Awaking the Sleeping Church

Grace unto you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

I give thanks to God for His great assistance in helping us put together this most needed publication – The Midnight Cry magazine. Special appreciation to you, our faithful readers, for taking time out of your busy lives to meditate on the various thoughts of caution I feel the Lord has permitted me to bring to your attention. Also, thanks for your continuous letters of encouragement and support.

The purpose of this letter is to refresh our minds and offer additional enlightenment to the burden and vision of my heart for the Church. To many I may appear over-sensitive to satanic intrusions in God’s work, and paranoid about sin and worldliness. Nevertheless, I am compelled to do and say what I feel I am called to accomplish.

The following is to offer you greater clarity of the trend and thought pattern of this magazine. I do hope that, by the help of the Lord, you will better appreciate the purpose and seriousness of The Midnight Cry. TheMidnight Cry
Taken from Matthew 25:6, the name ‘The Midnight Cry’ describes a cry made at midnight by a city watchman in an effort to awaken ten sleeping virgins. Careful note should be taken that all of the ten virgins, both wise and foolish, had fallen asleep. The “virgins” are symbolic of the church, while the surrounding darkness of “midnight” describes the lack of spiritual illumination that had successfully lulled them to sleep. Some have suggested that the “oil” symbolizes an understanding of God’s word, while others conclude that it is the Holy Ghost. But, be it knowledge of God’s word or the Holy Ghost, the fact remains that the lamps went out and darkness prevailed.

Head knowledge alone, or not yielding to the Holy Ghost in our lives will offer no resistance to the spiritual darkness around us. Darkness is subtle and is not easily recognized. Hindsight allows us to reflect on spiritual darkness as it existed two thousand years ago. 430 years had lapsed from the time of Malachi to Matthew. However, during this time there was no shortage of religion or the written word of God. Yet scripture describes the world as being in darkness. (Lk. 1:79, Mt. 4:16). The Lord Jesus, being filled with the Holy Ghost, was a light in the midst of a nation in gross darkness. John 1:4-11, describes a nation – God’s own people – unable to recognize the very One they anticipated. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Darkness had blinded their minds and they were unable to see God’s present move in their time.

It is no different in our day. Steeped in two thousand years of traditional religion with no fresh scriptural direction, our obsession with the past may distort our vision of present reality. Paul encouraged the powerful Ephesian Church by showing how God had quickened those who were once spiritually dead in sin. He then reflected on their past lives of lust and darkness, and suggested a renewal of the spirit of their mind. (Eph. 2:2-3, Eph. 4:17-23). But it seems that this assembly was in a gradual backsliding mode and needed to be revived. In Ephesians 5:8, Paul reminded them that they were once in darkness and should “walk as children of light”. In verse 14 the Apostle bluntly declared that the sleeping saints should “awake”.

For a moment, let us reflect on New Testament history, and consider the churches Paul built. As profound as he was, he had the awful experience of witnessing the demise of most of his assemblies. The same could be said of almost all the apostles. Even Jesus himself was no exception.

The commencement of the Early Church may have been flamboyant, but within a short period of time “the field was sown down with tares” . (Mt. 13:25-30). As the years passed, the Devil wreaked havoc on God’s work and darkness eventually prevailed. Persecution from without brought martyrdom, and heresy from within led to apostasy. Every church started by the apostles was ultimately demolished by the enemy, and many of those who survived literal persecution eventually collapsed into spiritual darkness.

History has convinced me that there is absolutely no limitation to the powers of darkness. With Satan described as an “angel of light”, and his ministers as “the ministers of righteousness”, darkness has taken on a religious air. (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Despite the firm foundation on which it was built, the church at Corinth was still no match for the “powers of darkness”.

As we continue to search the New Testament, we will discover a continuous warning by almost every writer concerning the subtlety of spiritual darkness. Drunkenness, sleep, blindness and darkness all describe the spirit of iniquity and error that has always permeated society.

What troubles my spirit is the thought that we today could be in the dark about many things, yet unable to recognize it with our limited vision. To be educated in the scriptures, like Apollos was, does not automatically open our eyes to what God may be doing currently. (Acts 18:24).

