God Seeks a Prophetic People

Prophetic PeopleThe subject of being led by the Holy Spirit to speak into the life of another person (prophecy or prophetic ministry), can be very detailed and involves many subjects. One of the important subjects that comes to bear on this topic is Divine Guidance, and this involves learning to distinguish the promptings of the Holy Spirit from the promptings of a foreign spirit or even our own spirit. Any person using the gift of prophecy or prophetic sharing should seek to get grounded in the biblical guidelines about its operation and use great wisdom and caution concerning it.

The Apostle Paul instructed the believers at Corinth,

“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)

There are many underlying subjects that must be mined from God’s Word in order to grasp prophecy maturely and in balance. In this article, I will give some simple guidelines that may help answer questions about prophetic ministry. It is important to know that these guidelines are are built upon many other subjects and are not ‘stand alone’ points.

There are many over-lapping issues between various gifts. The word of knowledge, discerning of spirits, word of wisdom, and prophecy have that over-lapping element. Within these 4 gifts we “know something” from the Holy Spirit. The real question is “What do we do with it?” Continue reading “God Seeks a Prophetic People”

Prophetic Stirring

Haggai, the wallsThe Lord still has His prophets. No, we will not see them walking around in sackcloth and ashes, or with unkept beards and shepherd’s staff in their hand. But they are there… speaking God’s Word in faithfulness and stirring up the sheep to obey the Lord. Haggai was one such prophet. The Lord used him to bring the people of Judah back into focus for the labor before them. His words were like clear trumpet sounds, bringing the voice and will of God to the hearts of the people.

Prophets, especially New Testament prophets, speak much like Haggai. Sure, there are times of rebuke, warning and correction. However, even during these times, the NT prophet fulfills the call to be gentle and patient, correcting without strife or quarrel. We are called to represent the Lord not only in word, but also in Spirit. It is a high calling for messengers to speak “truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15) Continue reading “Prophetic Stirring”

The Death of the Prophet

God has always spoken to men through prophets…He still does! Recent generations have seen prophetic men such as J. Gresham Machen, A.W. Tozer, Vance Havner, Leonard Ravenhill and David Wilkerson. However, today’s landscape of evangelicalism is creating another type of speaker–politically correct and side stepping weak males who desire popularity over truth. In our generation we are witnessing the death of the prophet.

This is not to justify the crude, the rude or the arrogant presentation of truth we have seen in some circles by those recognized as prophets and from previous generations. Intimidation and coercion are not elements of a Spirit-filled and anointed message. However, one extreme never justifies the opposite extreme. For every road there are two ditches, therefore let us avoid both errors. The life and health of the local church depends upon the ministry of all the five-fold ministry gifts the Lord has given to the church. (Eph. 4:11-14) Let us not sit by in silence and compromise, and watch the death of the prophet.

We greatly need men who will:

Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15)

Remain faithful to the Biblical text (2Tim. 2:15)

Unapologetically declare God’s absolute truth (Rom.3:4) Continue reading “The Death of the Prophet”

Famine in the Land

There are more religious networks and programs on television than ever before. Likewise, there are more churches than ever. However, upon closer examination there is another observation which saddens the heart of every genuine believer–there has never been as much false teaching, false doctrine and perverse representations of Christianity as we see today. There is a famine in the Land!

“…not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:” (Amos 8:11)

In the midst of an explosion of technology, we see a lot of lateral movements with showmanship and youth culture idolatry, but few genuine conversions. This famine is from the loss of the clear and biblical presentation of God’s Word and it produces several problems which now confront us.

