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10 SIGNS OF PROPHETIC ABUSE AND OR MANIPULATION
By Joseph Mattera
I have been in the body of Christ now since the late 1970’s. I came into the prophetic movement in the early eighties and started moving out prophetically, even participating in prophetic presbytery while doing itinerant prophetic ministry. Furthermore, our local church has nurtured many outstanding prophetic leaders and voices as well as hosting numerous prophetic trainings and schools. My primary motivational gift and mode of ministry is prophetic, even when it seems like I am teaching. (I rarely use notes and teach and preach as prompted by the Holy Spirit when I am ministering.)
Furthermore, I have found the prophetic gift, including inspirational preaching, teaching and prophetic words to be the most edifying of all the gifts as St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14. However, with every true gift of God comes either a counterfeit and or an abuse. You can say that about all of the cluster of gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. The prophetic gift can especially be very dangerous if left un-checked, since people think the words spoken are directly from God and will often obey them without question or the use of discernment. Based on all my years of operating in the prophetic, as well as mentoring, nurturing, overseeing and hosting many prophetic ministers, the following are ten signs of prophetic abuse and manipulation. Continue reading “10 Prophetic Abuses and Manipulation” »
What These Preachers Are Spewing Could Kill You
By Bert Farias
There is an increasing measure of unbelief in today’s churches. Weak faith, little faith and no faith is at an all-time high. Strong faith, exceedingly great faith, and the kind of faith that causes Jesus to marvel (Matt. 8:10) is at an all-time low.
The first reason faith is now at an all-time low is because many believers don’t read or hear the pure Word of God. There’s a great mixture in our churches today. People put more faith in what the popular elevated teachers in the Christian culture say. They put more faith in man. They place their trust in logic, reasoning and the wisdom of men. Continue reading “Your Spiritual Diet Could Be Killing You!” »
God puts a prophet through a process of refinement. God purges the prophet and develops their character. The prophet has to respond to the dealings of God in his or her own life before they can effectively deal with the problems in the lives of others.
Sometimes as a prophet you will feel as if you are in a furnace. You may find yourself saying, “God, why are You dealing so strongly with me? Why don’t You deal with everyone else like this?” Don’t give up, prophet. Go through the process.
A prophet is a vessel. God purges His vessels. God will take the dross (impurities) out of your life. You have to become the raw material to be a prophetic vessel. Go through the process. Let the fire burn.
Prophet, don’t allow guilt, shame and condemnation to prevent you from accepting and walking in your calling. Many prophets struggle with feelings of inadequacy as a result of their past. Isaiah was purged and sent. Allow the Lord to purge you from sins of the past, walk clean before the Lord and fulfill your call.
Moses distinguished himself as a prophet by his faithfulness (Num. 12:7). Be faithful to the call and commission.
The Prophet’s Anointing
Prophets understand grace. They know God’s strength is by grace. They understand that they cannot do this in their own strength (1 Cor. 15:10). Prophets depend on the grace of God—His strength, favor, power and ability. They understand that without God, they can do nothing (John 5:30). Prophets will find themselves in situations in which they have to depend on grace.
God calls all kinds of people to be prophets. The Lord chose the foolish things to confound the things that are wise (1 Cor. 1:27-29). David was an obscure shepherd boy. Amos was not a prophet or a prophet’s son. God calls people who would not qualify by the standards of men. Prophets are not determined by men but by God. God’s choice is a challenge and rebuke against the pride of men.
There are things that you can learn directly from God. This is what happens to prophets. Prophets know things that are not taught by men. Jesus knew more than all the religious leaders of His day. They marveled at His knowledge (John 7:15). Jesus had not attended their schools.
The prophet’s words are anointed and carry power. When prophets speak, things happen. When prophets speak, things change. When prophets speak, God moves. Open your mouth, prophet, and speak. God will back you up. He will confirm the words of His servants (Is. 44:26).
God commands His prophets to prophesy. When they do, there is a noise, a shaking, a coming together. Dead things come to life. Dry bones live again. The prophets’ words bring life. They release breath.
