teaching

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?

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?

Why NO WEAPON formed against you shall prosper


 

 
Many of us are familiar with Isaiah 54:17 but we often don’t know what it really means. Let’s talk about how God set you up to WIN!

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.

 

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.

1 Corinthians 3 – Practical Sanctification


Paul continues to address issues of spiritual immaturity and his desire for them to move on from the basic principles of the faith. Let’s talk about spiritual maturity!

Practical Sanctification, Part 2


In this video we continue our discipleship series on 1 Corinthians in chapter 2, where Paul sets forth the basis of the faith, and, consequently of sanctification: the power of God. Join Sam Medina for a simple, but powerful Bible teaching.

1 Corinthians 2 – Practical Sanctifciation


Sanctification is a practical part of the genuine Christian life, and it was never meant to be rocket science. In this lesson, we continue our journey into paul’s ‘first’ letter to the Corinthians and what it means for us in the church today.

Judges 18 – The Dangers of Self-Made Religion


continue with the story of Micah and his self-made religion in this chapter where its consequences became evident… and they were NOT good! What can we learn from this account about why it’s important to worship God HIS way?

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.

Is the Prophet ‘better’ than the teacher?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The very first reason why God inspired apostles and prophets to write scripture is DOCTRINE, also known as teaching.

Thus we must understand prophetic is not ‘better’ or more important than teaching Yes, the Apostles and Prophets are the foundation of the church, but remember this: they are sent to preach the gospel and to TEACH people the ways of God. Think about this for a moment.

To even be a prophet, at some point someone had to TEACH you how to speak. Someone taught you to write, to communicate, and so on. How would you recognize the word of the Lord if you’d never learned to speak?

When a prophet comes with a warning, for example, like Jonah did, the people who heard the warning LEARNED that God was displeased, and that judgment was coming if they did not repent. Thus very often the prophet teaches, even if he’s not expressly a teacher.

Remember also that Jesus taught more than he preached, and in the end preaching teaches, because it often introduces new information to those hearing it. Thus teaching is inseparable from the apostolic and prophetic office.

Now, let’s also understand something about someone who is a teacher, but neither apostle nor prophet nor evangelist nor pastor. They are not ‘lesser’ than the others. Do not despise the teacher, and learn not to look at the prophetic office some somehow more desireable. Yes, we ought to desire to prophesy, but when Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 14:39, he taught this in the context of pursuing the gifts in the context of exercising the love of God, which is never selfish, and too often when we look to the prophetic as more desirable not because of its kingdom function and purpose, but because of our ego and the vain desire for recognition.

I challenge you today to examine yourself and your perspective of the prophetic.

Jesus and Religion, part 2

Someone had responded to my previous video by saying ‘W’re under grace, not law.’ Let’s explore that idea in comparison to what Jesus said, since he’s the TESTATOR of the New Testament of grace, and knows more about it than we do.

What Jesus had to say about being Religious

I know a lot of preachers today will use the word ‘religious’ like it’s a cussword, but what Jesus had to say about being religious may surprise you.

Is ALL prophecy inspired by God?

I said 1 Tim. 3:16, but it should have been 2nd Timothy 3:16. oops!

That scripture tells us that all SCRIPTURE is inspired by God. It doesn’t say all prophecy, and for good reason! Throughout the Bible, we’re told about prophets who prophesied by Baal, by their imagination, from their own heart, or who prophesied outright lies. Thus not all prophecy is inspired by God, and therefore anyone claiming that their prophecies are on par with Scripture is NOT to be trusted…

 

 

Should the Church ‘reclaim’ occult practices?

  Sorry for not shaving 🙂

Some very popular ministries are now saying that we should ‘reclaim’ occult practices like astral projection and having spirit guides because they ‘belong’ to the church.

In John 16:13, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. No additional spirits are neede to guide us.

In Deuteronomy 18: 9-13, God expressly tells his people not to take up the customs of the people in Canaan because He was driving them out for doing those things that the occult and new age movements embrace…

 

 

Prophetic Timing

A quick word about releasing prophecy at the appropriate time. The prophet, or anyone with a gift of prophecy, must take care to disclose prophetic revelation when God directs them to do so.

When I was younger, an older prophet had told me that delivering a real word from God was worse than a word from the devil, and I didn’t understand what he meant right away. However, as I thought about it I realized that a premature word, for example, could very well cause someone to move outside of God’s timing, resulting in disappointment, personal tragedy, and more.

