A Prophetic Awakening
Elijah Among Us
By John Loren Sandford,
Chosen Books, 256 pages,
Twenty-five years after co-authoring The Elijah Task with his wife, Paula, John Loren Sandford has written its sequel, Elijah Among Us. Known as a prophetic leader in the ministry of inner healing, Sandford sets out to teach the church how to understand and respond to God’s prophets today.
The 256-page book discusses the history, functions and purpose of the prophetic office. Sandford touches on the need for prophets to maintain good character, and the prophet’s role in intercessory prayer, reconciliation and spiritual warfare.
Sandford believes there are at least 12 major functions of prophets–including blessing, healing, warning before tragedies happen, and providing protection through discernment and words of knowledge–and he calls on prophets to learn what these are and practice them.
Some of the functions have not been given proper attention in the church, he says. Yet part of what motivated Sandford to write this sequel was what he believes is a dangerous overemphasis on giving personal prophetic words.
Sandford holds that this is the time of Elijah. “In Matthew 17:11, the Lord said that Elijah would first come, and he would restore all things,” he said. “What we’re teaching is that we don’t believe Elijah is coming just as one person but as a core of prophets who come in the spirit and power of Elijah, as Luke 1 speaks of.”
“Elijah prophets” have a critical role to play in the church by leading Christians to prepare for what God wants to do in them now and for the Second Coming. He says prophets open the doors for revelation and call the body of Christ to intercession. He also makes a distinction between false prophets and those who are accused of being such because they have not been trained well in the use of their gift.
Christine D. Johnson
2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity
By Eddie L. Hyatt, Charisma House,
225 pages, paperback, $13.99
Was the Holy Spirit absent from 1,800 years of church history? A survey of resources on Christian history may suggest so, given that the historic move of the Holy Spirit is virtually absent from most volumes. But author Eddie L. Hyatt is helping to change that with his recent release, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity.
Hyatt, who holds a doctorate in ministry from Regent University and master’s degrees in divinity and the arts from Oral Roberts University, begins with the first-century church and documents the presence of charismatic phenomena such as speaking in tongues, healings and miracles throughout church history.
The book explores the decline of spiritual gifts in the early A.D. 300s; the presence of miracles, prophecy and healing within monasticism; and the subsequent renewal movements–from Martin Luther’s Reformation to the Great Awakenings to the Azusa Street Revival and the emergence of the charismatic movement in the 1960s.
Hyatt also documents historic Christian leaders’ positions on charismatic teachings. For example, though Augustine is credited with introducing the concept of cessationism through his writings, Hyatt writes that later in his life he wrote that “even now, miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by His sacraments or by prayer or the relics of the saints.” He then went on to describe some of the miracles he had seen: “healings from blindness, cancer, gout, hemorrhoids, demon possession and even the raising of the dead.”
Hyatt’s book tells the story that isn’t being told about the charismatic movement, documenting and bringing greater legitimacy to its history.
Adrienne S. Gaines
By Jim W. Goll and Lou Engle,
Destiny Image, 176 pages,
A radical revolution is under way among the youth of America. In Elijah’s Revolution, authors Jim W. Goll and Lou Engle offer up a call to this generation of young people to arise, sacrifice worldly pleasures, surrender to God and live wholeheartedly for Him.
Using the biblical examples of Elijah, Esther, Deborah and Joel–
revolutionaries in their time–readers are challenged to take a stand for Jesus, refuse to compromise their lifestyles with the values of society, and seek nothing but transformation through revival and spiritual awakening. The book also gives examples for recognizing the Jezebel spirit within society and its destructive agenda.
Goll, a veteran author, and Engle, a driving force behind The Call prayer movement, show readers that normal Christianity always has been extreme–calling for extreme devotion and seeking after God, extreme abandonment to His will, and extreme love for God and the lost. A revolution represents nothing less than the restoration of radical, raw and real Christianity.
Caution is in order, however. Readers who are content with a mediocre Christian lifestyle should not read Elijah’s Revolution. It is a war cry to all who want to live in radical holiness, passion and devotion to Christ.
By Margaret Feinberg,
Relevant Books, 144 pages,
Readers who have wondered why they never hear the voice of God like others do will find solace in God Whispers. Margaret Feinberg gently speaks to believers inexperienced in tuning in and distinguishing the voice of God above the din of the world.
God’s voice often comes in a whisper, Feinberg writes. He doesn’t shout at His children. Like husbands and wives, those who are close to God can hear Him speak quietly in moments of connection. God wants to speak to His children, the author emphasizes. It is up to us to listen.
