I grew up in Newport Beach, California. My parents were not religious per se in that we did not attend church as a family and they were not saved. I was definitely a rebellious kid always pushing the limits. My childhood dream was to be a Green Beret and at 27 years old that dream became reality, but accomplishing that dream did not bring me peace and there just had to be more to life. I looked into the night sky on graduation, yearning for something more than the emptiness I felt. “There has to be more to life than this, please, if you are really out there God, I need to know you.”
Seven months later I was on my knees in my room giving my life to Jesus. It was a radical conversion experience. I was truly born again and went about telling everyone how I had been forgiven of all my sin and that Jesus loved them so much that they could receive forgiveness and eternal life as well. After graduating from the University of Southern California, I shifted gears and pursued a Master’s in Theology (ThM.) from Dallas Theological Seminary. I was ordained into the gospel ministry and preached a hardline cessationist message as the senior pastor of a conservative Bible church for 11 years until a radical Damascus Road type encounter with the Lord.
I was very passionate about the written word but was grieving and suppressing the Holy Spirit by ridiculing Christians in the Pentecostal and Charismatic camps. Then came the crash and burn of my marriage and ministry. It was during the divorce that I had that encounter which would leave me indelibly marked forever. It put the fear of God in me and I thought I had lost my mind. Weeks later I crawled into a church very broken and overwhelmed with shame. The church was pastored by Johnny Enlow and that’s where God began to show me that everything I criticized about charismatic Christianity was actually legitimate. I was healed from a brain tumor and the spiritual gifts that I vehemently said were not for today began to put me back together again. I experienced my first vision during a SOZO session where God revealed to me that Amanda and I would be married and move to California for the greatest of revivals. We were married a year later and here we are!
I used to think that all the time I spent in seminary and pastoring was a waste of time without operating in the gifts of the Spirit or receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit until the Lord recently took me back to my conversion experience. I unconditionally surrendered my life to Jesus that day and gave Him permission to take me anywhere. That journey was for a greater purpose yet to be fulfilled and I am so excited about it!
R.T. Kendall said, ‘There’s been a silent divorce in the church, speaking generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, sometimes the children stay with the mother, sometimes with the father. In this divorce you have those on the Word side and those on the Spirit side. What is the difference? Those on the Word side stress earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, expository preaching, sound theology, rediscovering the doctrines of the Reformation—justification by faith, sovereignty of God. Until we get back to the Word, the honor of God’s name will not be restored. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right, in my opinion”.
And that’s the camp I was firmly entrenched in for 20 years!
R.T. continues, “Those on the Spirit side stress getting back to the Book of Acts, signs, wonders, and miracles, gifts of the Holy Spirit—with places being shaken at prayer meetings, get in Peter’s shadow and you are healed, lie to the Holy Spirit and you are struck dead. Until we recover the power of the Spirit, the honor of God’s name will not be restored. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right, in my opinion. The problem is, neither will learn from the other. And I believe, were the day to come, that the Word and the Spirit come together, the simultaneous combination will result in spontaneous combustion and it will result in the greatest revival since Pentecost.”
I believe with all my heart, that God sent me to Dallas to be trained in the Word side before my mountain top encounter that released me into the Spirit side and what we are going to begin seeing in the church is a reuniting of Word and Spirit for the greatest of all revivals! Many Holy Spirit fires will break out in conservative evangelical churches across America while many charismatic churches will be strengthened in sound doctrine. Get ready!