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.

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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Forgiveness is NOT an emotion

Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is a decision.

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A word on patience

Patience is not the ability to wait a long time; it is the ability to wait until the Appointed Time, and the wisdom to be productive until then.

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Real faith, right now

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

–Hebrews 12: 2

Faith is not the ability to believe that God will do some particular thing or answer some particular request, but rather it is the ability to believe that God will always do what is best.

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Never use God’s Sovereignty as an excuse

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

–Revelation 20: 12-13

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There are no idle details in the Bible

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

–Isaiah 28:10

The written Word of God was established as a witness to mankind of God’s purpose, plan, and design, and as such, there is no part of it that is unimportant, trivial, or meaningless. Some may challenge this by reciting some passage or other that may not be readily understood by this or that person, or even passages which seem to merely record lineage, names, and seemingly minor events. However, passages containing family histories can contain some interesting, as well as revealing, facts.

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There are no idle details in the Word of God

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

–Isaiah 28:10

The written Word of God was established as a witness to mankind of God’s purpose, plan, and design, and as such, there is no part of it that is unimportant, trivial, or meaningless. Some may challenge this by reciting some passage or other that may not be readily understood by this or that person, or even passages which seem to merely record lineage, names, and seemingly minor events. However, passages containing family histories can contain some interesting, as well as revealing, facts.

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Turnover in the Kingdom: Fruit that doesn’t remain.

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

–Hebrews 5:12-14

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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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Church, or Christ?

“No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
-John 6:44

Leaders, we sometimes come up with a great number of reasons why people leave our churches, or why they just don’t come in the first place. I charge you today to lay aside your light shows, dance troops, Youth Disco Nights, and whatever else you’ve concocted to try to be ‘relevant,’ and come to the realization that what the unsaved soul needs is not Madison Avenue tactics or Seeker Friendly services and a pretty barista at the coffee lounge, but a genuine REVELATION of Christ that can only come when you stop being a better you and start surrendering your opinions, ideas, ambitions, and strategies in favor of a consecration that will unveil the Father to a world blinded by sin and draw them not to your church, but to the Son who paid the price for their redemption.

I’m climbing on this train. Are you?

#Lead4Real #apostleship

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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The new depravity…

“And constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
-1 Timothy 6:5-8

God can and does bless people, but we are not to see a relationship with him as a means of acquiring wealth. In this passage we are told that those who do so are _depraved_ and deprived of truth. Once our perspective is skewed to believe that the gospel is about ‘prosperity’ or ‘power to get wealth,’ we have twisted our very perception of God. Our thoughts determine who we are (Proverbs 23:7), and so, a corrupted perception of God will inevitably contaminate everything that we do. Consider that much of church leadership today preaches endlessly about prosperity but remains entirely silent on some of the glaring signs of the times. The pursuit of financial status has become the main focus of the gospel, with some self-help philosophy thrown in, making for a gospel which is self-serving and self-centered, one that does not resemble the gospel of self-denial that Christ Himself preached…

This in turn has led to an exodus of the truth from the ministry of the Word. It is now standard practice in mainstream ministry to avoid expository preaching and teaching in favor of topical preaching, so that subjects which may offend people can be sidestepped. Sin, morality, a deeper work of the cross in the life of the believer, holiness, consecration, and the relational protocols of scripture which require us to never condone or tolerate habitual sin among the saints are truths of which congregations are now largely deprived. thus sin rus rampant in the churches, and the emerging generations are rising without an absolute sense of ethics, morality, or of separation from the world and its carnality.

Even on the subject of prosperity very little is said that is not entirely defined and pursued in the world’s terms and exclusively within its system. God’s people are told to go after wealth and buy the poorly-built stick frame houses that have a useful lifespan of 40 years and will require extensive maintenance, instead of seeking out, or even creating alternative housing which is much more durable, sustainable, and affordable. Alternatives is exist in abundance, and in many cases these alternative are so much more affordable that families could own their home outright with no debt within a few years, or even build them with no debt at all. Consider this, and then take some time to think of every mode of ‘prosperity’ of which we commonly speak, and examine these ‘blessings’ in terms of whether they are conducive to a dependency on the world system. If there is a good deal of that dependency, then we must consider the possibility that these may not be the avenues we are to pursue if we are to be as free from the world’s systems as much as is possible.

The challenge: recommit to Biblical perspectives, pursue godliness, and think outside the box of how the world defines prosperity and how we ought to embrace it.