Monthly Archives: July 2010

My Journey Out (Part 12)

An Updated Rerun Series

Click on following links for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11.


In early 1994, I drove back to Illinois to attend a high school friend’s funeral. It was held in a small church and I sat with my parents in a middle row of the sanctuary.

As I sat there on the wooden pew,  listening to the pastor, the Holy Spirit interrupted my thoughts and blanked out all noise from the service and the people around me. I was there, but I wasn’t. Then, He spoke to me:

“My Church consists mainly of a bunch of nice losers,” He said. “They pray for the sick, and if the person dies, they aren’t angry and don’t really feel that bad about it. After all, they did their religious duty.

“Now, in Major League Baseball, both the winning teams and losing teams want to win; it’s a part of each player’s make-up. But after a while, the losing teams’ players don’t really mind losing anymore. They still receive large paychecks and enjoy all the fantastic benefits of just being a Major League player. So, losing is not such a big deal to them.

“But this is not true for the winning teams’ players. Each of these players hates to lose and will do anything and make whatever sacrifice is needed to win games. They absolutely hate losing!

“I want My Church to hate losing!”

The conversation ended and I began weeping so hard I thought I was going to vomit. My sister leaned over. “Don’t you think that you should get a hold of yourself? You’re making a scene,” she whispered.

I shrugged my shoulders. There was nothing I could do, nor did I care what others thought of me at that moment. I was devastated by the Holy Spirit’s description of the Church:  “a bunch of nice losers.

Now, what’s funny is that I was upset with God for allowing my friend to die. I had witnessed to my friend over the years. Prayed for him. Fasted for him. Invested time in his healing. But still, he died and I was mad at God as I sat there in the pew!

So, wouldn’t you think that God would have corrected me about my anger at Him? And yet, He didn’t. Instead, He redirected my anger toward the Church’s losing attitudes.

From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16)

(Continued in Part 13)

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

I’d Like to Prophesy, But… (Part II – 2)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

Click on the following link for an earlier article: Part II-1.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

To know what Jesus is  saying to us today, we need to better understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit because prophecy and Jesus’ words come to us mainly through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

And knowing that God does not change and Jesus does not change, we can therefore assume that the Holy Spirit does not change also. Okay?

Thus, we can look at the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, to learn about the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the Lord came upon him [Otheniel] and he judged Israel… (Judges 3:10)

So the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet… (Judges 6:34)

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him [Samson] mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them… (Judges 14: 19)

Throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon people, especially prophets, kings and priests, and anointed them with authority and power to carry out the plans of the Lord.

In much the same way, the Holy Spirit comes upon people in the New Testament:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (Luke 4: 18 – 19)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses… (Acts 1: 8)

Yes,  the Holy Spirit is now an indwelling Spirit for us New Testament believers as compared to the Old Testament’s believers. But what we now call the anointing for a teacher, preacher or minister, the  Old Testament simply stated as “came upon him.”

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2: 27)

But even more than the anointing, the Holy Spirit’s ministry has been focused on one important point in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

(Continued in Part II – 3)

10 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

My Journey Out (Part 11)

An Updated Rerun Series

Click on following links for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 and Part 10.


Just weeks after my salvation in 1985, I had dreams and visions. Most were about this and that, but there has been one recurring dream which I’ve had in almost every city I’ve ever lived in.

The dream has always been about explosions, gas pipes blowing up, bridges being destroyed, cars falling into rivers, buildings being destroyed, death and devastation. And the dream has always been adapted to the particular city that I lived in at the time.

For instance, in Virginia Beach (VA), I saw US navy ships at the Norfolk Naval Station being attacked by missiles and bombs. Powerful ships sank into the bay, much like the ships at the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In a matter of moments, the largest naval station in the world was gone.

Maybe some people might attribute my dreams to a wild imagination and pepperoni pizzas, but that would not explain the many people who have had similar dreams.

Moving to California was certainly not on my life’s to-do list, but in August, 2001, Honey was upset with our sales jobs in Virginia Beach, Virgina. She kept seeking the Lord about something different and new for us.

Then, one day she said, “Larry, the Lord wants us to move to California. Pray about this, okay?”

I cringed when she mentioned moving to California; the land of nuts and fruits – yuck! But I caved in to Honey’s pleas and sought the Lord for a few days.

What happened is that the Lord filled my heart with an overwhelming peace, much like morphine mellows out a person who is suffering extreme pain.

And also, at the same time, I felt the Lord say that He would show me a sign sometime during our trip to the West Coast on His reason for our moving to California.

