Calling Down Fire

Rayford Strange

Church on the Highway

II Tim. 3:1-5  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”I struggled for a while but finally gave it up after I ran the gambit from bewilderment to a bit of anger.  Sister Strange and me went to a meeting in Birmingham, Alabama in 1971.

On a Sunday morning I turned on the TV in the motel room.  A Church of God church service was very much in progress.  The preacher preached a powerful message and the fire fell from heaven.  The message was full of truth except in spots where he mentioned and praised the trinity doctrine.  Though I rejoiced in the presence of the Lord, I was a bit taken back by the presence of the Lord falling in the presence of error, especially one as so grand as the old trinity abomination.  How could God do such a thing?  Why would he allow his presence to fall where there is even one particle of falsity?I had forgotten this event for many years.

Fast forward now to the morning of Sep 19th, 2000.  It was then that I found myself in prayer and in meditation upon the scriptures.  My attention was particularly focused upon Rev.  13:13-14:  “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles….”Parenthetically, I would first like to say here that blind leaders of the blind have led us to keep the prophetic Word in a natural, carnal and scholastic context blinding us and disabling us to perceive spiritually.  By keeping the Word of Prophecy in a purely natural state little room is given for the rhema.  Therefore the revelation of God stagnates.  Hence the death and dying of many, even entire congregations.  That which remains, is a form of godliness with little or no power. There fell no natural fire on that Sunday morning so long ago.  Yet in my sight there fell a spiritual, fairly well manifested fire to be seen by me, as well as others that were in that Trinitarian congregation.  The sight of that miracle might would have caused some to believe the falling supernatural fire  was made manifest because of the Word which went forth by which the Trinity was extolled.  Could it be that God allowed His presence (God is fire) to attend the preaching because He placed His absolute approbation upon their worship, their preaching, their singing, their lives, their programs?  We see this fire falling in many fellowships.  Since I have been Apostolic for seventy six years as of August 2016, I have witnessed the sight of this wonder countless, yea, times without number.  How I love the presence of the Lord!  No words can tell.

