Author: Guest Post

Continue in watchful prayer

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. — 2 Peter 3:9 By Rick Renner At a time when it is so essential that we put forth our best efforts to reach the unreached, many churches and organizations are cutting back on their giving to foreign missions. They are opting instead to develop their own local churches. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but the emphasis on reaching the lost is very often diminished in favor of simply forming social communities for their congregations. What happened to the days when we did BOTH? It is clear that we need to support home missions in the United States, where multitudes have yet to hear the good news of the Gospel. But we must never stop ardently supporting foreign missions to reach the nations and ethnic groups that have never heard the name of Jesus. It isn’t a matter of one or the other …

Healing the Brokenhearted

By Rick Renner

Although Christmastime was a joyous time for our family, Christmas Day itself reminded me about the pain of broken families. My grandfather had been married four times; two of my grandmothers had been married twice; a great-grandmother had been married five times; an uncle had been married three times; and the list seemed to go on and on.

Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit!

By Rick Renner

Many years ago, when I first studied the word “grieve” in Ephesians 4:30, I ran to my bookshelf and pulled out my Greek New Testament to discover exactly what the word “grieve” meant. I found that this word was taken from the Greek word lupete. This surprised me, because the word lupete is from the word lupe, which denotes a pain or grief that can only be experienced between two people who deeply love each other.

No, God Did NOT Prescribe the Use of Cannabis in the Bible

By Dr Michael Brown Just when you think you’ve heard it all, a pastor calls your radio show asking how to respond to a congregant who claims that cannabis was sanctioned by God in the Torah. That’s right, sanctioned by the Lord Himself, not to be smoked but to be burned in large quantities by the priests of Israel. Far out! To be sure, there was a time in my life when I would have readily believed something like this, since I spent 1969-1971 as a heavy drug-using, hippie rock drummer, consuming everything from pot to LSD and from speed to heroin. Not surprisingly, when my two best friends starting reading the Bible, telling me about the more esoteric passages in the Scriptures – all kinds of visions and dreams and revelations – I asked them in jest, “What were they smoking?” That, in fact, is what I asked the pastor (again, in jest) who called the show: What is this congregant smoking? It turns out that there is an alleged scholarly basis for this …

What Should You Do When Your Plans Seem Hindered?

Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. — 1 Thessalonians 2:18 Have you ever pursued something that you believed was God’s will, yet obstacles seemed to keep you from doing what you thought you were supposed to do? If you have, don’t feel alone, because many people have been in that same position! Even the apostle Paul felt this way from time to time! But what should you do in times like these? Today I want you to particularly notice the word “hindered” in the verse above. It comes from the Greek word egkopto, an old word that was originally used to describe a road so deteriorated and broken up that it was impassable. Have you ever driven down a road on your way to your destination, only to discover that the road you’re driving on is too full of ruts and holes to continue your journey? As a result, you have to turn around, go back, and find another route to get where you are going. …

You Will Know the Tree by Its Fruit

By Dr. Michael Brown It is a biblical principle that everything reproduces after its own kind. This is true in the physical world, going back to the first chapter of Genesis and right until today. Orange trees reproduce oranges (and orange trees), not apples (and apple trees), and dogs reproduce dogs, not cats. The same is true in the spiritual realm. As Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:15–20) We can judge a ministry or a movement or a theology or an ideology by the type of fruit it produces. …

Are Religious Debates Fruitful?

By Dr. Michael Brown For the last 40 years, I have engaged in scores of public debates on religious subjects, sometimes drawing passionate, standing room only crowds. But are the debates actually fruitful? Do they bring more heat than light? Do they really change anyone’s mind? By the end of this week, I will have engaged in two major debates, one in London at a university campus and the other live-streamed from here in the States. The London event was with a Muslim apologist, debating whether Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible. The online event will be with a “Hebrew Israelite” leader, debating who are the legitimate children of Israel. (If you’re on our email list at, you’ll be notified about links where you can watch online.) Certainly, these events stir a lot of interest and discussion. But, to repeat, are they actually fruitful? Do they do any real good? Are these debates more a matter of having polished rhetorical skills than convincing content? And don’t they simply reinforce the beliefs of each opposing …

An Encounter with God is More Powerful than TikTok

By Dr. Michael Brown

The influence of TikTok on America’s young people has become so pervasive that this past February I asked, “Is China Using TikTok to Control the Minds of Our Children?” As outrageous as that question may sound to some, I only raised it because others had already drawn attention to the disparity between TikTok in China and TikTok in America.

The Warning Signs of Toxic Religion

By J. Lee Grady

After Elisha watched Elijah ascend into heaven, the prophet went to the city of Jericho and performed his first miracle. The men of that city faced an environmental crisis: Their water was toxic, most likely because of the sulphur and other chemicals that had rained down upon nearby Sodom and Gomorrah years earlier. This poison had made the land barren (see 2 Kings 2:19-22) and it was probably affecting people and animals as well as plant life.

Guard the Holy Flame!

By Dr. Michael Brown When I served as a leader in the Brownsville Revival (which ran from 1995-2000), I started to write a book on hindrances to revival, laying out 20 ways to put out the Spirit’s fire. Put another way, if you do these things, the revival will come to a premature end. When I finished compiling my list, I was amazed to see how similar it was to Charles Finney’s classic sermons titled “Hindrances to Revival.” Some things never change! For a number of reasons, I did not finish writing my book, but several years after the revival, I got the strong impression that I would need to finish the book in the future. In other words, I would live to see another wave of revival. That wave, in its early stages, is already here in America, because of which I feel a real urgency to finish writing that book and get it out to the public. For the moment, though, let me share one of the principles I address in the book, …

Spreading Manure: The Stench of Gossip

By Julie Barrier    My brother-in-law, Bud Wright, is my hero. He’s a committed Christian leader, a savvy businessman and a wonderful father. I love him deeply because he has managed to put up with my feisty, fireball little sister Kathy for thirty years. And, believe me, she’s a handful! We all call him “Rich Bud” because his real moniker, Maryatte Steele Wright III, is too difficult to pronounce and it sounds like a stuffy English butler. “Rich Bud” toodles around town in his fire-engine red Ferrari and has never met a stranger. But the real reason I adore him is because I have never, ever heard him say a disparaging word about anyone-friend or foe. He may vent to his three cats when I’m not around, but Bud spreads kindness wherever he goes. He sees the best in people. My pastor-hubby Roger always uses Bud as a sermon illustration when he preaches on gossip. Most folks delight in the flaws of others, but Uncle Bud sees the potential for good in those he knows …

God Uses Imperfect People

By Dr. Michael Brown It is not just outside the Church, in the secular realm, that God uses imperfect people. Even within the Church, in the spiritual realm, God uses imperfect people. But there’s a simple reason for that. Imperfect people are the only kind of people that exist. Who else can God use? There’s an old joke about someone who is looking for the perfect church. They tell a friend, “If I could just find that church, I’d attend regularly and become a member.” The friend replies, “But the moment you join it would become imperfect.” Exactly. That is the state of the human race. In that same spirit, it has been said that heaven will be at one and the same time a great eye opener and a great mouth closer. You will be shocked to see certain people there, and they will be shocked to see you. Of course, we can smile at these anecdotes and jokes, but when the rubber meets the road, it can be a little unsettling. We wonder …

Is It Time To Make a Change In Your Environment?

By Rick Renner

Your biggest potential enemy in life (besides your own wrong thinking and the devil himself) is the environment in which you live. For instance, if you constantly live in an atmosphere of doubt and unbelief, it’s just a fact that you’ll have a much more difficult time maintaining a walk of strong faith. That doubt-filled environment will try to rub off on you!

Turning One’s Ears From the Truth to Fables

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. — 2 Timothy 4:4 By Rick Renner In our home in Russia, Denise and I have several black, lacquered boxes that are precious Russian works of art. They were painted using a centuries-old technique, and each box contains up to 16 layers of papier-mâché. The work is so intricate, in fact, the scenes on these boxes were painstakingly painted with a brush containing only one hair! Then when the painting was finished on one of these boxes, the artist would burnish it with the tooth of a wolf. Four main schools taught and performed this method, and when the art form first began in Russia, the intricate scenery on these boxes primarily consisted of religious icons and scenery depicting religious events and nobility. But the art changed after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Under Communism, the artists who masterfully created these works of art were no longer allowed to paint religious themes because atheism had become the “religion” of the …

What We Have Learned about Censorship and Suppression of Speech in ‘Free’ America

By Dr. Michael Brown

America is certainly not China or North Korea when it comes to censorship and suppressing free speech. But we are not nearly as free as we thought we were. The events of the last three years have made that strikingly clear, bringing to a head a dangerous pattern that had been developing for years before that.

Proof that God can Reach Anyone!

By Rick Renner

Sometimes I hear people say, “I just don’t know if So-and-so can come to Christ. They are so hardhearted and far from God!” If you’ve ever said this about a person in your life, today I want to give you hope. We’re going to look at what kind of person Paul was before he came to Christ — and I believe you’ll see and understand that if God could save Saul of Tarsus (who became known as the apostle Paul), then He can save anyone!