Thus, we loaded a twenty-four foot Ryder truck with our belongings and headed for California. Along the way, we stopped at our children’s and parents’ homes  in Pittsburgh (PA), Polo (IL), Faribault (MN) and then, Glidden and Jefferson, Iowa.

Ask someone what he was doing on September 11, 2001, and he’ll probably remember. For me, I was sitting at a computer in Jefferson, Iowa, checking emails. Honey was in the bedroom and Honey’s uncle was sitting in a recliner watching the Today Show. Then, the first plane hit the World Trade Center. And then, the second plane.

Two hours later, both towers collapsed. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth one crashed in a Pennsylvania field. We were glued to the TV sets, wondering what was happening to our nation.

But somehow in the midst of the confusion, I knew 911 was my sign from the Lord for moving to California.

Before you get all huffy, remember: 911 was going to happen whether Honey and I obeyed God or not. The Lord just used the tragedy – which He knew about ahead of time –  to imprint on my heart that America was at war.

So, how does my journey out of the traditional church fit into all of this, right?

I see possible major terrorist attacks hitting San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. These terrorist attacks may not be low-level ones like 911, but instead, they may be nuclear or electro-magnetic pulse attacks. Hundreds of thousands of lives may be at risk.

And just like 911, we are not prepared.

Our federal and state governments, police departments and whatever are helpless. At best, we can expect them to show up with body bags to stuff corpses into, but that’s about it. So, don’t misplace your faith and hope in our governments. It’s a waste of time,  time which we have too little of!

The only hope for the West Coast (and America) is the church. The one with Jesus Christ as the Head.

Yet, this underscores a major problem which the Body of Christ has in America.

(Continued in Part 12)

11 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

I’d Like to Prophesy, But… (Part II – 1)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. (Luke 6:46 – 48)

For years, I looked at the above verses and believed Jesus was talking only about His written words which are contained in the New Testament, and especially the first four books of the New Testament.

And this was because the Greek word logos is translated words in verse 47.

Now my thinking went along with Kenneth Hagin and other Charismatic teachers who taught that there was a difference between the two Greek words, logos and rhema, which are both translated into our English language as word.

These Charismatic teachers believe that the Greek word logos refers mainly to the written word as found in today’s Bibles, while the Greek word rhema refers to an uttered word.

These teachers would use the following examples to prove their beliefs:

For the word [logos] is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

And take up the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God. (Ephesians 6: 17)

There are many other scriptural examples these teachers would use to explain their beliefs, but to be honest, there is a major flaw in their teachings. And the flaw is that there are more exceptions to their teachings than there are examples of it being valid.

Now, I am not saying that there is not a difference between the two Greek words, logos and rhema, but I would guess that it is a subtle nuance which has been lost (so far) to us over the centuries.

Strong’s Concordance defines both logos and rhema as being spoken words or utterances.  And if you want to study more on logos versus rhema, Theo-Enthumology has a great study on them.

So, as we continue on in this series, I will be looking at Luke 6:46 -49 as also referring to prophetic words or Jesus’ now words.

(Continued in Part 2)

13 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

My Journey Out (Part 10)

An Updated Rerun Series

Click on following links for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.


Rather, the present-day pastor was born out of the single-bishop rule first spawned by Ignatius and Cyprian. The bishop evolved into the local presbyter. In the Middle Ages, the presbyter grew into the Catholic priest. During the Reformation, he was transformed into the “preacher,” “the minister,” and finally “the pastor” – the person upon whom all of Protestantism hangs. To boil it down to one sentence: The Protestant pastor is nothing more than a slightly reformed Catholic priest. (Again, we are speaking of the office and not the individual.) (Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna, Tyndale Publishing; pp. 141)

To have pastors in a church is Scriptural, but the present-day pastoral system is quite unscriptural; it is an invention of man. (The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee)

No expression of a New Testament church is ever led by just one professional “holy man” doing the business of communicating with God and then feeding some relatively passive, religious consumers Moses-style. Christianity has adopted this method from pagan religions, or at best from the Old Testament. The heavy professionalism of the church since Constantine has now been a persuasive influence long enough, dividing the people of God artificially into laity and clergy. According to the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:5),  “there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” God simply does not bless professionals to force themselves in-between people and God forever. (Houses That Change The World by Wolfgang Simson, pp.10)


“Larry is a stubborn believer,” says my wife, elongating the word stubborn so that it echoes off walls.

Okay, admittedly, I’m stubborn. But my stubbornness pertains mainly to when I believe I’ve heard the voice of the Lord.  And if I think I’ve heard the Lord, then I will hang on until something happens or the Lord loosens my grip.

Have I ever erred in thinking it was the voice of the Lord when it wasn’t? Yes, I have my share of wrong presumptions under my belt…and the scars to prove it.