The scribes and the Pharisees were all experts in the scriptures and were convinced that they were part of the true work of God, but Jesus thought differently. He saw them as being blind concerning prophetic fulfillment. In John 9:39-41, our Lord condemned their self-confidence by saying, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

Spiritual blindness occurs when our vision is distracted and blurred by misconceptions that are either inherited or induced by the prosperity of workers of iniquity in our time. Ignoring Prophetic Predictions

It is presumptuous to ignore the explicit predictions of God’s word in preference to satanically inspired fantasies. Oftentimes, prophetic reality will generate fear and anxiety, but these should in no way hinder prophetic preaching. As ministers of the Body of Christ, we must not compromise the proclamation of truth in a carnal effort to ‘win friends and influence people’. A true man of God will never compromise truth for fellowship, quality for quantity or holiness for happiness. As men of God did in the past, we must proclaim with boldness “all the counsel of God.” (Acts. 20:27). Fear of losing one’s church, friends, credibility, and even one’s own life, will result in a modification of the gospel that accommodates the people. It takes a charismatic gospel to build a charismatic church. Fickleness in the pulpit will produce fickleness in the pew.

In His commission to the twelve disciples our Lord offered no flamboyant hope for the ministry. Contrary to today’s ‘sheiks in the pulpit’, the Early Church apostles faced persecution, hatred, rejection and martyrdom. (Mt. 10). The Apostle Paul declared, “…But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses…” (2 Cor. 6:4-10).

In what light do we view the commentary of the persecution, nakedness, hunger, torture and brutal martyrdom of God’s people as recorded in Hebrews 11:36-38? Am I missing something here? If the Lord was going to build His Church so that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, why were the saints being persecuted and killed? Could it be that the Lord deceived His followers? The answer is no!

The problem is that we have been brainwashed with a ‘pie-in-the-sky, think-and-grow-rich, happy-go-lucky’ gospel, which has affected our judgment. Hebrews 11 and Matthew 10 will never motivate or entice anyone desirous of personal glory to enter the ministry. Instead, they will prefer the typical 21st Century so-called commission that offers health, wealth and popularity. But God sees otherwise, and commends the afflicted of Hebrews 11 as “having obtained a good report”. (v39).

To move ahead in God, the Body of Christ must not dwell in the past or incorporate the messages and methods of apostate Christianity. We should never be so overconfident that we ignore the possibility of our own blindness. Always bear in mind that spiritual blindness has no regard for the educated, talented or sincere.

To advance into the future, the Church must have spiritual guidance. Understanding the reality of tomorrow is a necessary ingredient in establishing our faith, and better equips us to face what lies ahead. On the contrary, a false hope will result in disappointment, discouragement and backsliding.

The questions are:

What really lies ahead?
Will the Church become powerful and convert the nations?
Will there come a time when the saints will experience a great influx of signs and wonders?
Will the Church become the head of the city?
Will the healed Body of Christ confront and obliterate the healed beast?
Will spiritual David slay the Goliath that is so rapidly coming on the scene?

As we ponder these question carefully, we should consider the awful consequences of misrepresenting the answers.

By the help of the Lord, it is my desire to present in this magazine that which will stir our minds to re-examine our religious concepts in order to ensure that we offer God’s people a way of escape from the evils that lie ahead. To lead the saints forward we must have direction for today.

The presentation of present truth in The Midnight Cry magazine is done with the godly anticipation of alerting the elect to the reality of present evil.

The purpose of the Church is not intended to save its members from yesterday’s evils, but rather from evil as it exists today. We will not win today’s battles by utilizing yesterday’s weapons. May the Lord assist us in recognizing all of the elements associated with the beast, the Devil, and false religion as they exist today. Otherwise, our inability to separate light from darkness will end in deep slumber.

The Midnight Cry is not intended to be a literature of entertainment, but a voice uttering a wake-up call to a sleeping Church. We do covet your prayers and support of this effort, and will appreciate all relevant materials sent to us.

May the Lord touch the eyes of our understanding.