A powerful deception has arisen among all who love not the truth.  In spite of the spectacle of falling fire, Pentecost, in many quarters is becoming a wasteland of destruction for those that love not the truth.  Deceivers that know not that they are deceivers are most always good men of remarkable, outward piety.  They have learned how to make fire come down from heaven in the sight of men.  Yet they do not love the truth to the extent that they are willing to be stripped naked of all tradition and form to walk with God alone.  The Word of God instructs us, “of such, turn away.”God wants to wreck our cherished reputation, wreck our theological house, wreck our traditions, wreck our kingdoms, wreck our exalted positions, wreck our learned programs, all of which so many of love more than truth.  You could never argue this point with those who do not hold this view.  How easily it is to be blinded only to become blind leaders of the blind.  Those of us who resisting such wrecking prove the scriptures that we love self, pleasures and delights more than lovers of God.  When our prevailing love of self, things, and the world exceed the love of God we become vulnerable to deception.  In time, we will always yield to our ruling love even though we know it is error, until at last, the light of truth is extinguished, together with the Love of God.  The only thing remaining is a fading memory of our state of mind in days gone to  which we become resentful.  The wheel of fashioning is God’s wheel.  Sadly most have thought it to be a seminary or a degree or some approval of the hierarchal chain.  To be molded and fashioned after the world, even if it is ecclesiastical, is the image of the beast.  To them it is given that they are able to call fire down from heaven in the sight of men deceiving the entire church world.  The (church) world wonders after the beast.  They are heard to say,  “Who can make war with us seeing the fire and the great wonder and sight done before all?  Who can contest our doctrines and traditions?”One main purpose of the Holy Ghost is to lead and guide us into all truth.  When we hold to old worn-out traditions, if left unrepentant, will in time, become unrighteousness.  It becomes antichrist, which is to say, against-Christ.  Such men, refusing to be daily led of the Holy Ghost resists the  divine leadership.  Those traditions lays waste revelation Word.  This antichrist stands in the church pulpit (the holy place) steadfastly resisting any progressive revelation of the Word of God.Listen:  “With all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause GOD SHALL send them strong delusions that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  II Thes 2:10-12.Apostolics have now for some time been at a crossroad.  I now fear that some have gone on in error to the point of no return, still calling fire down from heaven.  The fire at once was a fire of blessing is now becoming a fire of destruction, though it is the same fire.  How unspeakable is the danger for all who receive not the love of truth, finding pleasure in unrighteousness.  The same fire that raptured Elijah, destroyed the false prophets on Carmel.  The same fire that fell among us, lo these years is the same, but because of prolonged unrepentance from ever encroaching error and continuation of the same, this fire is now becoming a devouring fire.  See Rev. 20:9.Many have resisted the Word of God to the extent that few recognize prophets and prophetesses among us.  This rejection is spoken of in Rev.18:24.  “In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”  Rejection is tantamount to slaying.  Jesus was as much slain because of rejection (spiritually) as He was in the natural on the cross.  To be cut off as to not to be received, is death as being slain.” The blood (rejection) of the prophets is found in them.  Saints being deprived of their ministry is being slain in an indirect way. To all my friends I would say this: Love the truth more than your own daily bread.  Love truth more than your own breath.  If you know a true, God proven prophet anywhere, if you have to, lay on his doorstep causing him to step over you to leave his house.  Love the Word for perilous times are now upon us and great, great deception is laying waste in the valley of dry bones what was once a great army.The night is falling.  In the scriptures, a new day begins at dusk (the evening and the morning was the first day), continues on through the night, morning, day, and finally to the next evening.  We are now entering into the evening of the sixth the beginning of the seventh thousand, the day of the Lord, the day of rest.  First we must endure the night.  Yet this night is different from all other nights in time past.  Isaiah prophesied that this night would have light.  He said this evening would have light also. He said that the stars would be as the moon, the moon as the sun.  Yet there is one besetting condition.  It is cold.  The love of many have grown cold.  Iniquity abounds.  Love of self of the (ecclesiastical) world has given us a form of godliness apart from the warm glow of God’s divine love.  It has given rise to our own apostolic brand of worldliness.  Bareness of the trees of righteousness, the death of grass in spite of the light as on a cold frosty day depicts this night that we have now entered into.  Gradualism, through the process of years will change the truth of God into a lie and the fire that falls from heaven becomes a deceptive sight deceiving men who in turn are deceiving and being deceived.Shall I speak of the morning beyond this night?  Shall I speak of the light that shines out of the East shining even unto the West?  Shall I speak of the Kings from the rising of the Sun?  Shall I speak of the drying up of the waters of (Euphrates) Babylon?  Oh!!  What glory awaits!I had a vision a few years back in which I saw a certain Apostolic denomination cut down as a tree.  It had green leaves on it but it was unaware that it had been cut down.  Another time before that, I walked up to a large and beautiful tree.  I pulled out a key from my pocket to scratch something into its bark.  The moment I pricked the bark, this big beautiful tree fell, breaking off at the point that I touched the bark with the key.  I looked at the inward part of the tree and was greatly amazed at the great corruption inside it.God has a remnant.  He always has.  It is His church.  She is pure, holy and unspotted by the world.  Over the years Apostolic Churches have developed their own brand of worldliness and they love it.  Beloved, the dear Apostle of the beloved, soberly admonished us to love not the world neither the things that are in the world.

Evil is two fold.  There is the evil of life but there is also the evil of falsities.  May the searchlight of heaven shine in our hearts to expose all that is evil, both in our manner of living and the doctrine that we hold dear.

Let us pray that we will not become so enamored with worldliness whether it be the world itself or that of a worldly church that we place our own souls in jeopardy.



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