Tonight, God took His revenge on Satan in Bakersfield, California. This city is now the place where lies go to die.
Lies! Would the crowd show up? Every evil spirit said, “No!” More lies. Would the lost respond to the direct preaching of the Word of God? The devil said, “Of course not.”
The evil one rehearsed the catalog of events he had fomented all across America. The list of profound disappointments that characterized 2020. My, how the cackling voice of Satan was celebrating the spread of evil and despair!
Bakersfield was hit even harder than most places in our nation. It was here that the people found out that the lockdowns are worse than the virus. It is here where violence takes the youngest. It is here where multitudes of children appear so downhearted and afraid. It is here that, over the last twelve months, a friend of mine officiated at 52 funerals from drive-by shootings. Crime is soaring in every category. Despair blankets Bakersfield.
There are parts of this city where you feel an ominous heaviness that seems to tell everyone to keep their distance. The sign over them might as well be the same as that over the entrance to Dante’s Inferno, “Abandon hope, all you who enter here.”
Then the heroes began to appear. Wendell Vinson of Canyon Hills AOG invited us and lent his significant influence, as well as the property in downtown Bakersfield, to this vision of reaching the lost.
Manuel Carrizales who leads Stay Focused Ministry gave us a powerful beachhead at this facility. Because he helped, we could do multiple outreaches in the neighborhoods.
Then Frank Saldana, his team from Inner City Action, and 100 volunteers flooded the city with soul winning prayer, tons of food and vast supplies of clothing and other necessities.
But Satan sneered at it all. He reminded me of the hurricane of hatred and confusion he was pouring out on the nation. He threatened that Bakersfield would be no different and that nothing good would come out of all our efforts. “It is futile,” the devil growled.
It came like a sudden pouring rain on parched ground. It came like a rushing mighty wind! The early warning was the intense presence of God in the tent. Then an hour before we were to begin, the tent was half full. We thought “this is a great breakthrough, but we can manage it.”
Then we turned around and it became a torrent of humanity pressing to get to the tent. The line of cars was backed up on the Boulevard as far as you could see. We are forced to add every chair and still they came. Scores could not get into the tent.
Nothing could keep them from pressing into the meeting. They sat out in the cold for hours. They yearned to receive all that God had for them.
I preached a direct Gospel message. I solemnly warned them that serving Christ meant giving up all to be His disciple. This did not dissuade them. On the contrary, it ignited an even greater hunger to for them to be saved. The line of those wanting to be saved stretched all the way outside the tent.
They came as a river to confess the Lordship of Jesus over their souls. They were transformed to the uttermost. How many were saved? Only God knows the real number.
Once the amazing harvest was safely in the care of our workers, we then began the miracle ministry. Just like everything else about this night, it was overflow. Signs and Wonders seem to dart from one place to another, until there was rejoicing. The joy of sickness being healed was felt all over the tent.
How can you end a night like this? It was dramatic, historic, and emphatic. The Lord God Almighty came down and took vengeance on evil—the very evil that is grinding our nation down.
We ended with the sense that it will only get stronger—if you can imagine that—and our profound hope is that the fire of God will spread to the rest of California, and then to every State in America! Hallelujah!