Prosperity Pimps – We see the ‘get rich’ false prophets rob the widows and gullible so they can maintain their lavish lifestyles. They are worse than the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. These charlatans twist the meaning of passages in an attempt to manipulate the ignorant into believing they are giving to God, when in fact, they are financially supporting the fleshly lusts of the preachers. These are modern day ‘money changers.’ Continue reading “Famine in the Land”

You Shall Dream Dreams

Many modern attempts of evangelism seem to place their dependance upon music, lighting, eloquence of speech and personal charisma. We ‘convince’ converts through gimmicks, crafty persuasion or emotional manipulations. We make them part of the ‘club’ with alluring benefits of gyms, golf tournaments, concerts and other devised and enticing opportunities if they join up. And, sad to say, our converts reveal the results of these carnal attempts by being no different from the world we are supposed to rescue them from. Usually, instead of genuine believers, we create unregenerated religiousites (my word) who now are under the delusion of being saved. We produce “strange children” because we use our fleshly attempts instead of the simplicity of God’s Word and reliance upon the Holy Spirit.

The Lord promised something much greater. He said,

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts 2:17-18, emphasis added)

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which began on the Day of Pentecost after our Lord’s resurrection, is the catalyst which should be the power and clarity of our life and Continue reading “You Shall Dream Dreams”

Don’t Copy…Get A Vision

It is easy to pick up a magazine and read an article about church growth, evangelism explosion or community outreach. It is equally easy to attempt to implement or copy another leader’s vision and experience less than desirable results. That is not to say there is not much each of us can gain from hearing and learning from one another. The danger comes when the vision we attempt to implement does not come from our own praying and fasting. Each community faces unique cultural situations and needs, and if we fail to understand this we are destined for failure from the beginning.

America is a melting pot of various ethnicities and cultures. This used to only apply to the largest of our cities. However, the melting pot is quickly spilling over into even the smaller cities and towns. The label “indigenous church planter,” which used to apply specifically to church planters in foreign countries, now has an important and necessary application across our country. Our communities need church planters who understand the local nuances and customs. Continue reading “Don’t Copy…Get A Vision”

Lessons From A Turtle

Yesterday, I took a 2 mile midday walk and jog. As I traveled along a track next to a reservoir near my house, I noticed a row of turtles sunning on a log in the water’s edge. As I approached their vicinity, the splashes began. First, the big turtles and then the smaller ones. However, there was this one little guy who stood his ground. This got me to thinking as I was gasping for air and finishing the last mile of my workout. Out of the whole long row of turtles, the one who seemed the least was the bravest!

I know it would be easy to contend that he was the most ignorant since he was the baby, and that the older ones were attempting to teach him safety, but the Lord was impressing something else on my heart… It doesn’t matter who makes the biggest splash or who appears to be the biggest. In the end, the faithful in heart will be able to stand in the midst of any threats. Continue reading “Lessons From A Turtle”

Preaching Without Power

Today, many of our pulpits do not lack the latest in technology, biblical scholarship or homiletics. We’ve become masters of rhetoric, cliches and stories. We perfectly control every area of our services. However, in the midst of our advancement in communication possibilities, it is obvious many care more about the lights than the Light, more about the laughter than the Love, more about the presentation than the Presence. Sadly, many leaders have become masters of contentless sermons.

“Evangelicals are masters in entertainment and minimalists in thought.” ~ Ravi Zacharias

We are men of our times…and that can be our greatest failure. Thank the Lord for modern technology and innovative ways to share the gospel. However, let them not become our substitution for what gave birth to Christianity. We need to lay before the Lord, in humility and brokenness, and allow the Lord to fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit. Many ‘strange children’ are being born from our messages which focus on Continue reading “Preaching Without Power”

Where Are The Prophets?

The modern church is in great need of prophets. No, not the self appointed and wild eyed fanatics we see on TBN and other religious broadcasts. You have seen them, they add their delusions to the revelation of Scripture. They equate sweating and laughter with anointing. They lead millions further down a road of deception and delusion. Instead, we need men in leadership who will spend time alone with God in prayer and get a living word to communicate to God’s people. Men of vision who are not selling out the church so they can become a celebrity in the ‘religious conference tour.’

A prophet doesn’t have a burden…the burden has the prophet! New Testament prophets do not go around as a one man show. In fact, the rock star promotion of ministers grates his spirit, because it offends the Holy Spirit. The prophet weeps when alone in prayer Continue reading “Where Are The Prophets?”