Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread.

Joshua 1:3



Howard Barnett

When Jesus let me know that He would free me to begin a new ministry with Him, my Ayes Lord@ didn=t mean that the eye of my understanding was enlightened. My faith allowed me to step out of the boat, but His faith kept me from sinking. As I begin this walk among His church, the many doors were to bring new and varied experiences. When asked to share, I would share, when asked to give, I would give and when asked to preach, I would preach. I would pray with, cry with and shout with the congregations that I was visiting. I=ve never visited any gathering that wasn=t his children. I=ve shared in a wide variety of worship practices. Many are testimonial hand-shakers; you testify and you get your hand shook. If you cry while you testify you may get several hugs. The goal to somehow demonstrate God=s love, seems to be a common ground among those places that I was to visit in the traditional (my label) churches. Some services called >song & praise= would attract a collection of people from many area churches to hear the >special singers= invited for the evening. Preaching is tolerated, as long it is not too long. Testimony is a large part of most meetings. Most just seem to be happy to be happy. The love of God will hide the multitude of sins. But I perceive a hunger among a few for more of God. The pastors, who encountered the fire during this time, were visibly shaken, but most attributed it to some malady of the flesh.


As my walk with Jesus in this level of the anointing continues, I have begun to question, why does this anointing not remain on those that are touched? I know that we hold the treasure of God in earthen vessels. Our cups should be overflowing with what we have freely received. Our giving in this spiritual level of priesthood is how the church outreaches to the world. You can only give and testify to what you have received.


Many years back I knew a person who attended church services once a year, on Easter Sunday. This person dressed nicely, left a large offering for the church, felt the presence of the Lord and went home for another year, believing >as long as I feel something - I=m all right=. This same logic has been the self justification of the church for centuries. As revival after revival has brought >times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord@1, the church has cycled up and down, in and out, revived and backslidden, down through the ages. As long as there was a cup reached out, Jesus would fill it. Just about any vessel tarred and patched up will hold water and blood, for a time. Jesus is the fountain that fills every outreached cup, regardless of the label or gender of the hand holding it.


Our responsibility to keep the cup clean, ready and stretched out to Him, is the condition for receiving Him. Our cup is renewed day by day, because only new bottles are used for new wine. But as Jesus knocks on the door of a new day, many are not answering the knock. The satisfied church says, AI=ve got the Holy Ghost, I speak in tongues, I have the gifts of the spirit in this cup. I think I=ll just hold on to this cup. But, this old cup is so full of holes. I didn=t realize how leaky it had become. Maybe I need some of that patching you offered a while back. I couldn=t afford the price of that gold covering for my cup Lord. Must have been pretty strong, >tempered in the fire= that way. But just to make it Holy and acceptable seemed a high price at the time. I was getting by just fine like it was. I guess it=s not like it was, right Lord?!@


As the church is judged, the fire is revealing our works and we have been given a space of time to repair the breach. We must have our house (cup) in order to receive and hold this double portion that will sustain us in this day of the Lord. Only the unspotted and unblemished vessels will walk into this realm of the anointing. The high calling to manifest this fire of the glorious presence of the Lord, requires first the asking, AYou have not because you ask not.@ In this anointing, we must realign our directions. AAs many as received him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.@ We receive, we are empowered and we become sons. But what is the creation waiting for the sons to do? For a few illustrations see: Romans 8:19-20, II Corinthians 6:17-18, Galatians 4:6-7, Hebrews 2:10, and Hebrews 12:6-10. This >knocking= by the fire of God, seen by those who dare to open the door, calls for self-examination. If we are burning, we are not in order. We are to walk, not stand, in this presence of God without being consumed.2 This is the highway of holiness that leads to and through the wilderness, which is the world, Aall nations, all people, all tongues.@3


When the Lord called and instructed us to write and walk, He gives what to write and anoints the walk with His presence. We do nothing, but write and walk. His presence, as the fire, is the >wake-up call= to the church. In the first visit, we see mainly the church leadership, who are the first partakers, experiencing this presence of the Lord Jesus. We do nothing to make this happen or to not happen. We rest in Him. We share our written testimony, as He shares His written testimony which is engraved on our hearts. Our witness without His witness, will be only words. As we have written, every writing has had a second witness and sometimes a third, if we are in more than one service for the day. This second witness from God=s ministers greatly encourages our hearts and keeps us walking. We have been received in love everywhere we have visited, as we are missionaries from the Lord to the local churches. Our circuit is now to the Pentecostal realm. Our writings are His instructions to realign and keep the fire from consuming. We wake every morning with new bread, as we are given to His word. We give freely as we receive. Our only problem is we fall in love with every congregation that we visit. Each and every one of them could be the >home church=, and maybe they are. God=s people are the real church. Jesus has testified of His presence at each visitation. This anointing is increasing, as we see His witness extending from the ministry to the congregations.


Why us? I=ve asked this question many times. We just happened to stretch out a cup with the bottom still intact. The Lord=s fire has provided a covering that has allowed the anointing to remain. The Lord=s fire has been a wall of protection given to the church to free us of carnal bondage and cleanse us of the tares attached to the human nature. I believe the first measure removed that part of the seed, called chaff, to open us to His presence. This touch of the master=s hand is stirring us from slumber. With the fire upon us we are definitely not where many of us expected to find ourselves. II Thessalonians suddenly has a higher meaning than I Thessalonians and I Peter 4:12 and 4:17 and II Peter 3:10 become guideposts. As the baptism of the Holy Ghost shook us and ushered in a sixty fold, created new priorities and restored direction; how much more the baptism of Fire to bring us in or push us out. Luke warm won=t do it. Jesus has bid us to come. You must walk on in or out. The one hundred fold awaits.


He who hath an ear to hear let him hear





1 Acts 3:19

2 Isaiah 43:2

3 Revelation 17:3 and 17:15

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