Frank Talk by Dr Frank Hultgren

frank hultgren.jpgI was recently asked about my early days.
A younger pastor was looking for the secret to my long life of ministry and the peculiar anointings I have enjoyed.
That prompted me to reflect on sixty years of ministry, as a Pentecostal pastor, a Charismatic leader, a sought after speaker, an internationally recognised prophetic voice and more recently a chaplain and teacher at Oral Roberts University.

Yes, it is true that God has used me in wonderful ways.  And on top of all that there are dealings of God and spiritual challenges I have had to face that were outside the public view.  And in it all God has been faithful and God has given me amazing opportunities beyond my expectation.

So, what is the secret to all of that?  How did an insecure, lanky Aussie lad end up on the global stage?  How did I, with all my limitations, get to speak powerfully into the lives of some of the world’s best known names in Christian ministry?  How is it that doors of ministry and the doors of hard to get into homes and places opened up to me?

Let me tell you, it wasn’t through education.  I’m no dummy, but I never sought academic merit.  My approach was much simpler than that.

And it wasn’t through mentoring.  If there is one pain I carry after all these years and all the wonderful things I have been privileged to do it is that I never had anyone to train me and guide me through those difficult pioneering years.  If I have a word for today’s upcoming leaders, take advantage of the abundant input that is readily available to you.  Listen to the voices of those willing to speak into your life.  You have no idea how precious that is and how much I longed for it through decades of my life.

It wasn’t through perfect theology.  As I think back on those early sermons I preached to those small AOG congregations that us early Pentecostal preachers cared for in the first half of last century I know there are things I’d never preach again.  In fact, Jesus personally visited me on at least one occasion, just to make sure I didn’t preach what I had been preaching.

And it wasn’t through my denomination.  In those early days there was only one Pentecostal denomination, Assemblies of God.  It was the light to my nation for all who would open to the Holy Spirit.  Yet the day came when God instructed June and me to pull out of the AOG.  We cried for days.  We had so little to rely on, and Jesus took even that away from us.

So, what was it that made all the difference?  How did God get through to a young buck who had so little to get him through?

What I had, and I had it in good measure, was Desperation!

God gripped my heart with a sense of the sheer futility of what I was trying to do, preaching a message people didn’t care for, in a land that was so needy, with so little to give and so little power to change anything.  I became desperate.

I became desperate for the church.  I love the church and I hurt for those believers who so needed the power of God and so needed the touch of God, but who seemed to come up empty so often.

I longed to see the power of God.  I longed to see the church grow.  I longed to see a smile on the face of Jesus as His bride was made ready for Him.

But all I had in those early days were the simple messages we had been taught, and a handful of people, standing up for a truth the mainstream churches rejected, and having to go alone in just about everything we did.

Then Jesus heard my cry.

I can’t say that everything changed overnight.  It didn’t.  Many changes took years to take shape.  And many of the changes came at a price.

I mentioned having to give up the AOG.  How bitter the pain of that breach!  I knew it was God’s leading, but I could not understand it.  I had to die to my own understanding and be humble and simple enough to do what He wanted, when it tore me apart.

Yet in just a few short years I ended up pastoring a Congregational church, and was in the perfect position to make a major deposit into the emerging Charismatic revival of the 1960’s.  How wise God is!  The Charismatics rejected the Pentecostals but they looked to me for input, because of my Congregational label.

Unexpectedly I found myself invited to places I had never dreamed of, including monasteries, speaking powerfully into the lives of Catholic priests, nuns, mothers superior and hungry souls from all manner of churches.  What a privilege!  What a wonder!

But the desperation did not lift even with all of that.  Instead it has remained with me.

A life verse for me is found in Jeremiah 29:12: “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.”

That verse was my call to prayer.  I am recognised by some as a man of prayer, but I don’t try to be.  I simply respond to the desperation to know God and to see His hand at work.  He has called me to call on Him.  He has promised me that when I call out to Him He hears.  Hallelujah!

And He has listened!  He heard the longing of a long-legged preacher from the backside of Australia and He opened the world to me.

And let me assure you that the dealings of God are far from over in my life.  Just in this past week God gave me powerful revelation about significant spiritual things in my life.  That’s what He often does before opening up amazing new doors for me.

Before I was invited to be on staff at ORU God did a deep work in my heart.  When Richard Roberts called me personally and urged me to be part of what God is doing there I was already prepared by the dealings of God.

God hasn’t finished with me yet and I’m keen to keep flowing with His will, because the church isn’t ready yet.  There are needs to be met.  There are churches to plant and lives to see transformed.

I am privileged to be part of God’s work in this past century.  And I am pleased to be able to say that I am totally unqualified for all that God did in and through me.  It is HIM!  And I say that with delight, knowing there is a whole army of men and women waiting to serve the Lord who need to know that if God can use me so wonderfully as He has, then God can use them too.

Let me be Frank with you (excuse the pun), but I don’t have a lot of time for today’s church programs.  I miss the Bible songs and I don’t like lightweight messages.  I urge you not to be a product of your generation, but to be desperate for more.  Be desperate for more of God, more revelation, more miracles, more power, more of God’s Kingdom on earth.

I can’t tell you that it will lead to an easy road.  It certainly didn’t for June and me.  But I wouldn’t exchange the past sixty years for anything.  And I am in anticipation about what God is yet to do through me before my use-by date comes up.

Be Desperate for God.  He’s watching your heart right now to see if you’ll be desperate for Him.

Dr Frank has permitted me to post this article for him.
For those who do not yet know this wonderful man of God he is based in Perth, Western Australia, where he has spent most of his ministry life.
Frank not only pastored AOG churches and became a significant Charismatic leader in the past century, but in recent years he was based at ORU in the USA, where he was a profound and prophetic voice into the lives of significant Christian ministries. Much of what he was privileged to input is not for public knowledge, but suffice it to say that Dr Frank has had significant impact in those lives.
I hope to present further contributions by Dr Frank if and when they become available.
Dr Frank authored several books which you may care to check out, including Breaking Eve’s Curse and Prophetic Insights into Spiritual Warfare.

Hearing the Voice of God

A common question asked by Christians is, “How can I hear the voice of God?”  Most people desire to know what God wants of them and what God has in store for them.  Yet often people do not find an answer.

The Bible tells us that God is ready to speak with us.  In fact Jesus declared that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27

So the more important question is not “How do I hear the voice of God?” but “Are you willing to hear what God has to say?”

If God spoke to you today what would He say to you?

And would you accept what God said?

The Burning Bush

One of the most dramatic examples of God speaking to someone is that of Moses meeting God at the Burning Bush.  In Exodus chapters 3 and 4 we have the record of Moses in the wilderness looking after his father-in-law’s sheep when he sees a burning bush.  The bush burns for a long time but is never consumed, and that intrigues Moses, so he goes to see the sight close up.

As Moses approaches the bush God speaks to him and tells him to take off his shoes because it is holy ground.

So this stands out as a most remarkable encounter where a man heard clearly and directly from God.

All those who wish to know what God is saying to them should want a Burning Bush experience, where they can talk with God and hear what God has to say.

Arguing With God

For Moses, however, this encounter was not one that he cherished.  It was not a lovely time of meeting with God.  In fact it was a very troubling time and one that led Moses to argue vigorously with God.

God called Moses to go back to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go.

Moses responded by asking, “Who am I that I should go?”  God reassured Moses by saying, “I will be with you”.  Then Moses told God, “I don’t know your name”.  God told Moses that God is the great “I AM”, and told Moses to tell the people that “I am that I am has sent you”.

Moses continued to resist God, by declaring, “They will not believe me”.  So God gave several supernatural signs to Moses to do, including his rod turning into a serpent.  Then Moses argued that he was not eloquent of speech.  God reminded Moses that it was God who created the mouth, and so could be with him in his speaking.

Finally Moses told God to, “Send someone else”.  And this angered God.

What About You?

Do you really want to hear from God?  Moses didn’t, despite the wonderful sight of a burning bush.

Moses did not want to hear what God said to him.  Moses resisted God and argued with Him.

Would you really listen to God?  Would you readily accept what God says?

What makes you different to Moses?

If God spoke with you today, what would he say to you?

I see in scripture that God gave four kinds of messages that God speaks to people.

If God sent an angel to your home to give you a message from God would you let the angel in, or sneak out the back door and run away?

