Leadership

A word to leadership in lockdown

4 months ago, as I addressed the complicity of church leadership in allowing unspeakable evil behind the scenes, I’d said ‘Y’all are FIRED.’

‘This word has come to pass.

Many of you pastors will NOT get your church back.

Even in this present crisis, you continue to hustle and try to cling to your influence (and the revenue it brought you).

I decree to you this day, YOUR MANTLE IS TAKEN, and YOUR STAFF IS BROKEN.

Your charisma will wither like grass in the fire, and you will find yourself losing the power you held over people. For many of you, this crisis is your last chance to repent in sackloth and ashes. For some of you, there is no place of repentance.

Repent while you can.

A New Apostolic Era has Begun

GET READY!

A new season is upon you, one in which the genuine apostolic mantle will be manifested, and you will begin to realize that you’ve been reading the Bible the way it’s been preached to you.

And it was preached to you wrong.

ON PURPOSE.

Get out of the way, old guard.

The Lord has taken His flock from you, and He will turn it over to shepherds after HIS heart, who LOVE his flock, and who never forget that it is HIS.

Many who were called to leadership, but were rejected by the church, have been in obscurity, preparing, being seasoned and tempered, and now they will begin to emerge.

They won’t be who you expected.
They won’t have the look or personality you’re used to.

They will, however, have a conspicuous anointing that will burn with the fire of God.

They will have the power, the presence, and the priorities of HIS kingdom.

This is a season of exposure

Pastors are waiting for the pandemic to end so they can go back to healing the sick
I laughed when I saw this meme, but as I have prayed and pondered the present worldwide 'pandemic,' my heart grew heavy. One of the many things this situation has exposed has been the utter powerlessness of church leadership as a whole.

Early in February, before all the lockdowns began, I also saw that a ministry had cancelled a healing revival because of Covid-19. The ministry and minister, whose name I won’t mention right now, was presumably so confident of how God would use them to heal the sick that they had scheduled a healing revival. Yet when a real disease emerged in the headlines, they cancelled their meetings. If indeed they are gifted in healing, why would this virus, with a very low fatality rate, be too much for them?

The ugly truth is that so much of what passes for healing ministry in today’s church is fraudulent, and even some of those who are at times used in healing are intimidated by media-inspired hysteria. NO matter which way we slice it, this exposes the majority of Christian leadership as powerless cowards.

I know, that seems harsh, but let’s remember John G. lake, who had the doctors place a sample of the Bubonic Plague in his hand. It sizzled as the power of God consumed it. Time would fail us to mention the many real healing ministries in which the preachers was utterly fearless in the face of even the most deadly diseases. One of the characteristics of a genuine anointing is courage.

We can argue that not everyone has such a ministry. However, we have the same God! The same Holy Spirit was given to us. What then do we do?

It is time we repent of our own ways, and yield to the leading and Lordship of Christ through the Holy Spirit, and ask Him to cleanse us of the fear that has come upon so many because we have trusted the words of men over that of God.

Whose report will you believe?

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.

Calvary Chapel and Pedophilia?

Calvary Chapel, a network of 1700 churches, protected Bob Coy and 7 other pedophiles for years as they raped children.

Do you really think they had ONLY 8 pedophiles in the leadership? Who protects such people, helping them avoid prosecution?

How many people KNEW and said nothing?

Clue: How can two walk together, except they AGREE?

Beloved, we must all repent for our blindness and ask that the gift of discernment of spirits would be prevalent among us.

Judgment has fallen upon the churches, and even now, there is no repentance.

Awake, beloved of God. We don’t have to settle for this kind of leadership.

Master Prophets?

I ‘m not impressed by ‘master prophets,’ and neither is God.

Moses parted the Red Sea.

Joshua stopped the sun.

Jesus defeated death itself.

Yet none of them ever called themselves ‘Master Prophet,’ ‘Major Prophet,’ or any of the absurdly arrogant titles being thrown around now.

Prophets, the world does not need you to have some lofty title. What the world needs from you is a real word from God that actually comes to pass.

#selah

It’s time to fast and pray

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…

Joel 1:14

This situation with the Coronavirus is a malicious DECEPTION, and many even among church leadership have fallen for it. Even much of the church is paralyzed by fear, and this is not of God. Much of what you’re being told by the media is entirely false. This is part of a diabolical plot to force a premature emergence of the New World Order.

I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, insofar as you are able, to join us in a 7 day fast concerning the Anti-Christ spirit driving the false narrative of this ‘pandemic,’ and which has released a principality of fear that has gripped so many, even among the Church.

