For “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!”
Romans 10:13-15 NKJV
I’m writing today from Mexico. Having spent three days teaching Bible school and trying to encourage pastors, I get the chance to speak in a local church on Sunday morning. What a privilege. At my home church back in Tucson, the pulpit will be filled by my friends, Eric and Wilma Sonera, who are missionaries to Latin America. I guess it’s kind of a “missions” Sunday for us.
That brings me to my word of encouragement for you. No matter what else the local church may or may not do, it is a vital building block in the mission program of Jesus. Paul told us that folks can’t hear the Gospel without a preacher, and the preacher can’t preach unless someone sends him. The local church produces, supports, and sends preachers to reach the world. I encourage you to go to church today intent on being part of a team that is reaching the world with the Gospel going or sending. It’s a matter of eternal life and death.
15 “And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. ( Jeremiah 3:15 NKJV)
As I was prepping for today’s service, I got to thinking about all the hours of study and prayer that go into doing the job properly. By conservative estimate, I have preached over 1700 Sunday mornings. For each of them,, with very few exceptions, I have prepared for several hours. It occurred to me this morning that I put more effort into some people’s spiritual condition than they do. I ‘m not complaining, that’ s the job.
Here’s my point. I’m not the only pastor who dedicates himself to diligent study, earnest prayer, and laying aside other things in order to feed the flock a fresh meal every week. If you believe that your pastor is in that class, then do yourself a service and go eat from that spiritual table today. If you don’t have a pastor like that, then go visit churches till you locate one.
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Let Him Use You, Amigos.
When I first started in ministry, I knew very little about gifts of the Spirit. Through a series of interesting circumstances, I found myself serving in a small church as Assistant Pastor. I was expected to sit on the platform and look spiritual, though I had no idea what I was doing. One Sunday morning, a lady in the congregation burst out with a tongue. The pastor glanced at me, thinking I might have an interpretation. I did not. He then stood up and began to give a prophetic message to the assembly. After service I inquired about how he knew he had the interpretation of the tongue. He informed me that he wasn’t sure it was the interpretation, but that, “I can pull down a prophecy almost any time.” Now that intrigued me. I pressed him, but he was not able to give me much explanation.
Now, nearly 38 years later, I understand much more. The simple gift of prophecy is available to every Spirit-filled believer. (1 Corinthians 14:31, 38) Though every believer can seek to prophesy, some are more consistently and powerfully used. (Romans 12:6) The simple gift of prophecy is a word from God, given by the prompting of the Spirit, that brings edification, exhortation, and comfort. (1 Corinthians 14:3) Most of us have experienced this, though we may not realize it. All those times when we are sharing our faith, or praying for someone, or just trying to console a grieving friend, and something pops out of our mouth that surprises us – a Scripture we didn’t know, a word that brings insight or solace, an answer to a question that was not in our knowledge base – those are prophetic moments. Learning to recognize the sometimes very gentle promptings of the Spirit and then being obedient to speak whatever He gives us is a big step on the road to supernatural power in everyday life. Simple prophecy along with praying in tongues, are the two universally available endowments that mark the doorway to miracle power.
Somebody Said: “Many saints cannot distinguish inspiration from emotion. Actually, these two can be defined readily. Emotion always enters from man’s outside, whereas inspiration originates with the Holy Spirit in man’s spirit.” Watchman Nee
Scripture Reading: Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:39-40 NKJV)
Maybe the best description of the inner bubbling of the Spirit that prompts us to prophesy is in Job. Elihu said, “For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. (Job 32:18-20 NLT)” Join me as we desire to prophesy, listen attentively for the promptings of the Sprit within, and allow Him to use us to be the supernaturally powerful Body the New Testament envisions.
Pastor Virgil Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Construyendo personas de sustancia para obras de poder
Pedid y se Os dará, Amigo.
El hablar en lenguas como parte de la experiencia de ser llenos del Espíritu Santo, es una puerta de entrada al reino supernatural, desafortunadamente, muchas Iglesias no practican o predican esta experiencia, ¿Por qué personas llenas del Espíritu Santo y que han experimentado esta bendición evitan ser de bendición a otros? Temor, temor de ofender a personas, temor a que te vean como un extraño, temor de orar por alguien y que no fluya en el hablar en lenguas ¡no queremos ser avergonzados!
Si eres uno de los que hablan en lenguas, quiero darte algunos puntos fáciles y simples que te ayudaran a incorporar a otros en esta maravillosa experiencia, si tú eres un creyente que quisieras hablar en lenguas, quiero ayudarte a encontrar el camino que debes seguir, hay muchas maneras de recibir, pero la simple Fe en la palabra de Dios siempre funciona. (Marcos 11:24)
1. La Fe viene de la palabra. Lo muestran las escrituras, Hechos 2:1-4 ( otros ejemplos Hechos 8:4-8, 14-17/ 9:10-19/ Hechos 10:44-48/ Hechos 19:1-7) señala 2 cosas:
a. Todos hablaron. Cuando recibes a Cristo eres limpio y siempre lo serás. ¡Dios quiere que tú recibas!
b. Ellos hablaron. Dios no va a hablar por ti, Él nos da la palabra, y tú la hablas.