Illustrations from the author’s own experience of hearing or not hearing God, as well as simple truths that are rooted in Scripture make this a book fit for anyone seeking to hear the voice of God. Not dependent solely on her own experience, Feinberg includes testimonies from dozens of everyday Christians who practice listening to God.
She says God comes to the believer on His own terms, speaking whenever and whatever He desires, and that giving up our agenda is critical to hearing Him. God Whispers will be of help to those who ultimately want to know the person of Christ.
Christine D. Johnson
By Everett Gates,
Everett Gates Ministries, www.everettgates.com.
Everett Gates is not new to the gospel music scene. Former worship leader at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, Gates has been regarded as an anointed psalmist, songwriter and producer. This time Gates comes to the forefront with his debut, I’m Yours.
Gates shares his ministry in a collection of songs to inspire, strengthen and encourage the spirit. With a combination of his soothing vocals and inspirational
melodies, he creates a unique and refreshing style of song. The album starts off on a high note with “Make All the Difference in the World,” an uplifting song of hope for the world.
In a style that is reminiscent of Babbie Mason, who has worked with Gates and wrote several of the songs, Gates also uses his music to minister poignant messages of faith and commitment to God on such tracks as “For the Cause of Christ” and “Let Go and Let God.” The soul-stirring tracks “Stronger” and “How Could I Question” send a message of encouragement to trust in God no matter what occurs in life.
Gates also ministers in his expertise of praise and worship on the album’s standout track “Servant’s Prayer,” a heartfelt worship ballad. Gates makes a personal
acknowledgement of God’s goodness and power. With beautiful orchestration and choral background, it’s on the right track to becoming a praise and worship standard.
Twanna Powell Crenshaw
Come Dance With Me
By Joel Chernoff, Galilee of the Nations
Anyone can appreciate the worship of Joel Chernoff, a former member of the Messianic duo Lamb. The music is infectious. Laced with bold declarations, prayers and a joyful, minor-key feel, the sound is big.
Chernoff’s new release, Come Dance With Me, offers a smorgasbord of sounds from the up-tempo “Baruch Adonai,” which lyrically combines Hebrew and English, to the more contemporary, radio-friendly “Fall on Me.” Songs such as “Sing Hallelujah” are interspersed with Scripture readings.
Chernoff’s 19-year-old daughter, Sharon, can be heard on two cuts: “Fall on Me” and “Love One Another.” The latter begins as an acoustic ballad before transforming into an edgy, bluesy bridge that’s strengthened by Sharon’s vocal talents.
Chernoff wrote or co-wrote 12 of the songs. Overall, the album contains a lot of pop-rock and acoustic influences and carries a traditional and modern sound, but manages to stay true to its Jewish roots.
By Salvador, Word.
It’s hard not to like the music of Salvador. Following their successful freshman project comes the release of Into Motion. With this offering, Salvador should establish itself as much more than a trendy band.
The rhythmic, Latin-inspired sound of Salvador is fresh. The music exudes charisma and genuine appeal. Into Motion goes a long way to further define what to expect from Salvador in the future. Songs such as “When I Pray” show the depth of this talented group. Nic Gonzales’ vocal delivery is wonderful, and the supporting instruments are equally pleasurable.
Into Motion has excellent music and lyrics that pack an equally effective message. Production is tight from the opening to closing track. Standouts include “Breathing Life,” “Salt & Light” and “God People.”
Fun, but filled with a message of hope and inspiration, Into Motion may not be for everyone, but Salvador’s sound will appeal to a broad audience and is worth a listen.
A Victorious Single Life
When four of her friends married in one summer, Valerie Clayton went on strike, refusing to attend any more weddings. Six years ago, she attended her own, but she hasn’t forgotten the turmoil single women face.
In an effort to help singles experience emotional peace, Clayton has written the resource she looked for during her single days. Co-authored by her husband, Jerome, a pre-licensed Christian psychotherapist, Victory in Singleness (Moody Press) shows women how to have victory over the envy, discouragement and bitterness singles often grapple with, and encourages them to focus on fulfilling their purpose.
“When you get so focused on what you don’t have, you miss the here and now,” Jerome Clayton says. “God wants [women] to have peace now, to have hope now.”
The couple, who are in the counseling ministry at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, Calif., say the book has broad appeal but is tailored for African American women because 62 percent are single. Several chapters address ways to break free from “trapped thinking,” such as believing that God is ignoring you or that He is unfair or doesn’t care.
Valerie Clayton says she hopes the book will teach readers what she learned–to be content, grow in intimacy with God and discover that whether they ever marry or not, God loves them.
Adrienne S. Gaines