When God is speaking, who can keep from prophesying? Some may want the prophets to be quiet, but they can’t help but prophesy (Amos 3:8). This release can happen in the form of weeping, speaking, writing, singing, dancing or praying.
You cannot make prophets do what you want them to do. They are not to be used for your benefit and desire, but they are created for God’s purposes. You are in trouble when you try to make them see and say what you want them to see and say. Prophets are independent spokesmen.
Prophets don’t preach what is popular. Neither do they preach to be popular. They often preach a truth that makes them unpopular. They are not owned by people and organizations; they are owned only by God. The prophet is devoted to God and truth, not institutions, organizations, religions, doctrines and creeds.
You Must Overcome Fear
The Lord will put you in situations where you must overcome fear. You will have to learn to overcome criticism, rejection, jealous people and the like. This is part of the making of a prophet. The Lord is building courage in you. You will have to make decisions some people won’t agree with. You will have to take a stand. You cannot please everyone. You may lose some relationships.
Prophets must overcome the fear of man. This can be a major battle for some. The fear of man brings a snare. You cannot fear man, the call, criticism, rejection, persecution or intimidation and be strong in the prophetic. Fear will short-circuit your prophetic flow. Everyone has to overcome some kind of fear. You are not alone. God will deliver you from all your fears and give you the courage you need (Jer. 1:8).
The prophet’s desire is to please God, not men. You cannot be a servant of Christ and please men (Gal. 1:10). Prophets don’t seek the approval of men. The prophet’s priority is to please God. Inordinate people-pleasing brings you into bondage by enslaving you to everyone whom you desire to please.
Jesus did not look for or receive honor from men (John 5:41). Jesus received honor from the Father. Prophets have always had to live without honor from men. God does not want you to depend on man’s honor. The Father’s honor is the most important thing to prophets (John 8:54).
Some of the early church leaders were excommunicated. Martin Luther, Jan Hus and other reformers were excommunicated. Are you willing to be rejected because of the truth?
How to Handle Opposition
Demons hate prophets. Witches and warlocks hate prophets. Jezebel hates prophets. Prophets are a threat to the works of darkness. They expose the works of the enemy. Prophets are on the enemy’s hit list. God protects His prophets, so don’t be afraid of the enemy. No weapon formed against you will prosper (Is. 54:17).
God sustains His prophets. They don’t have to depend on men and religious systems to survive. Prophets depend on God. They must be free to speak for the Lord. True prophets don’t eat at Jezebel’s table.
Elijah was fed by ravens (1 Kin. 17:3-5). God was his source and provider. Prophets depend on God for sustenance. Prophets need God’s sustenance because they are often rejected by men. Prophet, expect to receive miraculous provision from God.
God hates when His prophets are mistreated (Ps. 105:15). Prophets can be mistreated, persecuted, ignored, called crazy, rejected, overlooked, isolated, muzzled and passed over. Prophets are often persecuted by the systems they cry out against. This is nothing new. God vindicates His prophets, defends them and deals with the systems that mistreat them.
If you are a prophet, you will have to develop some toughness. Prophets have to learn how to “shake off the dust” (Matt. 10:14). Prophets want everyone to receive the truth and be blessed, but sometimes it just does not happen that way. You can’t make people do what the Lord says. Sometimes you have to leave and “shake off the dust.”
If you are rejected, don’t pick up demons of hurt and rejection. Don’t let those demons in your life. Remember the word of the Lord to Samuel: “It is not you they have rejected, but Me they have rejected from reigning over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).
It’s not about you; it’s about the Lord. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.
General Functions of a Prophet
Prophets pull down that which God did not build, root up that which God did not plant and destroy what God wants destroyed.
God uses prophets to send out ministries. Prophets enjoy releasing and seeing ministers released. Prophets love to see people activated and released into their God-given destinies. They love to see the plans and purposes of God come to pass in peoples’ lives.
Prophets don’t like being in ministries where no one is released. Prophets don’t like seeing the wrong people released.
It is the ministry of prophets to pray over and lay hands on those being separated unto special ministry (Acts 13:2). The prophets and teachers at Antioch heard the Spirit say to separate Paul and Barnabas. They separated them, laid hands on them and sent them out. Prophets help us release ministries.