Voice of Judgment

We see in scripture that God often speaks judgment upon people.  In fact, Christians should expect to hear such messages from God because of what Jesus said, that He rebukes those He loves.

“Those I love I rebuke and chasten” Revelation 3:19

We also have the sobering message that God told Jonah to say to Nineveh.  His warning was that “God sees what you have been doing”.

“Go tell Nineveh that ‘God sees your wickedness!’” Jonah 1:2

How would you feel if an angel came to your house to warn you that “God has been watching you, and has seen what you have done”?  Would that be an encouragement or a fearful thought to you?

The similar thought was brought to Belshazzar by Daniel, warning him that he has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.  That very night his kingship would come to an end.

“Belshazzar, You have failed to meet God’s standard!” Daniel 5:25-28

And consider the New Testament warning by Paul, that God will not be mocked.  You will get what you deserve.

“God will not be mocked! What a man sows is what will grow in his life.” Galatians 6:7,8
Which one of those messages would you like to have given to you?

God’s Call to Action

The angel of God came to Gideon and told him that God saw him as a “mighty man of valour”.  He was instructed to go out and fight the Midianites that were oppressing Israel (see Judges 6:11,12).

Gideon did not want that message and struggled to believe it.

On the other hand we have the lovely example of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The angel came to her to advise her that she would have a baby and He would be the Christ (see Luke 1:30,31,38).

Mary asked, how can this happen since I am not married?  The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would put sperm in her womb so the child would be from man and from God.

Mary’s response was to say, “Let it happen to me according to your word”.  She did not argue as Moses had done.

Power of the Call

We see often in scripture that God calls people who do not feel adequate for the task.  The reason God can do this is because the call itself has power embedded in it.

The Apostle Paul reflected on this in Romans 4:17, when he recounted how Abraham believed God’s promise.  Paul said that God calls things into existence.

The very call itself has the power to fulfil the promise.  Gideon became a mighty man.  Saul became a king.  Mary became the mother of a child, without any man being involved.

The angel that came to Mary further explained how this can be when he told her that Mary’s aged cousin Elisabeth was expecting her first child.  The angel simply stated, “With God nothing is impossible”, Luke 1:37.

Do not fear the call of God.  Embedded in the call is the power to make what seems impossible a reality in your life.

Blessing

God has met with people in history in order to bring blessing to them.

God came to Abraham and told him, “I will bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing”, Genesis 12:1-3.

God came to King Solomon and told him that “I will give you riches and honour”, 1Kings 3:5-14.

Jabez asked God for some pretty good blessings, including that he would have larger influence and be protected from evil.  God granted those requests, 1Chronicles 4:10.

So it may be that the angel sent to your home with a message from God is there to confer blessing on you, or to tell you that God has heard your prayers and will grant your requests.

Guidance

Another message that God gives to His people is that of guidance.

The prophet Isaiah tells us that we will hear God’s voice telling us which way to go.

“And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

In the New Testament we have several examples of God’s guidance in the book of Acts.

Philip the evangelist was instructed to go into the desert and when he arrived there he saw a chariot.  God instructed him to go to the chariot.  The result was the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:26-29.

The apostle Paul was clearly led to go to Macedonia, after being blocked by God from going in several other directions, Acts 16:9.

So it might be that an angel sent to you home has come to give you directions from God.

Do You Want to Hear?

I come again to the question, “Are you willing to hear what God has to say?”

It’s one thing to wish for God to speak, but if He did, would you listen?  Or would you be like Moses and Gideon, reacting to what God said and trying to shrink away from it?

If you had your own, personal Burning Bush, would you use it?

If you could break a twig off the Burning Bush and pull it out when you need an answer, sticking it in the ground, having it fire up, and then being able to speak directly with God, would you want such a thing?

Would you believe what God says, or would you argue with it?

A Personal Burning Bush

I recently saw Theresa Dedmon from Behhtel Church in Redding California create prophetic art in Melbourne and I was blessed by what her picture spoke to me.  When I chatted with her later, she did not have in mind the message I received.  So I see this as a prophetic message that I am to share.

Her painting depicted a tree that was growing out of an open Bible.  She had in the mind the Tree of Life.  But she painted it with a yellow glow upon the branches, and that spoke to me of the burning bush.