2. Ensénales como ejercitar su Fe para recibir: Lucas 11:9-13
a. Todos reciben si Dios es su Padre.
b. Es un regalo, no tenemos que hacer nada para merecerlo, lo único que tenemos que hacer es pedir
3. Asegurémonos de ser compresivos y tener disponibilidad, y asegurarnos de que hayan nacido de nuevo y que quieran recibir el bautismo con el Espíritu Santo. Déjenlos hacer preguntas.
4. Lean Hechos 8:17, “entonces les imponían manos, y eran llenos del Espíritu Santo”.
5. Explícales lo que pasara, entonces hazlo. “oremos según Lucas 11:13, y luego impondré manos sobre ti, Dios derramara de su Espíritu sobre ti, y podrás hablar en otras lenguas”.
a. Guíalos en una oración confesando a Jesús como su Señor (solo para estar seguros de que Dios es su Padre) y pidiéndole a Dios que los llene del Espíritu Santo.
b. Pon las manos sobre su frente y di,” se llenó del Espíritu Santo”.
c. Empieza a orar en lenguas en voz alta, (no permitas que hablen en su propio lenguaje, no podemos hablar dos lenguas a la misma vez).
6. Animales a hablar lo suficientemente fuerte que puedan ser oídos, haz que se detengan y empiezan de nuevo por repetidas veces, canta en lenguas con ellos, no dejes que te imiten o hablen silabas sin sentido. ¡deja que el Espíritu Santo hacer su trabajo!
7. Motívalos a hablar en lenguas por algunos minutos cada día, aparta un tiempo durante el día solo para eso. El diablo odia esto, así que tratara de disuadirlos.
Recuerden!: Es Dios el que hace la obra aquí, no tú! Así que deja de preocuparte y de ser tímido, deja que Dios te use como Él quiera hacerlo, ayuda a otros a dar el paso de ser parte de este maravilloso mundo de la realidad del Espíritu Santo.
ALGUIEN DIJO: “”La vida llena del Espíritu Santo, no es una edición especial de lujo del cristianismo. Es parte integral del plan total de Dios para su pueblo”” A. W. Tozer
ESCRITURAS BIBLICAS: Pero recibiréis poder cuando haya venido sobre vosotros EL Espíritu Santo, y me seréis testigos en Jerusalén, en toda Judea, en Samaria, y hasta lo último de la tierra (Hechos 1:8 NTV)
En mi experiencia, lo más importante que tenemos que tener presente es que Dios quiere que seamos llenos de su Espíritu. Él lo desea más que tú, él lo desea más que ellos, no es cuestión de la voluntad de Dios, es acerca de ejercer Fe y dejar que Dios haga el resto. Convéncete tú mismo, luego pasa esa confianza a otros y a las personas por las que oremos. Anímalos a usar su Fe- Jesús dijo que si le pidiéramos a Dios en su nombre se nos será dado, pedid y se os dará. Ahora di “gracias”.
Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.Galatians 5:1 GNB
Not too long ago, I was in a service full of young folks when the band broke out in a very lively version of the Newsboys anthem, “I Am Free.” Predictably, the front of the room quickly filled with worshippers jumping and running and sweating. Thank God for the freedom to jump and holler in church!
As the years go by, my jumper doesn’t work as well, but I’m still in favor of zeal, and in favor of folks expressing their joy in a physical way as the Spirit moves them. As the festivities continued, I became intrigued with the song’s refrain:
“I am free to run, I am free to dance, I am free to live for you, I am free. Yes, I am free.”
The thought popped into my mind (I won’t blame the Holy Spirit for it, but I thought it was Him at the time), ‘Don’t trivialize the work of Christ.” I understood immediately what that meant. We are free to express our heart in worship, but the freedom Jesus bought us goes so much deeper. The last line obliquely touches on it. We are free to live for Him.
The New Testament speaks extensively of our freedom, and never once mentions yelling, running, jumping, or dancing. It does mention:
I am free from condemnation, free from the bondage of sin, and free from the tyranny of the devil. Now that makes me want to shout!
Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow God’s teachings.Proverbs 29:18 GW
Sunday is a great day to infuse your life with prophetic vision. Your church, somewhere along the way, was probably founded because somebody heard from God about a purpose and a vision. Your current pastor is tasked with hearing from God and imparting what he hears to you. You are assigned to hear it and run with it. It will keep your life from running off the rails.
