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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 16:17:31 -0800
-by Vern Kuenzi. 

The Lord has spoken three times over the last six years about the 
absence of the cross in the current vision and affairs of the church. 
These are among the strongest and clearest words the Lord has 
ever spoken to me. At the time of each of these speakings, the 
Lord put me into a desolate place so that I would get the point and 
there would be no confusion that He was speaking and about what
He was saying. 

The first time was in late 1996, at a major men's evangelistic 
meeting here in Honolulu. At that meeting were the best of 
speakers, the best of musicians, an upbeat evangelistic message, 
and an altar call to accept Jesus as Savior. I tried to fit in with the 
flow of the meeting and went down onto the arena floor to hopefully 
distribute my quota of pledge cards, but I was ineffective and 
became very grieved in spirit and walked back up to my seat and 
sat slumped there until the meeting was over. I thought the 
problem was with me. I didn't even want to attend the next day's 
meeting, and as I lay in bed the next morning stripped of all 
enthusiasm, I was very surprised when the Lord clearly spoke 
through David Wilkerson's latest newsletter and said, "They have 
done away with the cross." Obviously the very best that we can 
come up with in terms of evangelistic efforts amounts to nothing if 
we do away with cross. It might look good and sound good but 
still be wood, hay, and stubble. The cross is the wisdom and 
power of God, and without it the captives remain bound. 

About two years ago, I attended a charismatic home meeting near 
my house here in Pearl City. A known minister was invited and 
signs and wonders and prophetic utterances seemed to flow. 
Saints were slain in the Spirit and some claimed healings. The 
next morning when I woke up it was as if the Lord had pulled a 
plug and drained every bit of spiritual life from me. All I could think 
of was, "I'm not gonna make it." I have never been so empty in my 
life. But there was a small "Free Grace Broadcaster" pamphlet 
beside me on the bed which I picked up and began to read. The 
article that presented itself was titled, "The Glory of the Cross." 
And as I began to read that short article, I could feel the life flowing 
back into me. The Lord spoke clearly through that article by 
saying, "God forbid that you should glory in anything but in the 
cross of Jesus Christ." Apparently I had been glorying in many 
things that night other than in the cross. 

Most recently (in mid-2002, about August) I was reviewing several 
books written by popular authors who embrace and oversee a 
current apostolic/prophetic movement. The common vision of 
those authors is that the church is called to overhaul the political, 
economic, financial, and educational systems of this nation before 
Jesus returns. I felt so out of step with this vision that I became 
unsettled for several days and wondered again what was wrong 
with me. I tried to buy one of the books at the Christian bookstore 
where I was browsing it, but the cash register was malfunctioning 
and I went home without the book feeling a check in my spirit. The 
next day I went back to the bookstore and I picked up that book 
again and began to reread portions of it. I asked the Lord to show 
me where I was in error, and I also asked Him to keep me from 
being deceived. Suddenly the Lord seemed to say, "Where is the 
centrality of the cross in this vision?" 

Three times the Lord has spoken severely about things that 
seemed like "good" things, and in all three cases, the problem 
that He identified was the absence of the cross. In all three cases, 
the pain of the experience was very real. I now believe it was pain 
associated with a birthing. 

As "good" as it might seem to overhaul the economic, judicial, 
financial, and educational systems before Jesus returns, that is 
not the finish line that the Bible describes... We see a remnant 
of saints who overcome satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word 
of their testimony, and by loving not their lives unto death. The 
book of Daniel concludes by saying the end of the age will come 
when the power of the holy people has been shattered. We see a 
snapshot of this in the lives of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. 

Together the books of Daniel and Revelation establish the true 
vision for the church at the end of this age, and that vision is not 
victory in a worldly sense, but victory through demonstration of 
the wisdom and power of the cross. The true remnant church is 
destined to follow Jesus and walk the path of the suffering servant. 
God's eternal purpose is to involve His saints in the defeat of the 
devil, and that defeat will be accomplished only as the church
walks in demonstration of the wisdom and power of the cross...

We're setting ourselves up for the same mistake that the nation of 
Israel made 2000 years ago when they expected a political 
messiah. Jesus did not come to overhaul Rome, and the remnant 
church is not destined to overhaul Babylon, but to come out of her. 
Her testimony in the midst of Babylon is what will set the captives free. 

The danger of having our vision slightly off-target could cause us to 
align with the wrong side. The antichrist is not going to come in a 
red suit with horns. He is going to come as a deceiver and a 
counterfeit. The nature of the counterfeit is to be as much like the 
real thing as possible, but still not be the real thing. He's going to 
come with an agenda of "good" things, but they will be things that 
have done away with the cross. 

The agenda of the devil is very simple. If he can get us to skew 
our vision just a little bit off center by doing away with the 
centrality of the cross, he will have won the victory. We will not 
then be in position to demonstrate the wisdom and power of the 
cross through our lives. We will be fighting against the cross 
rather than embracing it. 

The great dividing issue at the end of this age will be the issue of 
the cross of Jesus Christ. Those who embrace it as the Holy Spirit 
leads them will overcome. Those who do not, and rely on the 
understanding and abilities of natural man, will fall away. If our sin 
and our shortcomings do not bring us to the place of total 
realization that not one good thing resides in us in the flesh, then 
we have missed what it is that the Lord wants to work in us. Paul 
came to the place where he realized that he was the chief of 
sinners, and that no good thing was in him, and that he could 
glory in nothing but in the cross of Jesus Christ. His words were 
not spoken in wisdom, but in meekness, fear, and trembling, and 
he recognized that only by the grace and mercy of God and by the
power of the Holy Spirit could he ever offer anything of significance 
to a dying world around him. 

The things that are coming upon the earth in these days are 
designed to purify the church, and are likened to birth pains. It is 
out of great tribulation that a great multitude emerges who have 
washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
We must understand that this process is an outworking of God's 
love, not His wrath. His wrath will follow great tribulation, and will 
be directed only toward those who choose not to repent. 

I once heard a man preaching on TV and saying, "God would never 
do that to His bride." (He was referring to the question of her going 
through the great tribulation) He did not understand the work of the 
cross in the perfecting of the  saints. His doctrine had done away 
with the cross. 

Saints, let's not make that mistake. Let's embrace the cross 
rather than doing away with it. Let us constantly abide in the 
embrace of the Father's fervent love so that our love does not grow 
cold. We love Him because He first loved us, and we continue to 
love Him and others as we continue to live in His love. The 
overcomers will be lovers. And may all glory be the Lord's!