But as Graham Cooke says, “I’d rather err on the side of presumption than to not step out in faith when I believe the Lord has spoken to me. Presumption isn’t a sin, but fear is.”

I agree with Cooke.

And yet, when the Lord asked us to walk away from the traditional church system, I really struggled with it. I felt as though we were the only people in the whole world doing something as ridiculous as this.

Thanks to the internet, I soon learned that millions of believers in the United States were doing the exact same thing. I read books by Gene Edwards, Frank Viola, Wolfgang Simson, Watchman Nee and others. All of these encouraged me on my journey out

In a nutshell, Edwards, Viola, Simson, Nee and others proclaim the royal priesthood of the believers (1 Peter 2:9) and denounce the unscriptural clergy-laity separation in the traditional church system.

Though I agree with the teachings of the above men, I have a different passion for encouraging people to exit the tradition church system, especially on the West Coast.

(Continued in Part 11)

11 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

My Journey Out (Part 9)

An Updated Rerun Series

Click on following links for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

What was Jesus’ main problem with the Pharisees? Most of us would answer, “Hypocrisy.” Right?

Yet, when I look in the mirror every morning, I see the biggest hypocrite in the whole world, the one who I intimately know inside and out better than any other possible hypocrite. And guess what? Every believer, without exception, has this same problem at sometime or another.

Hypocrisy cannot be the answer. So, what was Jesus’ main problem with the Pharisees?

And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. ‘ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7: 6 – 8)

Did you know the Pharisees had ushered in a Judaic revival just before John the Baptist and Jesus arrived on the scene? Josephus, the historian, who estimated the sect at 6,000 strong, stated that the Pharisees were considered “the hope of Israel” and were the dominant spiritual influence for the Jews.

In fact, the Pharisees held many beliefs in common with Jesus. They believed in the resurrection of the dead, the Messiah’s soon arrival, angels, a day of judgment, a person’s free-choice and God’s sovereignty. They taught that God was a loving, all-knowing, just and merciful Creator. They called for Jews to live a life of obedience.

And yet, Jesus found fault with them.

Can you imagine how shocked the people were when they heard Jesus rake these so-called holy men over the coals?

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

What was it about these traditions that bugged Jesus so much?

In their zeal for God, the Pharisees came up with rituals and programs to protect people from disobeying the Torah, and thus, reaping the wrath of God. For instance, the Sabbath Day’s Journey or just how far could a Jew walk on the Sabbath without sinning against the Law.

At first, the Pharisees determined a Jew could, in good conscience, walk within the boundaries of a city, especially to a synagogue or the Temple. Then, later Pharisees, determined they could walk 2,000 cubits (cubit = approx. 18 inches) outside the city. Later, this was upped to 4,000 cubits, or about one mile.

This minuteness to detail was carried over by the Pharisees into every area of daily life for the Jews. It became known as “the yolk of the Torah.” It was an impossible burden for anyone to carry.

Jesus exposed the traditions for what they were: a man-made religion filled with rituals, programs and traditions.

Now, what if Jesus visited the American traditional church system today, what would be the first thing He would point to as a man-made tradition? Maybe, the office of the pastor.

So, what about the separation of clergy and laity? Is it scriptural?

(Continued in Part 10)

14 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

Thank God for Women, But… (Part 16)

Click on following links for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14 and Part 15.

Thank God for Women, But now is a new season when the Lord will be emphasizing men in His Church. This will not mean a return to legalistic systems whereby women will be forced back under male dominated systems and a return to second class gender status.

But instead, the anointed men of  this move of God will understand the importance of women and their callings, and will not be jealous about the uniqueness of female Christians nor worried that femininity will ever infringe upon their masculinity.

These men will stand guard over the Church so that it is not  divided against itself again because if it is, the American Church will not stand against the evil winds which will soon be blowing against it.

This new season is a time of war.

And men, by their unique God-created designs, are aggressors and warriors, not suited for pew sitting, but rather to be on battlefields, advancing the Kingdom of God against the kingdom of darkness.

Even though men have been seemingly lackluster in their hunger for God over the last twenty years, the Lord is going to send a spirit of breakthrough which will deliver men from their apathy, lethargy and compromise. With the spirit of breakthrough will also come an Elijah anointing to fight the spirit of religion which hovers over America and dominates our traditional church systems.

This new move of God will not be a stylish, politically correct one. It will be messy as religious systems are confronted and fought against by men who are willing to lose their lives to advance the Kingdom of God.

You can expect the media to hate these anointed men of God, but the media will be as straws in the wind to these men who have been especially prepared for this season.

So what can women do?

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (Revelation 22: 17)

(Conclusion of this series.)

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare