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"Your Present Ministry Is Wholly Inadequate For The Future." - By Charles Carrin

While my ministry is 56 years long, the transformation from preaching about the Holy Spirit to experiencing visible "demonstrations" of the Spirit, came very suddenly at the mid-way point. I Corinthians 2:4. God moved me from theology-only to theology-plus-proof almost over night. The big change came in 1977 after a Spirit-filled prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary laid-hands on me and I had a Heaven-and-Earth-shaking baptism in the Spirit. The "proofs" I now see of the Holy Spirit's power in ministry are phenomenal and many are humanly impossible to fake. It is not unusual when the Holy Spirit touches someone through laying-on-of-hands for the person to dissolve into a state of absolute, immobile tranquility. This has sometimes happened to people suffering from radical depression but who arose transformed and their minds restored. Instead of lying peacefully, others may vibrate vigorously.

R.T. Kendall, Jack Taylor, and I, were together recently for our 28th Word, Spirit, Power Conference. On that trip, we preached at two churches, a Methodist congregation in Virginia and a Presbyterian in South Carolina. In both places the Holy Spirit moved in power; people were healed, delivered, and miraculously blessed. It is especially encouraging to be in large denominational churches such as these that are open to the power of God. We pray for more to follow!

During hands-on ministry I frequently see individuals "resting in the Spirit" while others experience an exhilarating, electric-like shock. It is not unusual for people to cry-out or thrash-about when this impact hits them. Some describe the experience like "lightening striking a tree". Were you an eye-witness and see these manifestations taking place you would believe their genuineness and appreciate the effect they bring. While it may seem strange to read or hear, such demonstrations are wonderfully converting to those who observe them close at hand. While under the power of the Spirit, people are sometimes so tranquilized that they have to be carried in arms from the meeting. When that intoxicating peace happened to my 82 year-old Primitive Baptist mother and left her immobile on the floor, she later described the rapture by saying, "I just wanted everyone to go away and leave me alone!!" At another meeting when an elderly woman was unable to drive home, a police officer drove for her and at the woman's insistence left her in her car. He went back periodically through the night to see that she was alright. She was in such a bath of Glory that she did not want to be disturbed. Others who experienced this intense grace, spent the night with friends until they were capable of caring for themselves.

In the language of Scripture, these people overcome by the Spirit were "full of new wine." Acts 2:13. Don't let such a possibility frighten you. You will love everything the Holy Spirit does. It is impossible for Him to move in your life and you not like it. In every case, God's motive is to bless. Tragically, many modern churches reject the Holy Spirit's miraculous manifestations because they are more eager to protect their pride than to pursue God's power. I have known godly church members who were excluded from congregations they loved because they had experienced a visible demonstration of the Holy Spirit. What could be more grieving to the heart of God?!

In 1743, Jonathan Edwards, whose wife lay under the power of the Spirit for 17 days, described this same manifestation occurring in his congregations during Colonial America's "Great Awakening." Edwards said, "There were some instances of persons lying in a sort of trance, remaining for perhaps a whole twenty-four hours motionless, and with their senses locked up but in the meantime under strong imaginations, as though they went to heaven, and had there a vision of glorious and delightful objects ..." About the same time, Samuel Johnson, Dean of Yale University, wrote a friend in England of those whose "bodies are frequently in a moment affected with the strangest convulsions and involuntary agitations and cramps, which also have sometimes happened to those who came as mere spectators." Twice, in my bed at night, I experienced a lightening-bolt of holy power so incredible that both times I thought I was dead. It was impossible--seemingly-- to survive such a charge of electricity. One of those times I jolted from my sleep to find my body still jerking from the power. It is this same "dunamis" that sometimes appears during ministry.

In the 1801 Cane Ridge, Kentucky, revival, as many as 500 were "slain" at the same time. Such demonstrations were frequent in other American revivals and common throughout Christian history. Methodists and Baptists experienced them in early America. Like it or not, the Great Awakening and its long-term effect in the Colonies, helped birth the American Revolution with its' demand for freedom and democratic government. But it was not for the Colonies alone; that move of the Spirit in the 1740's is directly responsible for the on-going spread of democracy today to nations around the world.

During the annual Pastors Conference at the Toronto (Canada) Airport Christian Fellowship in January when Jack, R.T., and I spoke, several thousand pastors came from 60+ nations around the world. Each evening at least five to seven hundred were on the floor experiencing the power of God. The good news is that most of these pastors went back to their churches filled with the Holy Spirit and aflame for new ministry. One evening John Arnott specifically challenged those who were still holding back, who felt defeated and unable to continue in ministry, to come forward. Dozens responded and during laying-on-of-hands experienced the "lightening-strike" of God's restoration. It does happen. Other visitors were healed, delivered from long-term addictions, or blessed with other life-changing effects. Without question, I totally believe everything Jesus taught about "signs and wonders" accompanying hands-on ministry. I have seen too much to become an unbeliever ever again. The best advice I can give you is this: Believe Jesus and forget the critics.

My reason for relating this information may seem surprising to you. Recently, during my early morning prayer, the Lord broke into the quiet and said, "Your present ministry is wholly inadequate for the future." He spoke specifically of the power-ministry I just described. "Wholly inadequate?!" Yes. I heard those words distinctly. There was no reprimand in His voice--only an explanation as to what I should expect in coming days. To be perfectly honest, I was not surprised. For the past year I had a growing conviction that the Holy Spirit wants all of us to seek an encounter with Him that will surpass everything we have previously known. Such encounters will be transforming, rapturous "visions of glorious and delightful objects," (as Jonathan Edwards described) that catch us out of the body, away from earth's control, and totally into the "Beyond." Without this kind of spiritual experience and the power it brings, our future ministries will remain insufficient. Even renewal ministries who presently function in spiritual gifts and power will be challenged to move into new depths of the Spirit's realm. I am not saying that we will lose the power-gifts we already have; I am saying that God wants to add much, much more than our present level of spiritual gifts. This is what I mean:

In the end-times revival, power-ministry will not depend solely on spiritual gifts--it will also depend on where we have been. The "where" is not churches, conferences, and seminaries, but holy places, angelic habitations, private "Mounts of Transfiguration," where we behold Jesus in Glory.

Possible? Yes! And for future ministry, a necessity. Such places are beyond the reach of demons and deception. Nor can casual Christians go there. Men and women who have been transported to these regions will return with an anointing incomprehensibly greater than anointing received by other means. I am not writing from fanciful imagination. I know men and women who have already been caught-up into the heavenlies and returned to tell about it. Our relationship with God must cease being a knowledge of Him from the human realm and become a knowing of Him from His own realm. Can that be? Yes. But it can only be experienced by our entering His domain. As long as we allow fear and religious control to keep us earth-bound it will not happen. Entrance into the heavenlies will come only when the noise of our mental machinery has been silenced and stopped.

In coming days, God's emphasis will not regard miracles being done through us so much as He will regard the miracle of our having gone transformingly into Him. Reaching that place will require such passionate prayer as God required of Jeremiah, "You shall seek Me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13. We must be driven like the "deer panting for the water brooks," be willing to press through the wall of separation that holds us earthward, and be "caught up into paradise and hear unspeakable words." 2 Corinthians 12:4. Paul expected this. He said, "I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord." One of the New Testament promises is "your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Acts 2:17. But this has not been happening on the scale which Scripture offered. Correcting that failure must be done by our intensified pursuit of God. The opportunity for change is our's. God promised. We must pursue.

Gifted ministries that succeeded well in yesterday's spiritual climate may find themselves "wholly inadequate" for the future. That is not a cause for alarm; instead, it is an invitation to do as Jonathan Edwards advocated nearly three centuries ago: " ... find out which way the Redeemer of mankind is going and follow Him". Our challenge, like ancient Israel's, is to "follow the cloud". Tragically, much of the modern church is still sitting where the cloud left it generations ago. Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches, as well as others open to the move of the Spirit, are on the verge of the most amazing opportunity they have ever faced. The reward for pressing into the Glory is phenomenally great. At the same time, ministries whose spiritual-equipment kept them on the cutting-edge in the past will quickly discover they are "wholly inadequate" for the future.

Those who ardently seek beyond-the-body encounters with God may hope for the promise Jesus made to Nathaniel, "You will see the heavens open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Others may be like Stephen before the Sanhedrin, when "All who sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel." Acts 6:15. These were not miracles, healings, signs, and wonders, done by disciples, but disciples who had the greatest miracle of all done to them: They temporarily escaped the world's "bondage of corruption" and broke into the "glorious liberty of the sons of God." Like Peter when he stood securely on the water, these momentarily eluded the power of earth's spiritual gravity and stepped into the realm of Glory.

I am grateful for what God has accomplished through my 56 years of preaching. But, I also know that my present ministry is inadequate for the future. As I near my 75th birthday, I am determined to move deeper into every provision of God. When the cloud moves I want to follow. The difference is that I do not want merely to see the cloud from afar. I want to enter it, have it surround me, feel its' touch against my face, and breathe its Shekinah into my being. My prayer is, "Lord, bid me come to You on the water"! I yearn to leave my earth-zone and stand in the Glory of His presence. No questions asked! I want to see Heaven before I die! Having been there, I want to return to ministry "ablaze with the Glory of Christ, drenched in the perfume of Heaven, anointed for the greatest ministry I have ever known." To help achieve that, I am willing to admit that my "present ministry is wholly inadequate for the future".

Charles Carrin Ministries 2005