and Winter on the way.  Actually out here in So. California, September is usually an extension of Summer when it comes to hot weather. Now with October, the change is finally happening and cooler weather and rain is on the way.

On the Spiritual front, we are in the midst of the Biblical (Jewish) holy week with Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) coming on Saturday. It is a week of transition from the old year to the new. In the older covenant, believers would consider their lives over the last 12 months and seek God’s forgiveness for any shortcomings and dedicate themselves to improvement for the year ahead.

Lot’s of Christians over the years have noticed that changes in their ministry seem to take place usually around this time of the year. I can see that pattern in my own life and ministry. In fact, several that I know in prophetic ministry specifically believe that during this week they ‘go under the Shepherd’s rod’ and are evaluated by The Master.

When you look at what is happening around the world it is easy to see that we are in a time of transition and no one seems to really know how it is all going to play out in the next year or so. Is America going down like so many seem to think and is China really going to replace us as the new ‘super power’?

In the Middle East, everything has been thrown up in the air following the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.  Iran wants to destroy Israel and they will probably have nuclear weapons sometime in the next year or two. The Iranian Supreme leader says that the 12th Imam is appearing to him and is coming soon to lead the Muslims to world domination. Turkey is now styling itself as a new ‘Islamic power’ on the rise and their leaders are talking about establishing a new Muslim Caliphate. Their goal is to dominate the World and bring on one world religion –Islam.

Notice that no one wants to be friends with Israel anymore. Even the USA seems to be turning it’s back on the Holy Land. Are we entering the end of the ‘end-times’?

The nations are in turmoil, natural calamities have risen to Biblical levels. The world economy is in shambles. The whole world is looking for a leader or some group to rise up and solve all of these impossible problems both politically and economically.

Look at the current state of the American Church. The mainline churches have turned their back on Biblical teaching –even now the Presbyterians. The Southern Baptists have been losing members and are now considering a name change. A week doesn’t seem to go by without a new scandal rising up concerning one Charismatic or Pentecostal preacher or another.

We are definitely in a time of transition. Old leaders and denominations are falling and new ones will rise up to take their place. God is setting his church in order.

Right now is a good time for all of us in the ministry to get down on our knees and seek a clear understanding and vision of where we are right now and where the lord wants to take us. If changes need to take place in our lives- now is the time to make them.

Now is the time to repent of past failures and seek a closer relationship with the Master. it is His church after all. We keep praying –”thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done” -It is now time to really mean it and truly understand what we are asking for. Now is the season to Turn, Turn, Turn.       

-Our Eyes Are Upon You Lord


            (Image via Wikipedia)

One scripture verse in particular (actually just part of one) keeps coming up at our Marketplace prayer Group at VCC Laguna Niguel:

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” 2 Chron. 20:12

The statement was part of a prayer given by King Jehoshaphat as the entire nation of Judah gathered in Jerusalem with a vast enemy army on the way threatening to annihilate them.

Some of us are going through major difficulties lately. It might be in our businesses, our families and marriage, our finances, or our health. Sometimes there really seems to be very little hope when we look at all of the facts and view the mess in front of us. The enemy seems to be reaching out and trying to defeat Christians on all fronts lately and some of us have several battle raging all at once and it seems so much completely out of control.

It really is time to take our eyes off of the problems and focus upon the Lord. Only then can miracles happen.

Recently I faced a family problem with one of my adult children that was completely out of my control and one that I had no answers for at all. All I could do is pray, respond in the best way I could, and turn it over to the Lord. Believe me turning it completely over was one of the hardest things I have ever done. All I could do was focus on the Lord and cry out to him.

One week later it was resolved at least for now and it is a miracle as far as I am concerned.

In the midst of the battle it is never easy to take your focus off of the very real problems in front of you. However, sometimes no matter how smart we are and how many resources we personally have there is just no way for us to win.

We might as well learn to put our focus on the one that is unlimited and wants to bless his children. Particularly when we have no answers and don’t know what to do. It is time for miracles. Time to put our eyes and focus upon the only one that can really save us.             

-Buenos Aires: A Biblical Paradigm of Church Unity

The Evangelical churches in Buenos Aires, Argentina have combined together to support one another in very unique ways that surpass and breakdown the walls and divisions of denominationalism. They have been seeking revival but came to realize that the church needed greater unity in order for revival to become a reality.

Today more than 180 pastors representing almost 150 churches and hundreds of thousands of members participate in the Buenos Aires council. Take a look at this article about it from Christianity Today‘Something Better Than Revival’

Here’s an interesting quotes-

From Pastor Carlos Mraida of Del Centro Baptist Church:

“Each time the New Testament speaks of the church in a city such as Ephesus, it is always singular, never plural. Yet when the New Testament speaks of leadership in a city, it is always plural. The church is singular, but leadership is plural.”

In noting the large growth of the church there in the last 25 years and yet no revival:

“So it seems that the church grew, but the kingdom of God has not been established. Jesus said the only requirement for us to see revival is that we be one, so that the world may believe [John 17:20-23clip_image002]. The missionary paradigm of each one doing [his] own thing did not work. We have to go back to a biblical paradigm.”

From Pastor Saracco of Good News Church:

“When we go to the U.S., we cannot understand the division of the church. You can have one pastor on one [street] corner and another on another corner, and they don’t know each other. Here we are friends.”

Response: Better co-operation between Christian churches in a community can bring on revival and real change. I remember a couple of years ago in Jena, Louisiana where the community had been involved with racial division and tensions at the High School that became a national issue. Later that year revival broke out in a church without a pastor and pastors from the other churches in town became involved together including white and black churches. It was a remarkable turn around for that community.