Things to pray for:

  • 1That the truth would be revealed
  • That the perpetrators of this diabolical scheme would be exposed and brought to justice.
  • That national leaders would break away from the darkness presently ruling them.
  • That the people of God would REPENT of not merely their sins, but of their ways, their habits, their opinions, their pride and vanity and turn to God with their entire heart and be made whole in Him.
  • That God would shut the mouths of the church leaders who are feeding into the false narrative, or otherwise using the present crisis in an opportunistic way to serve their own interest.
  • That the old guard leaders would get out of the way, or be removed by God. Many have been fired by God, and they know it, but they continue to try to cling to their influence.
  • That the new generation of apostolic leaders would come out of the obscurity they’ve been hidden in and take up their mantles.

A war has been fought against us in secret for decades, and has now come into the open. Is there not a cause?

Who will take up the call to defeat this insidious plot of the Enemy?

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?

It’s not just about you.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
 
Paul made sure to exert careful discipline in his own life so that he could never become a scandal to those who followed him. Understand this, little flock: your walk is never just about you. Just as your courage in your daily warfare may inspire others, so also might your cowardice cause others to succumb to the enemy’s wiles.
 
Today, I beseech you, brethren to stand firm in the face of whatever warfare comes your way.
 
Stand for Christ.
 
Stand for yourselves.
 
Stand for your families.
 
 
Stand for the brethren.
 
Stand for the souls who quietly watch you to see who your God really is.
 
Stand.

It’s time to be gathered!

Exposing the False Prophet

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Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:14-15)
 
God did not save you for you to be confused, abused, and misused! Surrender fully to Him and He will bring you into the place where you belong, and to the kind of leadership your calling requires.
 
Many of you have sat under leadership which was immature, incompetent, or even abusive, but God is calling you into a new season. He DOES have shepherds according to HIS heart who will nourish your soul for His purpose.
 
Lay aside the hurt, the drama, the baggage and the blame, lay it at the feet of the cross and re-commit yourself.
 
The Blood of Christ knows no shame, frustration or defeat.
 
The true shepherds are calling. It’s time to be gathered and fed.

Why you don’t get the prophecies you hoped for

Can God deliver someone against their own will?

Is it possible for someone to be delivered against their own will? So many preachers today will tell you that God is a gentleman, and that therefore He will not override someone’s will. Let’s find out if that’s true.

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.
 

Why Prophets are wrong so often


 

Have you ever wondered why it is that so many prophets are so wrong, so much of the time? Over the years I have found that there are several major reasons why this is so.

  • They don’t wait for clarity.
  • They misunderstand and misconstrue what God is showing them.
  • They can’t tell between divine revelation, their own imagination, and demonic revelation.
  • They prophesy by unclean spirits.
  • They lie outright.

What to do with a Prophetic word

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:3)


What to do with a prophetic word:

God never intended for us to chase after prophecies, and no, you don’t ‘need’ a word for every situation you’re in. The Bible says that the just shall live by FAITH, not by prophecy. I’ve got some heavy situations going on right now, and I DON’T want a word about it. I’ve decided I’m going to trust that God didn’t lie to me, that he hasn’t forgotten me, and that my appointed time will come. There’s a time and place for a word, and there’s a time for FAITH which produces works (see James 2).
What then, should you do with a prophetic word? Assuming you’ve tested it and it really was a word from God…

1. Wait for it to come to pass (Hab. 2:3)
2. Speak it back to God
3. Pray concerning it
4. Take action in accordance with the word
5. Ask yourself, ‘What do I need to be doing to position myself to receive what God promised?’ This is NOT in the sense of earning it, but rather in the sense of being ready to handle the responsibility of stewarding the blessing.
6. Ask God the same question.
7. Do what is necessary from #5 and 6.
8. Study scripture related to what God told you.
9. Keep your life CLEAN. The angels don’t cry ‘love, love, love.’ They cry ‘holy, holy, holy.’

The Love of Christ contrains us…

For if we be beside ourselves, it is for God; if we be soberminded, it is for your cause .For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that if One died for all, then all were dead; and that He died for all, that those who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Cor 5:13-15)

You cannot lead God’s people effectively if you don’t love them. Here Paul tell us not only that the love of Christ compels him to serve God’s people, but WHY it compels him.

They were all dead in sins and trespasses, and were now alive in Christ. Imagine for a moment if a dearly loved family member suddenly died, but then was brought back to life. How would you respond? How would you relate to them? Would you go on as if nothing happened, or would you want to make the most of your time with them because you got them back from the dead? Would you believe that they’d been returned to you for no particular reason or purpose at all?

Most likely you’d believe there had to be some purpose in it, and likewise, God has been purposeful in redeeming His people. Leaders, these people were brought from death to life! It is therefore of utmost importance that, as a leader, you do what you can to be sure that they can live unto Him who died for them and rose again. What can you do to help them in the journey to their God-ordained destiny?

God never resurrects something for it to be useless and without purpose. Remember this today, that there are no idle details in your life.

Little flock, you were dead, but now you live. Get busy living.

Mastering the Art of Prophetic Disclosure

It’s not enough to have heard or otherwise perceived something prophetically. We must also know when to diclose what God has revealed, to whom it is to be disclosed, and how that disclosure is to take place.

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.

Direction requires correction!

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established. — Proverbs 15:22

So many of the saints I talk to find themselves in a state of confusion, misdirection, or frustration, and very often they are members of seemingly thriving churches. They’ve spent years, or even decades, going to church, but have no real direction for their purpose. A few might even have a vision or known calling but still have no real idea where to begin or how to continue once they do.

So, what should they do about it? Such a situation requires a good honest look at whether you’re in the right environment to begin with. Now, that may sound harsh, but if church leadership hasn’t clarified your purpose at least enough for you to get started on it in ten years, it’s either poor leadership, or the wrong leadership for you, assuming you have been earnestly seeking God for yourself. You may need to find some new leadership. Even then, still need counsellors, advisors to move your purpose forward. Given what Proverbs tells us, it seems that the wie thing to do is to ensure we have advisors, and the right ones, to assist us in the pursuit of our vision.

The greatest athletes and entertainers in the world have coaches. In football, you have a head coach, offensive coaches, defensive coaches, special teams coaches, strength coaches, and so on. Great singers have voice coaches. They don’t mind spending a lot of money on all this coaching. Now I say this because very often one of the mental barriers that we often have when it comes to acquiring a Life Coach is we will think or say it’s too expensive.  Let’s examine this logic.

Let’s look at Scotty, who has some idea that he is called to be some kind of real estate investor with a prophetic evangelistic mission, according to several prophetic words he’s received over the last 10 years at 1st Missionry Baptist Church of Stuckville, Illinois. In 10 years at that church, Scotty has given $5000 a year in tithes, offerings, and other gifts. That’s $50,000.  But he’s stuck. he’s never had so much as ONE meeting with his pastor about his calling, or his pastor charges additional hourly fees for such meetings, which Scotty can’t afford because tithes, offerings and all the special giving has him tapped out. So Scotty has spent $50,000 to be stuck, without direction, frustrated and broke. Doesn’t that sound expensive to you?

What are you waiting for? Click here to schedule your Vision Strategy session.

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.

Delusions, Confusion and Prophetic Collusion


 

There’s a whole lot of crazy stuff that goes on in prophetic ministry. The other day I had some prophet telling me that their nonsensical ‘prophecy’ was ‘the teacheth of the Holy Spirit,’ and further informed me that God had said so… let’s talk.

Don’t let anyone take your crown!

Judges 13: Preparing to Walk in Your Vision

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.

Leaders, know your history! Is your culture your REAL God?

Many of us in the faith fail to realize that much of how we practice our faith has more to do with our culture than with anything God said, and very often some or a lot of it is even contrary to God’s will. Let’s talk about culture!

 

My simple approach to Bible study for Spiritual Growth

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

One of the essentials of the faith is the study of the word. Why? Here are some of the benefits:

1. When we know the word, we are better able to distinguish the true from the false, the unclean from the clean. While some of this responsibiliy rests upon the shoulders of leaders who must teach God’s people (Ezekiel 44:23), it is clear we also need to study the Word for ourselves.

2. By knowing the word, we get to know God as HE has presented Himself, as opposed to knowing Him based on our own perceptions, opinions, biases, cultural influences, and traditions of men we were taught. Without this, it becomes very easy to be deceived by false prophets, false teachers, and false brethren.

3. It will become easier to hear from God clearly, because when you come to know the Word, you come to know Him, His nature, His character, how He speaks and what He does and doesn’t do.

4. Your prayer life and faith faith walk will have a firm foundation of knowing God as He really is, and this is crucial in times of trouble trial, persecution and sorrow.

5. You will be better equipped to communicate the gospel to others, and more useful to the Kingdom, as you can function from a position of knowledge instead of ignorance.

Now, before we go any further, I’d like to say don’t stress out over what books, materials concordances or whatever you’re going to need. Start simple. Many years ago a young man asked a great golf pro for advice on how to play like him. It’s said the golf camp asked for paper and a pencil. On it he wrote:

Buy a set of golf clubs.

Play some golf.

I admonish you likewise not to overcomplicate it. That having been said, I’ll share with you my own approach to studying the word, which you may find useful, and you may develop your own over time.

Relaxed, but reverent reading.

This isn’t any formal study, with notebooks and concordances and commentaries. Just read the word for its own sake, with no agenda. However, read it with the expectation that God is going to speak to you through the scriptures, and He WILL. One of the greatest revelations I ever received was the day I’d bought a new Bible and decided to read whatever turned up on the page the ribbon was on. It was Ezekiel 44:23.

There are also times when I’ll just pick it up and read it just for the sake of reading it. Relax, pick a book, and just read!