Start this day by praying for prophetic vision to be revealed to your pastor, then ask that you be able to hear it. Go to church looking for indicators of the heartbeat of God for you and your congregation. Look at the signs on the building and read them afresh. Listen to the buzz in the foyer and get tuned in to the vibe of the people. Read the worship bulletin, pay attention to the songs you sing, hear the heart of the church. Lean in and listen for the instruction of the Spirit in the message. Check on the inside for the prompting of your spirit to respond. Do it!
The Message translation of Proverbs 29:18 reads, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” You wanna be “most blessed?” Listen for what God is doing at your church today.
“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
Congreso, 2019 in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. January 24-26.
Our friends in Hermosillo took a step up this year. They exercised their faith to have the conference at the Hotel Araiza Convention Center. In addition, they invited Faith Christian Fellowship leaders Fred and Cookie Brothers and Pastor Jon Coats to come, along with me and Pastor Randy Winkles. It was quite a production! Attendance ran around 100 in the morning sessions and about twice that at night. The meetings flowed smoothly, the food and fellowship were wonderful, and many new relationships were formed. It blessed me to see so many of our Bible school grads and students taking part in the services, either preaching, serving, or on the worship teams. I was particularly impressed with the high quality of the worship. Good job, folks!
The theme of the conference was “The Power of the Word.” The morning sessions are directed to pastors and church leaders. I taught each morning on the importance of keeping the Word of God central to our pastoral ministries. Using the ministry of Jesus, Paul, and James, we looked at how pastors can disciple others and feed the flock in an effective way. We provided extensive outlines to all the pastors and leaders so they can take the material home and into their own pulpits. You make that possible, and it is a huge benefit to these ministers.
Pastor Randy ministered on Thursday evening, the Lord using him to speak prophetically over many in the service. He exhorted the churches to give place to the supernatural power of the Spirit. On Friday night, Pastor Jon Coats spoke on generational synergy and the importance of tapping into the gifts of all age groups to find and build leaders. He prayed for many young people with a call to ministry. Saturday night, Pastor Fred Brothers, speaking from Joshua, urged us to take a bold step toward what God has spoken to us, even if it’s new and a little frightening, “crossing over” our personal Jordan into the promise of God.
It is now twenty years of working in Mexico, and we see much fruit. That all can only happen because of your prayers and support. Thank you.
What a Cool Wedding!!!
On Sunday, January 27, the night after Congreso, I was privileged to officiate at the wedding of Eduardo and Rosa Andrade. Eduardo is my primary interpreter in Hermosillo. He began working with us in September of 2017 shortly after his release from federal prison in the U. S. and deportation to Mexico. He has been a great blessing to me and is taking classes in our Bible school while honing his interpreting skills. He and Rosa also serve as youth ministers at the local mission church where the wedding took place. This man has a distinct call of God on his life, and if he stays steady will be a great blessing to many. It was gratifying to see the local people who came to honor this couple. Please keep them in your prayers.
Speaking of Interpreters: Panama in May!
Eduardo will be joining me on a trip to Panama May 14-20. He will serve as my interpreter, doing a class on Divorce and Recovery from Divorce for Vida Ministries in the Darien province. On the same trip, we will be visiting Elixandri Álvarez in Meteti, Darien. He is establishing a recovery home for addicts and alcoholics in this most remote of villages. The incidence of addiction problems among the indigenous population is huge, and we want to be a support to him in his effort. We are providing discipleship materials specific to addiction, as well as digital IEMFe classes.
Please pray for this trip. The potential to touch lives is huge. Many years ago, I told another pastor that I felt like the king of out of the way places. He told me I should quit saying such negative things. I don’t see it as negative. Jesus crossed the sea at night in a storm to reach one demon-possessed man. Humans are valuable wherever they are, and the Word works for them if someone will just teach it to them. We will.
New IEMFe Classes Begin in February.
After a little break for the holidays and Congreso, the Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe team is back in business February 14-16. We will be in Hermosillo at Orabes Church beginning the “Holy Spirit” course. This class helps churches get clear on what they believe about the Holy Spirit, and especially helps them to get others filled with the Spirit. We have over 50 students who are doing homework in the courses, and attendance generally runs around 80. God is building foundations that will last! Pray for us as we prep and travel.
Blogsite and Facebook Page
Please stop by my ministry blog page at www.pastorvirgil.com to keep up to speed on the current teaching thrusts. I also have a Facebook page for the ministry. Search on Facebook for @contendforthesupernatural or go to Pastorvirgil.com. While you’re there, hit SHARE. I need you to help spread the wealth.
February 14-15. IEMFe classes, “The Holy Spirit.” In Hermosillo.
