spiritual

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.

Does the enemy know you?

“And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are who?” (Acts 19:15)

I once knew a man who was dealing with a demon inside a woman. When he mentioned a certain man of God, the demon began to scream, “NO, NOT HIM!”

I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with limp-wristed saints and leaders who are scared of demons when they ought to be scared of you.

Does the enemy even know you?

Spiritual authority?

You will never have to lecture people about your spiritual authority as a congregational leader if your character commands respect and inspires trust.

Preacher, work harder on YOU than you work on your sermons, and you’ll stop struggling to lead.

Old Testament vs New Testament prophets?

Some will say that the ‘Old Testament’ prophet was more predictive, or that New Testament Prophet is really just in place to confirm things God has already told you. However, the NT prophet isn’t always just in place to confirm. I’ve often told people things they had no clue were going to happen, usually with them insisting I was wrong until it came to pass. John, the writer of Revelation, wrote a whole book of predicting prophecies. The prophecy of Agabus in Acts 21 wasn’t a confirmation to the disciples; the narrative makes it clear that they didn’t know until then that Paul was headed for more trouble than usual at Jerusalem.

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It’s just a game?

Even if we assume that the creators of entertainments which present abominations things as wholesome have no malicious intent, or that their products have no direct demonic power, we must consider a principle of warfare known as mass. In the military, soldiers are trained to never waste ammunition, because, after all, they can only carry so much of it, and it does, after all, cost money. Likewise, the enemy’s resources are not unlimited, so if he can cause an entire generation of people to come under the curse of practicing abominations without actually having to commit any of his limited power to them, he is then able to bring damnation on large groups of people without expending much of his resources. This in turn creates a sort of ‘surplus’ of spiritual power which can then be used elsewhere. Not the least of these uses has been the sowing of sin, discord, rebellion, and wickedness within the church, and in conforming the culture of Christianity to that of the world. These changes in cultural, multi-cultural, or even cross-cultural consciousness and conscience are most effectively accomplished according to the efforts and designs of those spirits which occupy the high places of the world… are they are often accomplished through media and entertainment.
Let us therefore take a closer look at what we allow into our homes and minds, and what we allow to occupy our time, because in the end, it’s not just a game.

What are YOUR standards?

That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.  – 2 Timothy 3:17

Every occupation, every calling and vocation, every profession has certain standards by which it is determined whether an individual, organization, or group is fit to perform the functions, operations, activities, or responsibilities thereof so that they may reap the benefits of the profession.

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It’s one thing to answer the calling on your life, and another to fulfill it.

Okay, so you’ve found what you really want to do or be in life. How close are you to it?

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God does NOT clear the guilty

And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty ; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’ children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

–Exodus 34: 5-7

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A word on Integrity

Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’ (1 Kings 9:4-5)

David had some problems, most notably in regard to the matter of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11). However, aside from that very notable and consequently destructive misconduct, David had walked in integrity. For the purpose of this writing, it is this we shall focus on. However, before we delve into the matter of personal and ministerial integrity, let us more carefully examine the above passage.

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Keys to Maturing in the Prophetic

Someone asked me recently for some advice on how to develop in their prophetic gifting, and though I’ve never liked referring to gifts as being ‘developed,’ so much as being revealed, I understood what he meant.

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Shootings and Mental Illness

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
Ezekiel 18:20

There’s a lot of rhetoric these days which attempts to ascribe acts of evil to ‘mental illness.’ With the latest shooting tragedy, the media and people in general have been quick to label the killer as ‘crazy,’ or ‘mentally ill,’ and while he surely seemed to be not entirely sane in the sense that his mind wasn’t clean or right, I can’t say he wasn’t responsible for his actions. He was rational enough to choose a place where he was far less likely to be challenged by someone capable of defending against his attack. He was rational enough to choose easy victims. This is, of course, assuming he actually did it. There is a lot evidence to suggest that Adam Lanza did not act alone, or that he may not have been the shooter at all, but we’ll address that in another entry.

Yes, some may point out that people displaying sociopathic tendencies and behavior often have an abnormally small, or dysfunctional amygdala, which is the gland in the brain that seems to govern impulse control, moral compunction, and empathy. However, what many neurologists have yet to admit to is the possibility that one’s continued thoughts, decisions, and actions may actually affect the function of the amygdala. It would appear to me that this gland is one of the principal connections of the soul to the body. Bear in mind that we were originally create to live in physical bodies, and that the soul and spirit were created to live in and function with the bodies God designed. Thus I am inclined to believe that a continual state of sin, whether in thought or deed, may actually reduce or hamper the function of the amygdala, which in turn renders the person disinhibited… it gives them a ‘seared conscience,’ if you will, or, as my friend Gene Redlin would call it, a ‘dead soul.’

I am beginning to suspect that many of the chemical and biological aspects of apparent mental illness are in many cases actually the physical symptoms of the spiritual condition of the individual, and the consequence of sin and of habitual thought patterns.

Is God on speaker-phone?

speakerGod called you, but your life is on speaker-phone. You answered the call, but you have had so many other things going on that you may have not given it your full attention. Leaders, it is time to end the spiritual multitasking and return to that first love in which God so had your attention that your call was not only revealed, but clarified to the extent that you chose to answer it. So much of what happened in those early years of ministry were in fact only a foretaste, a glimpse of who he intended you to be, and once more the Lord calls, “RETURN TO ME.” It’s time to come higher, to dig deeper, and to at last refuse to settle for anything less than the full extent of the manifestation of your sonship in him.
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