What the picture spoke to me was that the Burning Bush of Moses’ day was rooted in the Bible.  The Bible is the source of God’s word to us, and so anything we would hear from a Burning Bush experience is simply a manifestation of what is already said to us by God in the Bible.

The Bible is our “more sure word of prophecy”, 2Peter 1:19, and so it is our Personal Burning Bush.

Any time you want a Burning Bush experience all you need do is pick up your Bible and open its pages.

But Here’s the Rub

Just because the Bible is God’s Word and it is your Personal Burning Bush, does not mean you will hear from God.

Moses resisted what God said.  Moses argued with God.

And isn’t that what many Christians do when they read the Bible?

They find excuses why they don’t rejoice ever more, cast all their cares upon Him, forgive those who offend them, rest in confidence in God, confess Christ before men, and so on.

They struggle to believe the promises of God.  They fail to rise to the calling of holiness God asks of them.  They fail to stop loving the world and the things in the world.  In fact, most Christians only accept those parts of the Bible that suit them.

It is Time to Hear God

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”, John 10:27.

Open your heart to God’s Word.  Let God Challenge and Correct You, Call you to action, Bless You and Guide You.

Take out your personal burning bush and listen to what God is saying to you from His word, the Bible.  And this time DO what God’s word tells you to do.

How to Hear God’s Voice 2

In How to Hear God’s Voice 1, I revealed that God is ever ready to communicate to His children. We saw in the life of Gideon that God is even ready to be completely superfluous in His supply of communication to us.

The problem is not that God is not speaking or not willing to communicate. The existence of the Bible is clear testimony that God seeks to speak to the whole world.

Our Response

The problem is in our response to God’s voice. Many people refuse to read the Bible, or to trust it. People reject God’s Word and so they cut themselves off from hearing from God.

God also puts some things in places that are hidden, so only those who have a heart after Him and will seek Him out will find what He has for them. God does not cast His pearls in front of pigs who will trample them under foot.

If you have a heart to hear from God then God is ready to speak with you. So here are some Guidelines and Protocols to help you prepare your heart to hear from God.

Guidelines and Protocols

Since God is willing to speak and probably speaking to us more than we realise, we need to be open to hearing His voice and we need guidelines or protocols to help us respond appropriately.

The Guidelines I am offering here are: Ask God to speak; Expect the Unexpected; Test the Word; Get Wisdom; Act in Faith; Value the Mundane; and Keep a Kingdom Focus.

Ask God to Speak

If you are not aware of God speaking then ask Him to speak, and ask Him to make Himself clear to you. Ask Him to teach you how to hear His voice.

I have asked God to speak more clearly, when I thought I may be missing Him.

Expect the Unexpected

The issue that takes your attention and which you expect God to speak to you about may be a sideline in God’s grand scheme. Don’t be surprised when God tries to talk with you about something bigger or different to the issues that you are distracted by.

Have an open mind and heart to the call of God and to God’s burdens for things outside your small world of concerns.

Test the Word

God’s principle is that things are to be confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses. So don’t rush off as soon as you get some impression. Ask God to confirm the word. Make sure that it lines up with the counsel of the Bible. Run it past your spiritual leaders, to protect yourself from a wrong direction, especially if it involves a significant change of direction or could have serious repercussions.

You also need to be attentive to God’s timing and His big picture plan. Don’t get out of step with the theme or the timing.

Get Wisdom

Having something prompted to you or being aware of something spiritually does not mean you have to do something about it. You need wisdom to know whether what you are sensing is to be a matter for action or prayer. It may be just an observation to file away for future reference.

A Word of Knowledge will provide you with information, but you then need a Word of Wisdom to know what to do about it.

People who are spiritually sensitive may become aware of much more than they need to respond to. The “So What?” question needs to be kept in mind – don’t assume that just because you “know” something it is important for you to do something about it. It may be a “So What?” issue. Get God’s direction about what He wants you to do about what you receive – and what the real issues are.

Act in Faith

Once you know what God is saying and you have confirmed it and received God’s Wisdom, you will eventually have to do something about it. You will need faith to enable you to act on God’s leading. Jesus told Peter to “Come”, but then Peter had to step out of the boat and walk on the water.