For the remaining approaches to the Bible below, it is best to approach studying purposefully. In these cases, set aside specific time for it so that it has your full attention free of distractions and interruptions if at all possible. It may be helpful to keep handy:

1. A reliable pen, preferably two.

2. Some kind of notebook, whatever you’re comfortable with

3. Something to hold pages with. I use little sticky tabs if it’s a detailed study so that I can go back and forth between passages if I need to, but just use whatever you’re comfortable with.

4. A concordance, or, if you prefer, a computer/tablet/phone with internet access for using sites like Biblegateway.com, or GodRules.net (which has Strong’s Concordance numbers you can click on). This way you can see the direct definitions of the Hebrew/Greek words used and gain further insight on specific Scriptures whenever the meaning seems unclear.

Yes, at the end of the day, God does give revelation, but at the same time He does intend for us to search things out. After all, Proverbs 25:2 tells us that it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, and the honor of kings to search it out.

Bible Versions

I use the King James Version of the Bible, since it is the only version which can stand up to the test of the Dead Sea Scrolls. For example, the KJV Book of Isaiah matches the 2200 year old Isaiah Scroll word for word. The NIV, for example has deleted over 60,000 words… enough to fill a 200 page book.

I can’t tell you which Bible to use, but I can tell you that the NIV is missing 200 pages. Another book its publisher produced is ‘The Joy of Gay Sex.’ I’ll let you decide whether such a publisher can be trusted to produce a faithful rendition of Scripture.

Other versions tone down the language when dealing with sin, or delete the word CHRIST from numerous passages. One thing to bear in mind when dealing with Bible versions is that most Bible publishers are not believers, so choose carefully.

 

Getting to know Jesus… and what He’s called you to do.

Back in 1997 the Lord led me to read and re-read the gospels for about a week. Some days I slept less than two hours, because I just HAD to get back to it. It was during this time that he revealed to me the specific call on my life, and through this repeated reading of the Gospels I began to see that the character of Jesus was in many ways different from what I’d been taught.

Because of this, I reccomend highly reading through the gospels several times before studying a particular epistle, or other book of the Bible. Even though we ‘know’ the Scriptures all point to Christ, sometimes our mind has a tendency to compartmentalize different parts of scripture, and this particular approach keeps Jesus fresh in our minds as we read other parts of the Bible. You might be surprised at what you discover when you try this.

 

Learning to Pray

I once heard someone say that if you wanted to learn how to pray, read Psalms. The Psalms are also useful in learning about worship, the character of God and how He relates to us. Read the Psalms aloud if you can.

Consider them in light of Matthew 6:9-13 (the Lord’s Prayer)… remember the disciples didn’t say ‘teach us to preach.’ They said ‘teach us to pray.’

Whenever I feel like my prayer life needs a boost, I spend some time in Psalms.

Developing Wisdom

The Book of Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, are great studies of wisdom from God’s perspective, and will help you in earning to deal with life and people. It was Proverbs 17:28 that taught me to keep my mouth shut unless I had something useful to say, and when I’ having difficulty dealing with people, Proverbs is often where I go in the Bible.

 

Intensive or Specific Study Approaches

 

Character Context Study. For this I may take something like Exodus, and then look up all references to Moses outside of the Pentateuch to gain a understanding of the principal character of the book, why God used him, and what his life and record mean for us in the New Testament era. In such a study I might also do some research on the history of the time to see what was happening both among God’s people and in the world at large at the time.

 

Topical Study. This type of study can go on for years. I may take a topic, like prophecy, for example, and study its history, study the individuals associate with that topic in the Bible, go through every OT scripture reference to that subject, and then see what the NT has to say about it. I do this because the early apostles taught from what we call the OT. Most of the NT hadn’t been written until decades after Acts chapter 1.

This can also be done in reverse: Find a topic in the NT, and then research the OT passages which correspond in order to understand where the NT writers were coming from. For example, on the subject of prophecy, there are 144 NT references to the subject, 123 of which are references to the OT.

 

Verse by verse study. In this approach, I might take the Epistle to the Romans and examine it verse by verse, searching throught scripture, historical references and so on to get a better picture of what is being said. Take your time, consider each verse, and think of it in relationship to the rest of scripture. Consider questions such as, If Jesus says something in one verse, where else did He discuss it? Did the apostles say anything further in their epistles? Who is it being said to? When? Where? Why?That’s pretty much it. I’ve never used commentaries much, so I can’t recommend any in particular, but I will close by saying that we should approach the study of the Bible prayerfully, reverently, and with both an earnest desire and expectation that He will speak to us.

 

Other resources:

1. Youtube has a lot of great recordings of people such as Leonard Ravenhill, AW Tozer, Derek Prince and others that you may find helpful.

2. The Sword Project – free bible software

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.