Praying the Apostles’ Prayer

By Dr. Michael Brown You’ve heard of the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed. But have you ever heard of the Apostles’ Prayer? Actually, the “Apostles’ Prayer” is not a technical term, which would explain why you’re not familiar with it. Instead, it’s my description of the one and only time that the Bible records a prayer prayed jointly by these early Church leaders. We can learn a lot from it for ourselves today. In the fourth chapter of the book of Acts we read that there was government persecution of the believers, in this case, the Jewish leadership imprisoning the Jewish apostles. This persecution was the result of powerful miracles being performed in Jesus’ name and thousands of Jewish people putting their faith in Him as Messiah and Lord. In order to “to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people” these governmental leaders decided that “we must warn them [meaning the apostles] to speak no longer to anyone in this name [meaning the name of Jesus]” (Acts 4:17). What The Apostles …

The Effect of Strife

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. — James 3:16 By Rick Renner During our early years in the former USSR, Denise and I were invited to minister at three European conferences in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, and I decided to bring our sons to give them the experience of ministering in Europe. When the day finally arrived for our long-anticipated trip, things got a little hectic, to say the least. The clock was ticking, and it was time for us to depart to the airport so we wouldn’t miss our flight. However, instead of getting ready, the boys were just poking around, and Denise hadn’t even finished packing. I knew that if we didn’t leave on time, we’d miss our flight. So in the midst of it all, I lost my temper and began to yell and threaten everyone to get downstairs immediately and pile in the car, or I was going to leave without them! Our ministry administrator at that time had agreed to housesit for us …

The power of miracles

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. — Acts 8:5-8 By Rick Renner On April 12, I told a bit of this story, but it so impacted my life that I want to share it in greater detail today and give you the reason why miracles often occur on a massive scale, or among large crowds of people. It was the conclusion of five amazing days of meetings — the first large public meeting that Denise and I had ever conducted in the former USSR. Of the 32,000 people who attended the event, 7,000 people came forward to receive Christ and 926 people received water baptism — and we witnessed scores …

Kanye (“Ye”), Kyrie, and the Black Hebrew Israelite Elephant in the Room

By Dr. Michael Brown If you live in a major city of America, then you have probably been well aware of the Black Hebrew Israelites for a few decades. But for many other Americans, their numbers, their influence, and their beliefs are coming as quite a revelation – and a shocking one at that. In the early 1990s, while walking the streets of Manhattan before an outreach service one Saturday afternoon, I heard a loud voice booming through a PA system. When I got closer to the sound, I was surprised to see a small crowd of listeners, all of them Black, listening carefully to the speaker who was standing on a platform, with bodyguards standing on the street in front of him. Their outfits were striking – I remember thinking they looked like a cross between Star Wars and some type of angelic garb – but their words were even more striking. They were quoting the Bible and some other books, even using occasional Hebrew words. At once I realized who they were. They …

Supernatural Patience and Endurance

By Rick Renner

Here is an important fact to know about the apostolic ministry: God didn’t leave it to us to guess who is a true apostle and who is not! I’m thankful for that! In Second Corinthians 12:12 the apostle Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit about the signs that will help us discern correctly whether an apostle is in our midst. He said, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.”

To the ‘Holy Ones’ in Corinth: Insights into How God’s See the Church

By Dr. Michael Brown We are often in the habit of reading the Bible without paying attention to what we’re reading. The words are so familiar that we just gloss over them. Or the biblical terminology has lost its meaning to us, so the significance of what we’re reading fails to register. In that light, we should revisit Paul’s words to the believers of Corinth. He wrote, “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people . . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:2, NIV, my emphasis). Or in the old English of the King James Version, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints . . . .” Five more times in this letter Paul referred to the believers in Corinthians as “saints” (or “holy ones”) which was a common expression for God’s people in the Bible. Yet these believers were hardly saints (and I don’t mean that in the later, …

Addressing Self-Delusion

By Dr James Emery White

Money blogger Carl Richards of the New York Times used to think that helping someone get very clear on their current financial reality was the easy part of financial planning. Once reality was framed, the hard part started: like determining where you want to be in 20 years, and then guessing at such things as the rate of return you will earn and inflation.

Prove all things

By Rick Renner

I once bought a violin that I was sure was an authentic Stradivarius violin. Of course, if it was real, it was worth several million dollars. Before I purchased it, I studied documents about how to recognize a real Stradivarius compared to a well-made copy. After convincing myself that I had found a real Stradivarius in a remote antique shop in Russia, I purchased it. But after an examination by a violin expert, it proved to be nothing more than a very old, fabulous fake.