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The Era of Zero Discernment

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (Matt. 10:16)

Something that has been recurring in my spirit lately has a sense of how so many in today’s church are lacking in discernment. We are, in many ways, suckers. I know this seems harsh, but bear with me.

It often happens in my social media feeds that numerous saints will post an article from The Babylon Bee and expound upon their outrage at what has been reported therein, not knowing that the Bee is a satire website, and fairly obviously so.

While we can also be fooled here and there, that this happens so often is an indicator that something is amiss, and it’s not the only indicator. Corporations lie to us, entire industries lie to us, governments and even spiritual leaders lie to us or otherwise deceive, and much of it goes entirely undetected. Demonic activity is often rampant in churches and families, also undetected.

In the last few years, over 100 pastors in the US have been arrested on pedophilia related charges. Some of these individuals went decades undetected, or were actively protected by their denominations and networks because of their ability to generate revenue. If indeed we are a discerning people, how are there so many of these vile people among us?

Some will argue that ‘wheat and tares grow together,’ but that’s is a flawed argument. Why? This is taken from Matthew 13:24-30, where, if we read it in its context, we will find the following facts:

  1. The man in the parable KNEW that the tares were tares.
  2. The tares did not destroy the wheat, or hinder its harvest, whereas the sexual abuse of children in the church often does lifelong harm.
  3. The tares will be rooted out and destroyed.

Thus we can understand that we should be able to tell the wheat from the tares, and we should be able to perceive things and people which are destructive to the harvest of souls.

What then, is the Spirit saying to the church? The Lord is calling us to repent of the blindness which many have had, willful or otherwise, and to ask that there would be a resurgence of the gift of Discernment of Spirits, so that we can put away evil from among us in accordance with 1 Corinthians 5.

Remember, little flock, it is never the will of God for us to remain ignorant to the schemes of the enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11), and He is certainly willing to open our spiritual eyes.

God bless you, and God keep you.

A word on Incels

An incel is someone, usually a man, who believes themselves to be involuntarily celibate. They are sad people who live unloved, don’t get married, never have a family, and die alone. They probably have a high suicide rate.

When I posted about this on Facebook, I found that some Christians actually found this funny. When asked exactly what about being unloved or suicidal is funny, they go silent.

Moreover, the way in which many of us find men’s emotional or mental health problems fair game for ridicule speaks volumes as to our carnality, as well as of the general spiritual state of we who call ourselves the church. In Canada, for example, the #1 cause of death for men between 20 and 45 is SUICIDE.

Worldwide, about 78% of all suicides are men.

And the church leadership is silent.

The Lord is calling the church to repentance over many things, including our severe neglect with regard to the spiritual and emotional well-being of men.

Loud sounding gong? A Word on ‘harsh’ prophecies

Delivering a prophecy that seems harsh to our modern sensibilities doesn’t make you a loud-sounding gong without love, contrary to the absolute tripe being taught today.

There was once a prophet who said things like:

Generation of vipers! (Matt. 12:34)
Though you are exalted to heaven, you shall be brought down to hell. (Luke 10:15)
I will profess to them ‘Depart from me, ye who work iniquity, for I never knew you.’ (Matt. 7:23)

He also cursed a defenseless tree for not having fruit.

Who was this mean old ogre of a prophet?

JESUS.

Today’s teaching on how the prophetic must always be uplifiting would condemn JESUS as not having love.

The truth is that we often fail to understand what the Bible teaches because we read it the way it’s been erroneously preached to us. Prophecy is for edification, exhortation, and comfort, but this does not mean it will always be comfortable.

In the US Marine Corps, my Drill Sergeants edified me, getting me into the greatest shape I’ve ever been in. They exhorted with tremendous intensity. Their training is now a comfort when there’s an emergency or danger of any kind.

Some may argue that we’re still supposed to be gentle, but not all situations call for what we now regard as gentle.

Feel free to call me harsh.

The lake of fire is harsher than anything I could possibly say to you.

Am I your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Why we don’t need to ask for an Open Heaven

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
 
I never need to ask for an open heaven because the Veil of the Temple was torn when Christ died. I am The temple of the Living God, and heaven is already open for me, not because I asked, nor because I somehow deserved it, but because the Blood of Jesus has made it so.
 
Nor do I live by my own faith. God forbid, for my own faith would fail many times over before I could finish my journey. Indeed, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. This is why I can do all things in Christ. He promised that HIS grace would be enough, and it is.
 
He loved YOU.
He gave Himself for YOU.
He put His Spirit in YOU.
 
Every prayer you could ever set before the Father has already been answered at Calvary.

Faith vs. Presumption

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:16)

What do you really believe about God?