Some prophets are also scribes (Matt. 23:34). They write down their dreams, visions, prophetic words and insights. They often love journaling. The scribal prophet is not limited to writing, but can release the word through audio, video, print and other media. They have a desire to record what God is saying.
Scribal prophets, go back and read the things you wrote down years ago, and you might be shocked at what the Lord has done to bring those words to pass. Some of you have journals that you have written over the years. God is faithful.
Scribes can also be persecuted. Religious systems of control hate scribes. This is because their writings challenge these systems. Truth and revelation can be imparted and released through writing. Writing has always been a powerful tool of reformation.
Some prophets are musicians and singers; others may express themselves through dance. Both Miriam and David expressed themselves in the dance (Ex. 15:20; 2 Sam. 6:14). Prophets are expressive, and the dance is one of the most powerful ways to express God’s power, victory, love and mercy.
The Unusual Life of a Prophet
Prophets can find themselves in the most unusual places and circumstances, and wonder, “How did I get here?” Prophet, God can place you there to release His wisdom and His word. Don’t be surprised where you find yourself ministering. God will open doors for you, send you and place you with people who you ordinarily would never meet. They need what you have.
Prophets can speak to people of power and those in positions of power. This is because power is so easily abused and misused. Nathan spoke to David. This is an example of speaking to power. Sometimes power does not want to hear what prophets say. Jesus spoke to power when He challenged the religious leaders of His day for their hypocrisy and abuse.
Yet beware. Lord Acton said, “Power tends (sic) to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” This famous quote addresses the fact that men have a difficult time handling power. Pride tends to corrupt men of power, and this is why we need prophets who will speak to and challenge power.
Moses is the exception. He was a man of great power, but he’s called the meekest man of the earth (Num. 12:3). He never needed a prophet to correct him.
Prophets are not normal, and their experiences are not normal. Prophets are different because they have visitations. Unusual salvations, deliverances, dreams, visions and divine encounters are the prophet’s portion. When a person encounters God, he or she cannot remain the same.
Moses encountered a burning bush, Isaiah saw the Lord in His glory, Ezekiel had visions of God, and Daniel had angelic visitations. Jeremiah encountered God at a young age, John was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb, and God appeared to Jacob in a dream.
Prophets are different because they encounter God in unusual ways. They have unusual testimonies. If you tell people some of your experiences, they might think you are crazy and spooky.
Prophets do most of their work in secret. Prophets don’t have to have platforms, although God may give them one. Prophets don’t have to be seen, although God may highlight them.
Prophets pray, weep, minister to the Lord and study in secret. What God shows them in secret, they speak to the world. Prophets love the solitary place. Prophets hate the hype and sensationalism they see on many platforms.
Prophets are often hidden from view. They do much of their work in the secret place.
The hidden ones are the “secret ones,” “the precious ones” and “the treasured ones” (Ps. 83:3).
I drove from Illinois to Iowa some time ago and passed a town by the name of Prophetstown in Illinois. I have lived in Illinois all my life, and I have never heard of this town. I researched it, and this is what I found:
“Prophetstown is named for Wabokieshiek (White Cloud), a medicine man known as ‘the Prophet.’ (He was) also friend and adviser to Chief Black Hawk. Born in 1794, he presided over the village known as ‘prophet’s village’ on the Rock River. He was half Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) and half Sauk and had great influence over both tribes.”
I pray that the Lord would raise up “Prophetstowns” in every region across the globe. Let true prophets arise and come forth in every town and city. Let the cloud of glory be in these towns.###
John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries in Chicago. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas. He is an international conference speaker, produces a weekly television program, Perfecting the Saints, and has written more than 20 books. Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his family.
Original article: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/53180-heaven-s-prophetic-assignments
A.W. Tozer: Biographical Essay
By Rev. Dr. James L. Snyder
Born April 21, 1897, in the mountainous region of western Pennsylvania, Aiden Wilson Tozer influenced his generation like no other individual.
During his lifetime, Tozer, as he preferred, earned the reputation of a twentieth-century prophet. His spiritual gifts afforded him a degree of insight regarding biblical truth and the nature and state of the evangelical church in his day. Able to express his perceptions in a beautiful, simple, forceful manner, Tozer was often the voice of God when the words of others were but echoes. He saw through the fog of modern Christianity, pointing out the rocks on which it might flounder if it continued its course.
Just before his 17th birthday, Tozer heard a street preacher on a corner in Akron, Ohio, as he walked home from his job at a rubber factory. He could not shake off the simple message. “If you don’t know how to be saved,” the preacher said, “just call on God, saying, ‘Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.'” Wrestling with God for some time at home, Tozer emerged from his attic sanctuary a new creature in Christ.
Under the tutelage of his future mother-in-law, Tozer progressed rapidly in the things of God. She encouraged him to read good books, study the Bible, and pray. She also urged him to preach, often gathering people in her home to hear him.
In 1919, without formal education, they called Tozer to pastor a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. In these humble beginnings Tozer and his new bride, Ada Cecilia Pfaust, launched a ministry that was to span some forty-four years in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Other churches in Indiana and Ohio would follow.
In 1928 Tozer received a call from The Southside Alliance Church in Chicago. Not too anxious to leave his congregation in Indianapolis, he pushed aside the invitation. After some persuasion Tozer agreed to go and preach, but he offered no guarantees.
That first Sunday in Chicago was notable. Francis Chase, a commercial illustrator, and close friend of Tozer’s, remembered that first service. “He said very little and I didn’t expect much. He was slight with plenty of black hair, and certainly not a fashion plate as we say. He wore a black tie about 1 1/4 inches in width. His shoes were even then outmoded; high tops with hooks part way up. I introduced him and left the platform. He said nothing about being pleased to be there or any other pat phrases usually given on such occasions, but simply introduced his sermon topic, which was, “God’s Westminister Abbey,” based on the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.”
Writing to a friend after accepting the call to Chicago, Tozer confided, “As soon as I passed the city limits of Indianapolis I had a favorable earnest of my decision. There swept over my soul a sweet peace and I knew that I was in the will of God.”
From the first, his approach to preaching captivated the congregation — with superior language and phrases — and his splendid voice and diction. Numbering around eighty people when Tozer began, the congregation had to build larger facilities in 1941 to accommodate about 800. Many felt there were only two great churches in Chicago: Moody Memorial Church with Harry Ironside and Southside Alliance Church where Tozer pastored. Hundreds of people, especially nearby college students, flocked to his services.
From 1951 to 1959 Tozer’s ministry enlarged when WMBI, the Moody radio station, broadcast a weekly program originating from his church study. His ministry to the nearby Bible colleges was his special delight. Tozer pastored the Southside Alliance Church from 1928 until 1959, when he accepted the call from the Avenue Road Alliance Church in Toronto, Canada.
Tozer was fond of saying, “I refuse to allow any man to put his glasses on me and force me to see everything in his light.” He literally burned the midnight oil in his quest for truth. Giving himself to the study of the great classics in religion, philosophy, literature, poetry, the church fathers and Christian mystics. His special love for poetry and the hymns of the church gave wings to his preaching and writing.
A voracious reader, he would read a bit, then think and meditated on what he had read. He often said, “You should think ten times more than you read.” He never read a book merely to say he had read it. Always a book was to lead him on in his quest for God. In an editorial on the subject Tozer said that the best book was the one that starts the reader on a train of thought and then bows out, its work finished.
In 1950 Tozer was elected editor of the Alliance Weekly, now the Alliance Life, official magazine of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. The committee that presented Tozer’s name said of him, “His clear and forceful style and Bible-loving Christians will approve his unique presentation of a Christ-centered gospel . . . everywhere.” That proved prophetic, as under Tozer’s leadership the magazine doubled in circulation. The Alliance Weekly, more than anything else, helped establish Tozer as a spokesman to the evangelical church at large. Someone observed that the Alliance Weekly was the only magazine subscribed to solely for its editorials. Many subscribed to the Alliance Weekly simply for Tozer’s pungent editorials and insightful articles.
