I want to tell you about a certain society — one that cast God aside and consequently sunk into a pit of gross darkness. Despising the Light, this society became a magnet for every kind of evil spirit. Law and order collapsed; every man was a law unto himself. The entire society was abandoned to the devil, and no moral force remained to hinder its headlong rush into hell.
Recently, a distraught sister wrote these words to me: "I am terrified. I think it would be wonderful if hydrogen bombs fell on us — especially on me and my family. It would all be over for us in such a hurry. We'd be with Jesus! I am a retired widow with no man in our family. I lost my husband to cancer. I just got out of the hospital and am recovering from a broken back. I have two unmarried daughters, one with health problems who hasn't worked in two years. We have suffered terribly for the past 16 years.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest...whatsoever things are of good report...think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
We bring you a true, honest and good report of what the Holy Spirit is doing on the streets and in the communities of New York City. The summer workers are now returning home, but the tremendous ministry of the Holy Spirit goes on. Now comes the all-important work of follow-up.
The final outcome of the church of Jesus Christ is glorious victory. In the end, the gates of hell shall never prevail against the true church, which is the invisible body of Jesus Christ on earth.
It is supposed to be a glorious church, without a spot or wrinkle, washed and secured by the blood of the Lamb. But anyone with spiritual discernment can readily see that the church of Jesus Christ at this present time is not victorious over sin or the enemy. The sad and pitiful condition of many believers is a great grief to our Lord.
I want to speak with you about a unique experience that is shared primarily by those who yearn to go deeper in Christ. It has to do with a tremendous spiritual letdown that usually follows periods of fresh anointing and divine revelation. Only those men and women of God who have had a unique touch from Him can understand the deadlock and dark plunges that follow spiritual highs.
It is the testimony of spiritual giants in all ages, that the most severe temptations, the most oppressive battles — follow soon after the greatest spiritual experiences.
There is a "survival panic" gripping this nation. Some economic experts warn Americans to flee the cities, buy a home or acreage in the country, hoard a supply of dried foods and ammunition, lay away a stash of gold or diamonds, and get ready for a terrifying depression. At this very moment, economic gloom is covering the nation like a dark, foreboding cloud. Unemployment is spreading, and, in some parts of the country, it is nearly as bad as it was during the depression of the 1930's.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5). Of all the wonderful promises God gives us in the 23rd Psalm, this is one of the most glorious. He is pledging to set a table for us, spread wonderful food on it and serve us a feast. And he does it all in front of our enemies!
If you need the power of God in your life, Jesus has special words for you. Just before he ascended to heaven, Christ knew his disciples needed power to do the works of his kingdom on earth. So he instructed them, “Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49-50).
The instruction was simple: “Stay in the city.” But note this qualifier: “…until…” Jesus was saying, “Your lives will remain the same until the Holy Spirit comes upon you with power.”
Trusting the Helper Jesus Sends Us
“I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away” (John 16:7, ESV).
Imagine what it was like for the disciples to hear this from Jesus. They were nearby when he performed miracles. They saw the wind and waves obey his commands. Nobody in history ever spoke with the authority that Jesus had. In his presence, the disciples felt special, valued and loved. They were encouraged and filled with hope that, no matter what obstacles were thrown at them, Jesus was there to deliver them.
This message is about spiritual prisons—those that Satan uses to cage us, and those we keep ourselves in. God’s Word shows us how to be freed from these prisons, with a powerful example from Peter’s life.