-Victory in ‘Living’ The Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Will Be Done in Earth”


Matt 6:9-13
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.   -KJV

“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”

In the last article on The Lord’s Prayer we talked about the Kingdom of God and concluded that the Kingdom represents the ‘rule of God’. Therefore wherever God rules there is his Kingdom. So when we pray for his Kingdom to come we are really praying for an extension of his rule and authority which is exactly what we are praying for also when we say:

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”

His will is done in Heaven. There is no sickness, there is no death, there is plenty of everything for everybody. His will reigns in Heaven but not necessarily here on earth. Choices and free will changes the whole equation here and messes it all up. We have sickness, death, famine, and natural disasters. Also, sometimes nature itself seems to be completely out of control.

Jesus came to change the direction of all creation and bring it back and reconcile it to God the Father. God had given authority over creation to the first man Adam and Satan had stolen it when Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God in the Garden.

Jesus reversed the course of and possibility of all creation when he lived as a perfect man and took back the mantle of the earth. Mt 28:18clip_image002 tells us that Jesus now has all authority in Heaven and on earth. He holds the keys to bringing the rule of God to the earth just as it is right now in the Heavenly realm.

Roman 8:12-19 tells us that all creation awaits the revelation of the ‘Sons of God’. That is All of creation awaits and is depending on some folks to wake up and understand more fully what it means to be the children of God through faith in Jesus and cry out—Abba Father!

All creation waits for a group of folks to not only pray- Thy will be done- but actually live it?

But how can it be done? How can we even know what the will of God is? Then how can we actually do the will of God on Earth? After all, all sorts of weird doctrines have been formed using this Romans 8 passage as an excuse.

A lot of the will of God is communicated to us in his written Word—The Bible. If we follow all of the rules and teaching laid out there then will His will be done on earth at least in our lives? No, not necessarily, we could never be ‘religious’ enough. It is really all about relationship. One can follow all of the rules and yet really not know God the Father. How do we know? Because Jesus said so.

There were a bunch of folks that followed all of the rules and even elaborated on a few of them but Jesus told them that they didn’t even know God. Meanwhile one of the religious rulers in Judea came to Jesus and asked him what more he needed to do to be received into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus told him that he needed to be ‘born again’. The guy’s name was Nicodemus and he really didn’t understand what Jesus was saying.

Most people today think that it is just a matter of being ‘good enough’ to get into Heaven. Folks mistakenly think that God grades on the curve and since they aren’t all that bad they figure they’ll make it in. Nicodemus was a religious leader who followed everything he knew of in the scriptures, was one of the very best people in all of Judea, and was pretty well shocked when Jesus told him that he wouldn’t even get to see the Kingdom unless he was somehow ‘born again’.

Being ‘Born Again’ is really the key to doing the will of God. When we say yes to God and his plan and accept his son Jesus then that is the beginning of saying yes to the will of God. When we submit to His plan of salvation through His Son Jesus then we become part of the family of God and God the Father gives us a part of himself—His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Spirit is there to teach His ways and counsel us and give us direction.

When we actually listen to the counsel and direction of God’s Spirit within us then we begin to actually do and live according to the will of God. The hardest part is to learn how to listen to the counsel and word of God for our lives.

We need to realize that when we pray ‘thy will be done’ we are actually committing ourselves to be a part of the fulfillment of that scripture. To date Jesus is the only one who ever fulfilled the words of the prayer and did the will of His Father on earth as it is in Heaven.

It is only through His Spirit that we have any hope of doing any of the will of God. Individually we always fall short but collectively the ‘body of Christ’ working together for a change can make a difference and bring about changes that could never be accomplished alone. All creation waits for the ‘Body of Christ’ to rise up and do the will of the Father?

It would mean that for once all of the body parts would be working together for a change and edifying and building up the entire body instead of working against each other. It would mean that finally there would be an organization –a church that does what the Father is doing as Jesus did (John 5:19) and nothing else.

Can you even imagine a church that actually does the will of God on earth? Yes I know, with what we have today it is hard to imagine. Yet, that is what we are praying for when we say “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth”.

The greatest fulfillment will wait for Christ’s return but I do believe that we can have and should have a glimpse of it in our midst.

It is time for the church to get this down—all of the church. I believe that the ‘Fatherhood of God’ and greater intimacy will be part of the Kingdom message of a ‘New Awakening’ coming soon near you. Again, all of creation awaits for the church to understand more fully what it means to be and act like the children of God and cry out—Abba Father! (Romans 8:12-19).

-American Church: In Transition-No longer ‘Business as Usual’


One thing that should be obvious to most of us involved in the American church is that we are in a time of transition and nothing quite works the way it use to. Many major ministries that have been successful in the past are finding that past formulas no longer work and many find themselves in economic difficulty.

The lesson to be learned in this time of transition is to listen more closely to the Holy Spirit and ask for God’s help in everything that we do even the perfunctory tasks that we use to take for granted and perform automatically. We really do have to understand that ‘business as usual’ no longer works in the natural and in the Spiritual realm. What passed for natural wisdom can longer be counted on.

This goes even more so for Christians involved in businesses right now. It is a new day economically in America and Christian business folks should link up with intercessors and band together to support one another in prayer and seek special guidance. Spiritual creativity is in order as businesses fall away on the right and the left in America.

. For too long the American church has been a place of entertainment and escapism—also a place that only sells an ‘escapist’ eternal future. It is now time for the church to actually occupy until he comes and become the people of the Kingdom—‘Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done. On earth…”