They simultaneously published his editorials in Great Britain. H.F. Stevenson, editor of The Life of Faith magazine in London, England, said, “His survey of the contemporary scene was as relevant to Britain as to his own country, so that his articles and books were read avidly here also.”
Tozer’s forte was his prayer life. He often said, “As a man prayed so is he.” To him the worship of God was paramount in his life and ministry. He believed that true service would flow out of pure worship. His preaching and his writings were but extensions of his prayer life. What he discovered in prayer soon found its way into his sermons, then articles and editorials and finally into his many books.
Tozer greatly appreciated craftsmanship and excellence. His writings reveal that he demanded the utmost from himself. Wide reading and a disciplined mind provided him tremendous resources for the apt expressions that flowed from his tongue and pen. Often he would say, “There’s a right word; use it.” Invariably he had the right word at his fingertips.
The great care with which he produced his books established him as a devotional writer of a classic nature who will long be read when we forget his spoken ministry. He labored diligently to develop a style and strength of expression that continually attracted attention.
Tozer’s lively imagination and descriptive powers gave force and vividness to his presentations. He spent hours meticulously producing sermons that we could describe as majestic and profound. Instead of shouting, he used crisp, precise, climactic sentences. His voice and delivery were rather quiet, but the sermon penetrated the soul.
Through his preaching and writing Tozer issued a clarion call for evangelicals to return to authentic, biblical, personal and inward positions that characterized the Christian church when she was most faithful to Christ and His Word. As he expounded the Scriptures, analyzing, or explaining a biblical truth, listeners were brought face-to-face with decisions they would never forget or regret.
As an intellectual beast of prey, Tozer could tear the faulty arguments of an author to pieces. He seemed to have a spiritual intuition enabling him to scent error, name it for what it was and reject it in one decisive act.
J. Francis Chase, close friend for more than thirty years, shares this insight into his work habits.
“He told me once that he would often go to that little dismal loft in the church to write some editorials. He said his heart and mind were as dry and uninspired as a burnt shingle. He would open his Bible, possibly a hymnbook, kneel at that old couch, pick up a pencil, and then the Holy Spirit would come upon him . . . . To keep up with what flooded his soul he would have to write ferociously. Four or five editorials would be completed at one time.”
The freshness of his writings amazes some. A close friend and colleague, Dr. Nathan Bailey, late president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, explains, “In his writings he left the superficial and the obvious and the trivial for others to toss around, giving himself to the discipline of study and prayer that resulted in articles and books that reached deep into the hearts of men.”
Tozer’s method of preaching was the strong declaration of biblical principles, never merely an involvement in word studies, clever outlines or statistics. Listening to his recorded sermons or reading any of his books, the observer will notice the absence of alliteration. He thought alliteration was artificial. His style was the simple unfolding of truth as naturally as a flower unfolding in the sunlight.
Much like that of Will Rogers, we can describe Tozer’s humor as good, honest, homespun wit. He was not a storyteller or joke-teller, but in the turn of a phrase, a sharp observation through satire or a homely illustration, he got his point across.
Of course too much humor can be ruinous to any sermon, and Tozer struggled to keep his humor under control. Raymond McAfee, long time associate of Tozer in Chicago, said, “I could always tell by the content of humor in his preaching just how tired he was. When his discourse convulsed the audience, he was tired, his guard was down, and humor sneaked through.”
In the true and best sense of the word, Tozer was a mystic. He placed great emphasis on the contemplation of divine things resulting in the God-conscious life.
The last literary project of Tozer’s, completed just before his death and published several months after, was The Christian Book of Mystical Verse. This was a compilation of a wealth of mystic poetry that had warmed and blessed Tozer’s heart throughout the years. In the introductions of that book he defined his meaning of the term mystic.