February 16. Pastors Breakfast in Hermosillo.
February thru November 2019, monthly IEMFe classes in Hermosillo.
May 14-20. Darien, Panama. Classes and visit recovery facility.
June 1-10. Ministering in churches in New York. Itinerary to follow.
June 25-28 FCF Family Conference in Tulsa
July. Our vacation
Now Scheduling: August thru December, scheduling now. Email, text or call if you want me to come see you.
Your prayers and contributions make all this possible. I am filled with a vigor I haven’t enjoyed in many days. There is much to do.
We continue to be part of Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson. Financial support can be sent there or given online at www.fcftucson.org.
Yours in His service,
Virgil and Judy Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson AZ, 85745
Saturday began with a pretty direct discussion of the dangers that face us as an organization. Those who have gone before and fallen have been tripped up by personal sin, pride, strife, and doctrinal failures. We will make every effort to avoid the pitfalls. This was followed by Fred and Cookie Brothers very passionately and plainly sharing the heart of FCF. The emphasis was on doing ministry as a team. When we commit to relationship and shared purpose, we can overcome disagreements and use them to spawn even better solutions. The morning concluded with a powerful message on faith from Pastor Mario Fragoso.
After a hearty lunch of carne asada, costillas, and tripo with some beans and quesadillas, The evening session blasted off with powerful worship. The first message was from Pastor Jose Santos Ramos. He preached on his passion for the displaced people who are flooding into Mexico. He pointed out that God is giving us the opportunity to reach them by bringing them here. It was a powerful, powerful message. The grand finale came when Rev. Fred Brothers ministered on crossing over into the promise before us as individuals and as an organization. The Congreso ended with a march of the entire congregation through a symbolic doorway formed by the upraised arms of 6 ministers, creating a sort of human tunnel into a new level in our lives.
What a great weekend. I believe God has informed hearts and joined us together in a new level of connection as we continue to carry the Message of faith in the power of the Spirit. Form my personal perspective, it was deeply gratifying to see so many of our students from Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe taking their part in the Congreso. God is using our efforts to touch lives, and I am grateful.
Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.
(Psalms 2:8 NLT)
It’s Sunday. I’m in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico where we just completed the 2019 Congreso. Today, our FCF team is dispersing to local churches to preach the Word in 5 separate congregations. What a blessing! I want to encourage you to go to church, today. Don’t just go sit, but go get involved in the adventure of reaching a dying world with the Gospel of Christ. There’s nothing like it. It’s intoxicating. It’s exhilarating. It’s our purpose. If your Christianity is not an adventure, then you’re not doing it right.
What a great day we had on Friday! The first session I taught on the simple Gospel of Christ: Jesus is alive, and He has given signs to believers to demonstrate that fact. The Message is simple, but we are sometimes too complicated to see it. Next, Fred and Cookie Brothers shared the heart of FCF with the pastors and leaders here in Hermosillo. It was good to hear the stories of how we started and to see that God is taking the mission into a new generation with new leaders and fresh insights. The Word, the Holy Ghost, and strong personal relationships will always mark our fellowship. Don’t try to do ministry alone. Thanks to Fred and Cookie for personally bringing the DNA of FCF to our friends here.
The evening services were given to ministry to the whole body, young and old, and in between. Pastor Alberto Flores encouraged us to gather together in the presence of God, and the worship team got everyone in a festive mood. Pastor Jon Coates brought a great word on how the generations can either isolate or integrate. One brings death, the other releases power. Good stuff. He prayed for, and ministered to, an altar full of young men and women with a heart to serve God.
Of course, we give a special “Thank you” to Pastor Victoriano for opening his home and his grill to us for our lunch. The Carne Asada was fabulous.
The conference opened with morning meetings directed to pastors and leaders. The worship team, which was an amalgam of several churches, was wonderful. The morning sessions had about 80 in attendance. The evening looked like twice that. It was much too jumbled to get an accurate accounting
The first session each morning is a teaching directed toward the theme of the conference, especially for pastors and leaders. I provide detailed notes for the pastors so they can use the material later if they so desire. The emphasis this year is “The Importance of the Word of God.” We got off to a wonderful start, considering the necessity of the Word to live a vicarious Christian life. Pastor Jon Coates followed up with a great teaching on the importance of leading people by first leading yourself according to the Word of God, then casting a vision for them of what it means to live out this life of faith. Good stuff.
The evening service began with Pastor Jesus Jara preaching a barn-burner on the necessity of submitting to God in order to see the power of God. (James 4:7) He was followed by Pastor Randy Winkles demonstrating and exhorting the people to learn to follow the Spirit of God. We are a supernatural people. Let God move. There followed a great time of ministry to all, especially pastors and leaders.
I am eager to see what God does today. He certainly gave us a great beginning.