An honest answer to that question will tell you a great deal about where your faith is and it will also reveal the ‘why’ behind so much of your life and how you’ve handled it.For many of us, our perception of God becomes distorted or even corrupted by negative experiences because somewhere along the line we began to believe that faith means believing that God has to give us whatever we want.

Everything about the life of the believer comes through and by Christ, and so we must understand that if Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), God is only obligated to finish what He started. For so many of us, resolving a crisis of faith must begin with recognizing where we have exercised faith and where we have simply walked in presumption.

Once you can recognize the difference, frustration, confusion, despair, and every other thing that comes with a troubled faith walk must flee.

Are YOU willing today to own up to where you didn’t believe, but just presumed?

God made you a SON!

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:7, ESV)

So often we get caught up in gifts, callings, ministries, and so much more, and we start to think that our gift or our ministry is our identity. When me mistake our calling for our identity, we call into the trap of working in that calling as a way of relating to or pleasing God. However, the truth is that no matter what your calling, that is your JOB, not your identity.

Whether I am a doctor, a plumber, a carpenter, or even a criminal, I would still be my father’s son. Likewise, your identity in the kingdom isn’t apostle, prophet, evangelist, etc., but it is SON. You might be a prophet for life, but you are a SON for eternity!

If you are a son, then you are no one’s slave. You are the heir! The promises of God are YOURS because He loves you. His favor is YOURS because He loves you. Everything Christ has, and everything Christ is, is YOURS, because you are a SON!

Shall we then neglect our calling? God forbid. Rather, our kingdom activity should be the fruit of our identity.

Do you want clarity in your calling?
Do you need direction for your ministry?
Do you need a breakthrough?

These things are already yours in Christ, because He made you a SON!

Therefore, let us focus on being the Sons of God.

When I was a little boy, I rarely asked my father for anything, and this puzzled him. The truth was that it didn’t occur to me to ask him for things for two reasons: I trusted him, and it was enough for me to simply be around him.

As a grown man, my father told me of all his children I’d honored him the most, and had been the greatest blessing to him.

Do you want to honor God, and be a blessing in His kingdom? Spend time with Him simply for the sake of fellowship. You may be surprised just how much He will reveal to you when you seek His face and not His hand.

Every answer to prayer, every breakthrough, every healing, every deliverance was already accomplished at Calvary. Allow God to grow you as a son, and these other things will be added to you.

Mentoring Emerging prophets

Some prophets ‘turn to the Dark Side,’ so to speak because of a lack of specific Mentoring for their calling. The emerging prophet needs sound discipleship and oversight, as well as safe and accountable environment in which to exercise his gift. Over the years, I’ve mentored quite a few prophets who felt frustrated in their church because they’d hear from God but were actively discouraged from using their gift, or because they weren’t learning how to handle the revelations they were receiving. Still others found themselves overwhelmed with demonic attacks for which they received little or no real support. Pastors, the devil wants your prophets! It is best that you give prayerful consideration to how you might safeguard them from the specific threats they face.

Now, what you do with regard to this may vary, depending on any specific guidance that the Holy Spirit may give you for your particular flock. Nevertheless, here are some things you can do with emerging prophets:

  1. A weekly prayer gathering for the prophets with mature leadership to oversee it.

  1. Specific time set aside for the prophets to exercise their gifts outside of the regular service times, with prophecies being judged and constructive feedback being given.

  1. Prayer assignments for the prophets.

  1. Prophetic assignments.

  2. Specific Bible study assignments to further their personal development.

  1. A dedicated team of intercessors to pray for the prophets.

  2. Thorough training on the gift and office

Remember, as a leader, it’s your job to defend the flock, and a big part of that is by ensuring that your emerging prophets are not seduced by the enemy.

Flattery and the false prophet

Once a false prophet has secured a means whereby they may begin to gain influence, and often before this, they will make use of flattery to build rapport with key individuals.

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. (Proverbs 26:28)

False prophets usually hate the people they are seeking to manipulate, and no matter how harmless their flattery might be, the Bible says it works ruin. A compliment is sincere and unselfish admiration or appreciation, whereas flattery is insincere, and done with the intention of selfish gain. The flatterer wants something. Just by engaging in flatter, this person is sinning (Psalm 5:9, 78:36, Proverbs 29:5, e.g.). We are in fact warned not to involve ourselves with those who use flattery! (Proverbs 20:19)

False prophets, particularly in the early stages of acquiring influence, tend to lavish praise on people, seeming to be impressed by even things which may really be quite ordinary. Let’s face it, most of us like a good compliment, and since many who occupy positions of influence or leadership in churches and other faith communities also harbor secret (or not so secret) insecurities, the false prophet can easily gain their confidence by appearing to be an admirer or even a fan. This vulnerability to seduction is made worse by a tendency of insecure leaders to surround themselves with people who feed their ego and do not challenge their ideas or decisions. In contrast to this, Scripture tells us:

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. (Proverbs 15:22)

Someone who always agrees with you is not a counsellor; that’s a yes-man. Yes men are a comfort to insecurities, but they are hardly constructive. While many, and maybe even most, yes-men mean well because they are ‘fans’ of their leader, the false prophet who becomes a yes-man does so in order to leverage the leader’s insecurities to his own advantage.

Other false prophets operating within a local body may engage in other kinds of manipulation, but most often some form of flattery will be involved. What we must bear in mind is that manipulative behavior of any sort in a prophet is a clear indicator that something is very wrong, and it’s a grave mistake not to deal with it immediately.

Want to plant a church?

If you are thinking to plant a church, think instead to plant a community rather than an institution. When Jesus addressed the churches in Revelation, he addressed them as communities by city, as a people, and not as an organization.
 
Christian leaders tend to create institutions because the primary driving force of their church plant is the fulfillment of a vision that revolves around their own life and ministry rather than around the life of Christ. Leaders, YOUR vision isn’t enough. YOUR anointing isn’t enough.
 
Man-centered ministry is the reason you can see a man raise up a church of 30,000 but almost never produce one member that is his equal, never mind one who can go on to greater works. Some of your sons, at least, ought to outdo you.
 
Abraham was given the Promise,
Isaac was the progenitor of the specific bloodline for the Promise.
Yet it was Jacob who became Israel, and the nation promise to Abraham is named after him. Wait. What?
 
That’s right. God promised Abraham a nation, but named it after his grandson.
 
Israel fathered the nation, but his sons populated it.
 
Judah received the prophetic word about kingship, but it was David that established that Kingdom.
 
David established its borders, but Solomon built its magnificence to the point that ancient writings in Tibet speak of the splendor of Solomon. Even so, the Seal of Solomon to this day is called the Star of David.
 
For all his splendor and wisdom, even Solomon did not get to complete the Promise.
 
The Promise was ultimately fulfilled in Christ alone. Remember what Galatians 3:13-14 says:
 
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
 
So we see that fathers receive most of their honor through their sons, not through their own lives. If this is not proof enough, consider this:
 
 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Even the very ministry and Lordship of Jesus is for the glory of His Father, and I am sure Abraham isn’t upset that Jesus fulfilled the Promise God made so long ago.
 

Does tithing connect you to your covenant?

Preachers, so many of you are going to go to hell for scaring people into mandatory income tithing with threats of curses.
 
Tithing under the law was expressly commanded to Israel as 1/10 of the agricultural production of the land. This is why God calls it ‘the tithe of the land.’ It was never based on income or wages. Only those who owned land and livestock tithed. There were plenty of non-farmers living at that time, including bankers, jewelers, weavers, stoneworkers, and carpenters. Our Savior was a carpenter.
 
Another interesting detail the preaches love to leave out is that the tithe was given to the priests only twice every seven years. In the 7th year, there was no crop production, so the only tithe was of animals. In the other 4 years the people were commanded to eat the tithe crops, or to sell them and then spend the money ON THEMSELVES. (See Deut 14:26)
 
We are to give generously, give cheerfully, but let no man manipulate you into works of the Law that were never commanded anywhere in the New Testament, nor is there any evidence in the first 600+ years of church history of any church body teaching mandatory income tithing. The tradition of income tithing began in 680 AD when the Roman government instituted it as a tax for their state-controlled church.
 
The New Testament writings do not teach it.
 
The early apostles and church fathers did not teach it. Not one of the thousands of primary source historical documents we have from those who lead the church in all those centuries gives us any evidence at all that the church ever taught it up until the paganized Roman church forced it on everyone in the empire.
 
When the threats of curses do not, work, many preachers then resort to two doctrines to support mandatory income tithing:
 
The first is that Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, and this means we ought to tithe. This is very poor theology, since Abraham did this only ONCE, he did so VOLUNTARILY and NOT by commandment, and it was from property taken in a war. It is extremely poor theology to use a one-time voluntary act to teach people they must tithe from their income.
 
The second lie that is relied upon is the false promise that tithing connects you to your covenant.
 
This is BLASPHEMY. Why?
 
2 Corinthians 5:5 tells us:
 
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
 
A pledge is a deposit. The KJV says the ‘earnest of the Spirit.’ When I first made an offer on my house, I was required to submit with that offer $500 as an earnest money deposit. That deposit is credited toward the purchase of the house, and is called the ‘earnest money,’ because it is the evidence, the proof, that I was in earnest – serious and committed – about buying the house. It was the sign that I was serious about going through with the purchase.
 
Similarly, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s deposit on our life, the promise that He will complete what He has begun.
 
THAT is what connects you to your covenant written in the Blood of Christ, not your money.

What IS Legalism, Really?

 

I hear so many people use the term ‘legalism’ pretty loosely, and usually it’s when they’re talking about something they don’t like in the Bible. Let’s discuss what it really is.

What to do when a prophetic word FAILS to come to pass


 

Over the years I’ve run into many people who were disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged and disgusted because of how so many prophecies fail to come to pass in the church. So often when this is addressed, if it’s addressed at all, they are given excuses or are blamed for the prophetic word’s failure. But is it always the receiver’s fault?

Let’s talk about why prophetic words fail and what to do about it.

The Dirt on Church Hurt


 

I have heard so many leaders talk about people getting hurt in the church, but nearly all the discussion was limited to blaming the people who were hurt, ridiculing them, or making weak arguments as to why they just need to come back to the local church. Let’s have a real talk about why ‘church hurt’ happens and what we can do about it.

Why YOU aren’t Prospering


 

 
Have you ever wondered why it is so many prophets try to convince you that they key to your prosperity it giving THEM money, yet year after year, decade after decade the saints stay broke? Let’s discus the REAL reasons why you’re not prospering the way you could be, and how to turn that around NOW.

Don’t let anyone take your crown!

Do you know YOUR mission?

The mission of the church was never to merely build impressive buildings in which we can gather together for an entertaining time of shallow ‘worship,’ and preaching that is more motivational than it is foundational.
 
Leaders, will you dare see beyond your own motives, past your own goals, and even beyond your well-meaning but limited present perception of the vision God gave you?
 
I challenge you this day to turn down your plate, get on your face, and clear your calendar to seek God like never before.
 
Can you become desperate for a depth of fellowship with God rarely seen in this world, one that will transform our lives, family, and ministries into the unshakable, undeniable, incorruptible, sick-healing, demon-vanquishing, blind eye opening, miracle-working, dead raising light of the world that it could be if we could only just get delivered from US?

Stop chasing prophecies!

God never intended for you to be chasing after a prophetic word every day. This insatiable addiction to prophecy I’ve seen in churches and in Facebook groups is not from God, and it renders people highly susceptible to seduction by the familiar spirits that some ‘prophets’ move in.
To some extent this happens because the leadership of the segment of the church which believes in the prophetic has created a dependency which gives the prophet an idolatrous place in the life of the believer.

Feeling discouraged and need a boost? In 1 Samuel 30, when David and his men returned to Ziklag to find that the enemy had burned their homes and taken their families captive, his men started talking about stoning him, because they clearly blamed him for being away from home when the enemies came. He didn’t go looking for a prophet to comfort or encourage him:

 

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Sam. 30:6)

Later in the chapter, he DOES inquire of the Lord for himself, not for encouragement, but for direction. He then takes his men and goes after the enemy. The recover EVERYTHING, and take additional spoils. David then uses his share of the spoils to send gifts to the leaders of Israel in the towns and cities David frequented.
What can we learn from this? The answer to your need for encouragement isn’t always in some prophet, but often in your own mouth, and when you ACT on the word of the Lord, God will position you not just for restoration, but for promotion, IF we ACT, and then use the fruit of our action to bless OTHERS.
When David sent those gifts, it wasn’t just about their inherent value. It also made a statement: I’m your king, I fight OUR enemies, and when I do, I do it for YOU, too… that even when David was fighting for his family and the families of his men, he still thought of the rest of Israel and its leaders. This communicated to them that they could trust David to think of them, even when handling his own personal business.
Are you called to leadership? Stop chasing prophecies, and ACT on the prophetic words you’ve been given already. God and his prophets will still have more to say.

Romans 9 – The Sovereign Grace of God in Christ

Grace isn’t just forgiveness and forbearance, it is the divine influence which is intended to bring the Lordship of God into our life. You don’t have to live in defeat, because Christ provided not only forgiveness, but the power to become the sons of God. Let’s talk.

 

Are leaders EXEMPT from criticism?

I often hear or read of leaders using phrases like ‘touch not mine anointed,’ or ‘who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?’ to silence criticism, and over the years I’ve noticed a disturbing tendency: Leaders in the Western church have become very adroit at evading any meaningful accountability, often claiming that only other leaders will hold them accountable, which usually reminds me of certain government agencies investigating themselves and finding that they did nothing wrong… Some go so far as to say that they are only  accountable to God. Are church leaders right to shield themselves from accountability which comes from those under their authority? Let’s find out what the Bible has to say. about this.

Social Media Ministries are causing a Panic!

