What is god saying and doing today? Perry Stone interprets the signs of our time.
When Charisma Publisher Steve Strang sat down with Bible teacher Perry Stone, he expected to talk about dreams and visions. What he got instead was a download of Stone’s interpretation of how today’s events relate to the end times—and what believers can do.
CHARISMA: How do you get the revelation that you teach?
STONE: The significance of understanding the mysteries of God is to pray in the Spirit and get the mind of the Spirit. The Spirit of God will quicken your spirit and your intellect to truths that have always been there, but maybe are not commonly taught, and helps you compare Scripture with Scripture, because the Bible even says that “the anointing that abides teaches you all things.” read more
Bible teacher Perry Stone’s Ministry continues to expand around the world while hitting a public nerve with insight into biblical prophecy.
Perry Stone is a study in contrasts. He has limited formal education for someone sought after as a Bible expert, yet he’s written more than 40 books. A Southerner, he’s popular in the Northeast. He bases his ministry in a small Tennessee town, yet he impacts the world through television. He is a fourth-generation Pentecostal preacher whose largest group of followers are Baptists—and Roman Catholics are in the top four.
Best known as a teacher of end-times Bible prophecy, his biggest pleasure is poring over the Scriptures—he claims to have put in 60,000 hours of study. Before he retires, he wants to finish a copious study Bible (he was working on it before our interview began). But he also has a vision to build a youth camp that would look like a city in Old Testament Israel. read more
Amid economic and cultural uncertainty, Christian higher education is taking on a new meaning at these growing schools
What do you get when you combine two unemployed parents, a family with no college graduates and one student with a high school diploma who’s determined to get a university degree? You get Taylor Acthley, whose dream of becoming the first member of her family to finish college is coming true. The 20-year-old junior at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., is three-quarters of the way to getting her bachelor’s degree in anthropology.
Despite her family’s current economic challenges, Acthley made it her No. 1 priority to find a school that integrated her education with her faith. She knew a Christian college or university would cost more—faith-based institutions on average are more expensive than state-funded programs—but she also knew Lee had an intangible element that would make it the best place for her to accomplish her dream.
“I needed something to be a part of,” Acthley says. “I needed people who were going to keep me accountable, to keep me moving so I could finish. I went in knowing I could meet my goal.” read more
Our church has been buzzing about the June issue and how it highlighted what God continues to do here at Bethel (“The Radical Revivalists” by Marcus Yoars). We presented copies to everyone in the church the Sunday after the issue came out. It was moving to see how you guys honored our whole team with your accurate reporting. We’ve had other kinds of press—this was much better! Thanks so much for doing a great job.
Bill Johnson, Redding, Calif.
Bill Johnson’s article, “Supernatural by Nature” (June), was exciting and edifying. However, he seems to imply that true faith—and our only model—didn’t begin until Jesus arrived on earth as a human. If this is the implication, it’s forgetting that the first “measurement” began with God at creation. The beauty, imagery and prophetic nature of the Old Testament is a testimony that our Abba knew from the beginning what He wanted for us. Let’s not miss the fullness of that amazing relationship by excluding an important part of who we are in the Messiah.
Terri L. Gillespie, Springfield, Pa.
Thank you for your article, “The Gospel According to ‘God’s Cartoonist’” (by Troy Anderson, June) about Jack T. Chick and his cartoon tracts. It’s wonderful to see his work so favorably acknowledged. He has been right on for decades, and the message of truth is never more needed than now. I was appalled that some Christian merchants keep his tracts “under the counter.” Are they afraid the truth might offend someone? It should! Someone needs to speak up about what the Word of God really says. Of course we must speak the truth and hand out tracts in a loving manner, but love does not want anyone to go to their eternal destiny apart from knowing the Lord Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
Judee Warner, Montague, Calif.
Jack Chick’s tracts have foisted repulsive anti-Catholicism upon a wide readership. To grant him generally positive publicity in Charisma without repudiating his hate-filled and unsubstantiated claims is to show profound disrespect to the Catholic Church and its members, and is unworthy of Charisma.
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So you pray for something for years and then you wake up one day, breathe a big sigh and say to yourself: This is crazy. Nothing is happening. God is not listening.
Congratulations! If this has been your experience, you are not alone. You’ve been enrolled in the School of Persevering Prayer, and it’s not a one-semester class. It’s a lifelong journey designed to stretch your faith, develop your character, test your patience and increase your capacity to know God intimately.
I’ve been in this class for a long time, and I don’t always make the grade. For many months I’ve been bringing the same request to the Lord, yet the answer seems impossibly distant. My faith wavers from calm assurance to frustrated doubt. In my weakest moments I panic and say stupid things to my wife (such as, “Honey, I’m giving up and getting a job parking cars at Disney World!”) read more
Measuring the effect 9/11 has had on the American—and global—church
Where were you ... ?”