Value the Mundane

Don’t get grand ideas about doing the impossible on a daily basis. God has given you many mundane tasks and responsibilities. Value those things. Don’t despise the small beginnings, the parental commitments, the “line upon line and precept upon precept” routines, or the challenge to serve tables and care for others.

Don’t think that hearing from God is a way to escape your daily callings. Those mundane things are what most of life is built on and you must be faithful with your marriage, family, work, ministry and social responsibilities.

Keep a Kingdom Focus

Hearing from God is not about “you”. It’s not a ticket to significance, or to making yourself better than others. We are to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”. As you hear from God and are led by Him, remember that it is all about His Kingdom and His will. If you start to get grand ideas about yourself then you are out of order. It’s not about your ego, or what you want to do.

Now, Sheep, Hear His Voice

God is ready to build you up, motivate you, comfort you, convict you, lead you, teach you and bless you. So get cracking on the task of hearing His voice.

How To Hear God’s Voice 1

God is keen to communicate with His children. So it is reasonable for you to hear from Him. In late 2008 I taught on How To Hear God’s Voice, and so I am summarising the key points of that message here to share with you.

Note that a DVD of that message is available. Email me if you are interested.

God Talks

God wants to talk with us and wants us to hear. That may sound ridiculous to you, especially if you have never been aware of receiving anything from God. But it is true, none-the-less. The Bible is full of examples, in both the Ancient Jewish world and in New Testament times of the church age, where God gave direction, correction, instruction, comfort and wisdom to His people.

The very existence of the Bible itself is proof of God’s intention to communicate with all of us. As a Father He wants to instruct and guide His children.

A Few Bible Verses

Look at these Bible truths and see that they speak of God’s communication with ordinary Christians.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” John 16:13

“But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you will abide in him.” 1John 2:27

Gideon’s Example

Consider how willingly God spoke to Gideon, who was called to lead Israel against the Midianites. First God sent an angel to tell Gideon that he was called to lead the people (Judges 6:12-16). When Gideon doubted the word and asked for a sign. He put a meal before the angel, who caused the meal to be consumed in fire. When Gideon then panicked, God spoke reassurance to him.

So right at the outset Gideon had an angelic visitation, a miracle and God speaking to him. This shows how willingly God speaks to His people.

But that’s not all. God then came to Gideon with an instruction about pulling down his father’s idols, which Gideon did (Judges 6:25-27).

As if that wasn’t enough, Gideon then experienced the Holy Spirit coming on him, inspiring him to call an army together to go to battle.

Then Gideon called on God to provide two separate signs to him, that he was doing the right thing. Gideon put out a sheep-skin (a fleece of wool) over two nights and asked that the dampness of the wool be reversed. God complied.

Then, as a final touch from God, Gideon was told to go to the enemy camp and spy on them, where he heard a Midianite explain that Gideon’s army was going to beat them, because of a dream.

Superlative Communication

Gideon’s case is chock full of communication from God, in a bunch of different forms. And at no point does God seem the slightest bit reluctant to speak, confirm and repeat the proof.

Rather than communication from God being rare and in limited supply it is superlative. God gave Gideon more than he needed and more than we would have thought sufficient.

God went out of His way to accommodate Gideon’s need to be reassured. God is not trying to be difficult.

God is Not the Problem

Our problem is not that God is not speaking, but that we are uncertain about whether what we are hearing really is God or not.

We need to become more confident in accepting what we are receiving from God. We need to tune in to the things God is saying and the various ways that He is speaking to us. We should also be more willing to ask God to speak.

God uses impressions, dreams, visions, promptings by the Holy Spirit, quickening of Bible verses, desires awakened in our heart, open or closed opportunities, peace in our heart, and various other means to confirm to us His will for our situation.

God is Speaking

Since God is speaking and is happy to speak clearly to us, the challenge now is to have the right preparation to be able to hear and act upon what God is saying.

That’s the next part of this message and I will present that in a few day’s time, under the heading, How to Hear God’s Voice 2. In that post I will show you the simple protocols which will help you discern the voice of God. That protocol involves the following steps: Ask God to speak; Expect the Unexpected; Test the Word; Get Wisdom; Act in Faith; Value the Mundane; and Keep a Kingdom Focus.

Go to How to Hear God’s Voice Part 2 by clicking this link: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/hear-the-voice-of-god-2