 
Popular preachers like Jonas Clark have been for some time writing articles about how social media ministries are somehow renegades and not real ministries if they are not part of the institutional church system. In one recent article, Clark seems to suggest that those who minister via social media without being connected to a local church, or without immediate local accountability, have a ‘jezebel’ spirit. In this video, we examine this logic and see if it really makes sense.

Does God disapprove of those who minister primarily or only via social media?

Does a minister have to be a member of a local church or accountable to local church authority?

Does having local church membership prove the validity, authenticity, and soundness of a ministry?

Some Biblical leaders who were not a part of the religious system of their time include Amos, John the Baptist, and Jesus.

In the case of Jesus, the religious establishment had him crucified! Let’s talk.

1 Corinthians 4 – Practical Sanctification and Spiritual Fatherhood


Paul finds himself having to defend his stewardship of the gospel to makes his point as to why the Corinthians ought to take heed to what he’s saying… and throughout this chapter we come to understand the role of apostolic authority and the responsibility of leadership in the process of sanctification and maturity.

Useful Idiots


Let’s face it. Samson made bad decisions, and God used him in spite of his bad judgment and lack of reverence for what God had given him. Similarly, many of us are stuck on stupid in a lot of ways, and like Samson we end up thinking we’re doing well because God has used us…


Here we continue our study of Samson as a powerful example of what it is to be a useful idiot within the Kingdom. That may seem harsh, but close observatios of Samson’s decisions reveals some serious defects of character which we can readily see in today’s church.

When I was a kid, I thought Samson was SO cool, but as a man I think he’s a jerk! Samson was so arrogant and irresponsible that God had to use his mess to get him to actually USE what God put in him. Let’s talk about how we can avoid being a useful idiot in the kingdom.

The Occult as Signposts? Are you Serious??


In recent years, some ministry leaders have begun to teach that the church should look to occultism and new age movements as a source of hidden truth, or as ‘signposts’ to direct us in our spiritual growth. To anyone with a working knowledge of the Bible, this is a clear contradiction of what Jesus taught. In this video, we’ll discuss this in detail.

A fast for the Church in North America

Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. (Joel 1:14-15)

I was talking to a prophet I know about how something seems unsettled in the spirit when I heard ‘Sanctify a fast.’

Now, I will lay on none of you any burden, but rather call those who are able and willing to commit to fasting until 3PM tomorrow and to pray as you are led for God’s people here in North America.

We have out-sinned Sodom, and the church does not grieve. The church has outdone Rehoboam in its self-will driven worship… Lord have mercy.

A Change is coming

A change is coming
a prophetic word concerning 2015 and beyond

———————————————————————————————–

As I’d said earlier, I have for a while now felt as though something is coming. I’d prayed about it, but received no further clarification, and had gone to bed when I heard ‘Isaiah 26.’ So I turned the light back on and opened my Bible.

Isaiah 26 gives us a song that will be sung by God’s people after the completion of the judgments spoken of in chapters 24 and 25. It testifies of God’s goodness to His people and His rightful severity toward the wicked.

There were several verses which stood out to me in particular.

With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. (v 9-10)

I found it odd that this would stand out as strongly as it did, because the overall feeling I had about what was coming was not bad. I’d felt quite peaceful, in fact. Isaiah 26 seems to also explain this to some extent in verses 3-4:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:

While this definitely seemed to apply to the calm I’ve been feeling in the Spirit, and I felt as though something good was on the way, I also felt as though something terrible was on the horizon, as well, though it did not and does not trouble me. It was then that I began to hear some phrases and felt a need to pray into this some more to know what was going on.

Now, do not take these things as being ‘negative,’ or ‘doom and gloom.’ There is good coming, but these things must be addressed before we get to the good stuff. So please read on.

Systemic sin
This was the first thing I heard at that point. The very religious systems in which God’s people have been functioning are troubled by sin which pervades them. The institutional church system has for some time now chosen to ignore God’s instruction concerning how to deal with sin within the church, and this tendency has spread to where it is now part of the many traditions of men which rule the church today.

Institutional apostasy
‘My people have abandoned my instruction.’ As an institution, much of the church’s persistence in seeking to please men has transitioned its state from error to apostasy.

This apostasy has been some time in the making, and runs so deep that many of us no longer know the true gospel, and many sit in churches, unsaved, and still others sit in the churches so deceived about the identity and character of God that they live in rebellion against Him. Their error is so thorough that many of them dismiss correction as ‘judgmental,’ ‘reliigious,’ or ‘legalistic,’ because they have trusted their leaders who taught them to disregard the Word.

However, deception is a cooperative act. We are usually only deceived when there’s something we want or think we want involved. Much of the deception in the church has been made possible by our own carnal tendency to want to remain as we are. So much of the watered-down gospel being taught gives us ‘permission’ to misbehave, and so many of us are willing to believe it simply because it agrees with what the flesh and our own corrupt nature want.

Leaders’ complicity.
There is so much going on in the world about which the leaders of the church remain silent. Just one example is the vast global networks of child sexual exploitation that extend even into the governmental agencies which are supposed to protect children. In America alone, 800,000 children disappear each year, and the church is, for the most part silent. This silence is both disturbing and revealing. There is much more that could be said, but let it suffice for now to say that more than a few ‘church’ leaders are directly involved in this and other abominations.

Judgment is coming.
The financial fiascoes of 2008 and 2009 were just the beginning. As Isaiah 26:4 says, we will need to ‘Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength’

Quiet calamity.
The next phrase I heard after this was ‘quiet calamity,’ and the Lord showed me that there will be a continued shifting of doctrines to more closely match the Luciferian agenda. This has already been taking place, and has until recently been gradual. Now that much of its groundwork is done in terms of causing God’s people to disregard the sovereignty of His Word, it will accelerate with little protest in many mainstream circles. There will be increased demonic activity among ministries.

Open calamity.
There will also be obvious calamities. I don’t feel led to go into detail about this, but rather I feel as though the Lord will carry His people through them. We’re going to need to really trust Him.

A remnant awakening.

Now, for the good stuff. There is a release coming to the faithful among us. It’s not so much that things will become easy, but rather that the appointed time approaches for many of us.

Many among us seem to have been rejected, shut down, shut out, abandoned, or perpetually in an uphill battle for mere survival. These things, however, are going to be overturned.

General quarters
God is calling many of you to awaken!

Dictionary.com gives this definition for general quarters:

A condition of readiness for combat on a warship, during which crew members remain at their battle stations and have guns and ammunition ready for immediate loading.

Your favor is coming, your increase is coming, your release into God’s purpose is coming, but every good thing that is on its way is coming to equip and sustain you for the battles which are both imminent and arising. This is not merely a call for each one of us to be ready for spiritual warfare, but rather a call to our specific positions within the kingdom as a whole. So many of us, especially those of us in the work of the ministry have been doing battle in the small units which we’ve been a part of, and have never moved beyond small group tactics in our warfare. We have lacked cohesive, unified strategy, and God is calling for many of us to come together not for mere cooperation, but for real unity.

Many ministries have been languishing under attack by the enemy without making much headway, but this, too is being overturned. God will be raising up new apostolic voices who will provide vision and direction for His people that will overcome and overwhelm the enemy. Beware, however, those who claim apostolic authority and seek to impose their ‘covering’ upon you without inspiring you to follow their leadership and without providing any clear vision.

The genuine apostolic leadership which God is raising up will be characterized by humility, fidelity to and revelation in the Word, and real authority to deal with the forces of the enemy.

Your favor is in your faithfulness.
Yes, God does grant unmerited favor, and yet there is favor that can only be granted when we can be trusted with it. It is time to grow up and put away every childish and petty thing which has rendered us incapable of being trusted with vision.

For some of us, it’s time to lay aside the tendency to be so easily offended. Some of you need to go eat some crow, mend some fences, and bake some humble pie. Others need to realize that forgiveness is not an emotion – it’s a decision! Where God wants to take you, you can’t be burdened with petty grievances and offenses. So many of the things we get offended by or hold grudges over won’t matter in eternity, and many of them don’t even matter now. It is time for some of us to admit that thee is a certain degree of emotional, carnal satisfaction in holding a grudge. Saints of God, this is beneath you, and it denies you the riches of the kingdom.

Others among us need to renew their commitment to God’s purpose and let go of personal agendas. For many of you, your self-interest is the greatest hindrance to your blessing and release. I challenge you today to take your self-interest, ambition, desire for respect and admiration and every other carnal objective to the altar and let God burn it. God can do more with the ashes than you could ever do with a life that is not yielded.

The greater works are not separate from the lesser ones.
While I was waiting for clarification on what God was showing me, I listened to an old sermon by Leonard Ravenhill, and at one point he mentioned how people in ministry were always talking about how the church would do greater works and he commented ‘I’d like to see some of the lesser ones first.’ So many in the church who do believe in the supernatural works of God have for some time now been too fascinated by ‘signs and wonders,’ while at the same time rejecting the inner work of the Spirit, and this is evident in the rampant sin which continues in the midst of the contrived ‘revivals’ which have had no real impact on the communities in which they occur.

Can YOU be trusted with the glory?
An honest answer to this question will reveal the extent to which you life will manifest God’s power. For most of us, our pursuit of God has been squandered on our ow immediate needs, wants, desires, and ambitions, and we have by this tendency to be selfish so often rendered ourselves incapable of being trusted with what God desires to commit to our hands.

If we will repent of our selfishness, childishness, carnality and rebellion, and pursue God with a whole heart committed to HIS way, we will experience some major shifts with regard to our situation, or vision, and the extent of our kingdom participation.

Divine supply.
If we are faithful, we will see not just His goodness, but His bounty. I am not saying that God is going to make us rich or prosperous on the world’s terms, but that He will supply our need in ways we have not seen up to this point. He is looking to prepare you to properly steward His supply not just for your own exclusive benefit, but rather for the good of His people.

Fruitfuless.
Many ministries and businesses which have struggled will begin to flourish and become productive. Some of you are going to be called to specific patterns of consecration to receive strategy and clarity of vision. This is going to lead to far more productive effort without being so busy with things that don’t matter or aren’t conducive to His purpose.

For some of you, this is going to mean putting away the drama, the ego, the oversensitivity, and selfish ambition. For those who heed this, God is going to bring a hush upon the noise in your life and show you how to get more done being still before Him than you ever could with all your anxious busy-ness.

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. (Isaiah 54:1-3)

Prepare for your increase!

Are you praying for financial increase? Start stewarding what you have now with better faithfulness. Are you in lack? Eliminate wastefulness and things which are not necessary. Yes, God can bring you into abundance, but thrift and wisdom now will prepare you to put that abundance to far better use.

Are you called to preach? Prepare your sermons. Preach them to yourself if you have to, but preach them. While you do this, LIVE your sermons. Lay before the Lord and ask Him to bring you through the process of being the first partaker of the word he puts in you.

Are you called to missions? Pray for the regions God has placed on your heart. Intercede, fast, and weep for the souls God has appointed to you. Seek Him daily for guidance on where you need to go, who you need to go to, and why.

Are you called to prophesy? Learn to be still, to be silent, and to listen to the Lord with an attentive heart. I heard ‘Go hide thyself,’ and then looked it up and found myself once again in Isaiah 26:

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast (Isaiah 26:20)

There is an exodus underway. So many have stewarded the prophetic so poorly that they have rendered it to be little more than a horoscope or a psychic reading, and there are many among the flock which now operate in divination by familiar spirits and not the Spirit of God.

God is calling His remnant away from the prophets who would have you dependent upon them for a word when God called you to live by faith. God’s judgment is coming upon the prophets who have misused the gift and office, and upon those who have flocked to them because their desire for a word has been far greater than their desire to seek God for themselves. Take heed! There is a lying spirit that is coming upon many prophets that is going to ensnare many. If you have been chasing prophecies, repent!

For those who do repent, the Lord is going to lead you out into a place of abundant revelation and prophetic clarity that you have never experienced before.

A proliferation of the miraculous is coming.
God is going to use His remnant in the working of miracles, but most of it will not be for general public consumption. This also comes down to whether we can be trusted with the influence that the miraculous brings.

Saints of the Most High God, the Lord is calling us to a closer walk, to true accountability, and to rightful stewardship, but also to repentance from every tendency, habit, and character flaw that we have refuse to let go of up to this point. Who among you will weep between the porch and the altar? Who will take up the sackcloth and ashes? Who will cry aloud and spare not?

Saints of God, a release is coming. Will you be ready to receive it?

 

 

 

Things that make you go hmmm…

Ever notice that so many of today’s preachers will boldly preach that you’re an overcomer when it comes to hurts, careers, finances, and ministry, but NOT when it comes to SIN?
‪#‎ThingsThatMakeUGoHmm‬

How to Prophesy, Part 2

So often many of us want to prophesy, but don’t understand that God reveals his secrets according to specific criteria, including but not limited to:
1. Those who need to Know
2. Those who serve Him
3. Those who can be trusted with secrets

The prophetic a tool to build the church, and a weapon against the enemy, but it is NOT  a toy. If you really want to prophesy, learn to respect the things of God, keep your life clean, and make yourself useful to the Kingdom.

For the inaugural podcast of The RIFT Online Church, the Lord led me to Ezekiel 37 in regard to the coming move of God that so many of us have been waiting for.

There are many of you living in what looks like defeat and reproach, but God is overturning it to bring you into your intended purpose.

Do you want your vision to really grow?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” –Proverbs 29:18

There is a direct correlation between a righteous lifestyle and clarity of vision. I know, preachers, you love to use this verse to convince the people that they need to be under your vision in order to achieve their destiny, but that’s not what this verse is dealing with.

While your vision as a leader may be instrumental to their walk, there is a vision God intended for their life, their family, their career, their influence in the world. Your highest function as their leader after watching for their soul is not to find some clever way to cajole or manipulate them into fulfilling your vision, bt rather equipping them to insure the fulfillment of theirs.

Oh, shepherds of the house of the most high! How long will you preach on the value of serving and not serve the underlying purpose for which God brought those people to you in the first place? Do you not see how great a sin there is in serving yourself?

If you only knew how your vision would grow if you would but repent of this.

Your children will tell on you!

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:4-5)

Many of the principles that apply to our natural children hold true when it comes to our spiritual offspring. They are indeed our fruit, and bear seed for the next generation. In both cases, our influence helps to shape the kind of people they will become, for good or ill. An apple tree may not appear as such to the untrained eye, at least not until it produces some fruit. Likewise, there are often aspects of our purpose, our vision, and even our character that may not become apparent until it finds expression in our spiritual children. Furthermore, just as new strains and varieties of apple may come forth from later generations descended from that same tree, there can be characteristics, good, and bad which may not show up until our spiritual offspring have had a chance to produce some of their own.
I do not resemble either of my parents. In fact, when my brother and I once worked at the same facility, our co-workers had originally thought we were friends because we share no resemblance at all. However, I have been told that I am nearly identical in many ways to my grandfather. I did not grow around him and only saw him for a few days during a trip to Puerto Rico when I was three years old. Nevertheless, I smile, laugh, talk, and walk like him, I have been told, and share the same height. Unfortunately, I also apparently inherited his unique gift for exaggeration, and the Lord dealt with me for years until I finally broke the habit. At the same time, I am persuaded that there was an anointing upon his life that was passed on to me that has, in my life, found expression.
These things I say both as encouragement and admonition to those of you called to lead God’s people in whatever way He has called you, that there may be some beautiful things that Lord will do through the people you serve, so take care how you prepare your arrows. Likewise, let us ever be mindful of our influence that we prepare them well, not only for their immediate role in the vision God has given us, but also for the specific call upon their life.
In this respect so many of us in leadership find ourselves guilty of a truly heinous crime: we have, in many cases, developed people only just enough to be of immediate usefulness to our vision, our ministries, and sometimes even our own personal agendas. I once knew a leader who had in his church at least 5 people called to function as apostles, and more than a dozen called to be leaders with their own ministries, but he would not disclose this to any of them,and used a variety of tactics to actually prevent their further development. He was known to frequently say “Don’t get too hot, because I got some wet blankets.”
In his case much of the motivation for this was simple jealousy arising from an incident in years’ past when a trusted minister actually attempted to take over the church. Because of this, a powerfully anointed man of God called to raise up many leaders and bring clarity, focus and consecration to many others became jealous and controlling, and this eventually robbed his ministry of much of its potential.
What can we learn from this? Arrows are made for shooting. When God gives spiritual children to care for, it is our sacred duty to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and to release them into His purpose. That purpose may involve continuing to be a part of the work He gave us to do, or it my very well involve them picking up and heading to some remote corner of the globe, but whichever it may be, we had better shoot that arrow, and mind our aim when we do.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

A great deal of what God has called us to do in the lives of His people is to provide them with guidance. In modern terms, think of your spiritual children as smart bombs and you’re God’s ballistics engineer installing the guidance systems. Remember, that we are to train them in the way they should go. God has not called to raise spiritual couch potatoes, He has called us to raise up a people who will do His will. Part of our own walk of faith is trusting God enough to let our “kids” grow up and move on, even if that means they must leave our church or ministry and seek out a purpose that is divergent from that of our own call.
All this having been said, what testimony will your spiritual offspring bear? Will they resemble you in deep consecration, or in having none at all? Will they preach a word in season, inspired by God and full of His power, or will they have empty words full of men’s wisdom? Never forget that a father will often gain most of his honor through his sons. Abraham was the father of the faith, but he never conquered Canaan, but David did. David conquered the Promised Land in a way that even Joshua did not, but he could not build the Temple, that was given to Solomon to accomplish. Generations later, the great Promise was fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phillipians 2:5-11)
God’s glory in redeeming man from the Fall was accomplished and expressed through His Son, and we as leaders ought to always bear in mind that Christ is to be our example in all things. Let us then therefore humble ourselves, be obedient unto death, deny ourselves the questionable privilege of personal agendas, and shoot the arrows the Lord gives us, that we may see God’s glory manifested as He has purposed.

Points for Consideration:

1.What are some ways in which you can improve your aim with the “arrows” God has given you?

2. Consider the people God has given you to lead, or called you to lead, and prepare a definitive outline for their spiritual development.

3. Take some time to consider a particular person under your care, and pray about their specific development and what the Lord would have you do to to give them direction.

4.Do you plan for the future development of the budding leaders in your midst? If so, name 5 elements of how you intend to develop them, and determine whether in truth such development has been progressing. If not, prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you to do in the interest of specific discipleship for His people.