You probably remember where you were when the horrific events on that epochal day unfolded. Life got more fragile. Worldviews were altered. Innocence was lost. The terrorists who carried out these atrocities were driven—not by money or fame—but by a destructive belief system. Don’t ever think personal theology doesn’t have public consequences. While the terrorists’ misguided beliefs forced a brave new world of greater peril, their hideous acts also released greater possibilities.
Three measurable realities for the church worldwide are rooted in the fallout from 9/11: read more
This year finds our country in increasingly chaotic circumstances—devastating unemployment, progressively angry political divisions, huge moral leadership gaps and destructive warring factions around the globe. Each night the dreary headlines blaze across television screens and the front pages of the newspaper. Yet we also are a nation most blessed, with freedoms and material prosperity unimagined in most countries of the world. For the most part, even our politicians are honest and out for the country’s good—how astonishing is that compared to so many other nations? The question is this: How are we to sort through, think about and address the problems—personal and national—that, along with our blessings, dog our days?
Maybe novels are being written right now or are already out there that can provide new direction, new ways of thinking, and answers to the questions and trials that seem to consume us. The majority of fiction is written and bought for entertainment value, and a well-crafted story certainly will have “refreshing diversion” as foundational to the reading experience. But the most memorable and long-lasting fiction also has the potential to fire the imagination, inspire and challenge readers toward new approaches to the complications, difficulties and yes, evils of life.
This has been the case down through history. In America, the best-known fiction game-changer is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Her strong faith, along with the influences of her theologian father and abolitionist husband, is woven throughout this novel of slavery’s terrible wound on a nation’s soul. An unprecedented 300,000 copies were sold during its first year in print as a complete book (it was originally featured in newspaper serials of the time). The book’s sales soon surpassed a million copies—at a time when the entire population of the country was barely over 30 million—and stirred citizens’ hearts and minds to action. It has been reported that during the author’s visit to the White House, President Lincoln mused, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” read more
It was Sept. 10, 2001, the night before the calamity. I was leading a gathering of ministers in our building in northern New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. As the leader of a Messianic worship center, I was very conscious of where we were in the biblical Hebrew calendar—these were the days of the trumpet, the biblical alarm, the warning sound of approaching danger.
That evening one of our ministers came to us heavily burdened over the fact that he had not shared the gospel with the unsaved in his life. He stayed there, praying late into the night. A few hours later, on Sept. 11, he went to work in his office inside the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
At that time there was also a woman in my life who seemed as if she could be the one for me. Only months earlier we had exchanged our first gifts at the ground floor of the Twin Towers. On the morning of Sept. 11, she was scheduled for an appointment at the towers just when the attack would take place. read more
“The Church’s Gay Dilemma”—really? The “church” doesn’t have a “gay dilemma.” Church attendees do. The church Christ gave His precious life for was, is and forever will be dilemma-free.
Lee Steele, Winter Haven, Fla.
“A Way Out” by Janet Boynes was a great article (July). I’m happy she has peace with the Lord and is helping the church understand how to reach out in love to those who struggle with same-sex attractions. She is right about the answer being for godly women to love those caught up in the sin of lesbianism. It’s truly a beautiful thing to see believers loving on each other, in spite of our faults.
Kristen Clark, via Internet
As a baptized Christian for 54 years, I cannot understand Charisma writing anything about homosexuality. We all know it’s a sin, so why do we have Christians getting involved?
Julia Randle, Jacksonville, Ark.
Ronald J. Sider’s “Marriage Under Siege” (July) was spot on. Christians say that gay marriage will destroy the family unit. Considering the growing numbers of out-of-wedlock births among heterosexual women and the high divorce rate and various forms of family dysfunction among heterosexuals, straight Americans don’t need help from the tiny minority of gays when it comes to destroying the family. If the church is worried about America’s cultural decay, they have no one to blame but themselves.
‘squishy’ gospel isn’t the answer
I agree with the foundational Christian tenets J. Lee Grady used to address the creeping New Age-style beliefs infiltrating the church (“A Squishy Gospel,” July). The aggressive “turn or burn” types are quickly set aside by seekers in favor of the ooey-gooey God of love. The solution is clear: We must center our evangelistic efforts on love and stay true to the methods in our holy instruction manual.
Mike Weber, Gurnee, Ill.
Correction: Our story “The Plan for a Gay (Domi)Nation” (July) incorrectly called an advocacy group that includes Wheaton College alumni a “campus” organization. It is not officially affiliated with the school . read more