“The word ‘mystic’ as it occurs in the title of this book refers to that personal spiritual experience common to the saints of Bible times and well known to multitudes of persons in the post-biblical era. I refer to the evangelical mystic who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead. His theology is no less and no more than is taught in the Christian Scriptures. He walks the high road of truth where walked of old prophets and apostles, and where down the centuries walked martyrs, reformers, Puritans, evangelists and missionaries of the cross. He differs from the ordinary orthodox Christian only because he experiences his faith down in the depths of his sentient being while the other does not. He exists in a world of spiritual reality. He is quietly, deeply, and sometimes almost ecstatically aware of the Presence God in his own nature and in the world around him. His religious experience is something elemental, as old as time and the creation. It is immediate acquaintance with God by union with the Eternal Son. It is to know that which passes knowledge.” (The Christian Book of Mystical Verse, Christian Publications, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania).
In his daily walk and ministry, Tozer had a sense of God that enveloped him in reverence and adoration. His one daily exercise was the practice of the presence of God, pursuing Him with all his strength and energy. To him, Jesus Christ was a daily wonder, a recurring astonishment, a continual amazement of love and grace.
Toward the end of his life, Tozer remarked, “I have found God to be cordial and generous and in every way easy to live with.” For almost fifty years Tozer lived in God. He was not a perfect man; He had his faults and “warts,” possessed a disposition that caused him grief and heartache. Although never nasty or venomous, at times he had to apologize to those he inadvertently hurt when he spontaneously popped their balloons of pretense, pomposity and posturing.
Toward the end of his ministry he requested of his congregation: “Pray for me in the light of the pressures of our times. Pray that I will not just come to a wearied end — an exhausted, tired old preacher, interested only in hunting a place to roost. Pray that I will be willing to let my Christian experience and Christian standards cost me something right down to the last gasp!”
On May 12, 1963, A.W. Tozer’s earthly labors ended. His faith in God’s majesty became sight as he entered His presence. At the funeral his daughter, Becky, said something typical of what Tozer himself would have said. “I can’t feel sad; I know Dad’s happy; he’s lived for this all his life.” And so he had. Although his physical presence is far removed from us, Tozer will continue to minister to those thirsty for the things of God.###
Editor’s note: In his important and authoritative book, Authentic Fire—A Response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire (pp. 50-55) [Excel Publishers], Dr. Michael L. Brown, refers to A.W. Tozer along with Oswald Chambers as two of several spiritual luminaries of past eras who typically are not associated with Pentecostalism and its belief in and operation of the Gifts of the Spirit, in particular. Brown states that Tozer “was someone who believed in the baptism of the Spirit subsequent to salvation as well as the ongoing operation of the sign gifts.” He also states:
What most people do not know about Tozer was that one of his principal mentors was F.F. Bosworth, a balanced Pentecostal pioneer known for his healing ministry and his book, Christ the Healer, widely considered to be one of the best books written on the subject. According to Tozer biographer, Lyle W. Dorsett, Bosworth “introduced [Tozer] to a biblical and fruitful healing ministry, as well as to a balanced and sober view of all the sign gifts, including tongues.” And, he writes, “if Tozer did not stress Christ as Healer, he conducted meetings in tandem with Bosworth where hundreds and even thousands experienced genuine physical healing.” Dorsett also notes that Tozer learned from his mother-in-law about “the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit.”
Brown concludes: “So, two of the most spiritually-deep, Christ-centered authors of the last century, Oswald Chambers and A.W. Tozer, both read far more today than in their lifetimes, were involved in the Pentecostal movement and were heavily impacted by the gifts and power of the Spirit.”
SECOND WARNING – BILL JOHNSON AND BETHEL CHURCH
By Andrew Strom
A couple of years ago we sent out a Warning itemizing a number of facts about Bill Johnson‘s ministry and Bethel Church in Redding. Numerous witnesses and videos from Bethel show that this church is spreading an “anointing” very similar to Todd Bentley – i.e. spiritual “drunkenness,” jerking, hysterical laughter, “angel orbs,” “fire tunnels,” spirit travel, mystical “portals,” etc. Plus constant talk in their ministry school of bizarre angel encounters and trips to the “third heaven.” All of it has an extremely “New Age” feel. And it is still going on today. (But even worse, as we shall see).
Bill Johnson strongly defended Todd Bentley – even after his divorce and remarriage. No wonder, for the “anointing” that both men carry seems almost identical (though their “style” is very different). These facts are beyond dispute and have been confirmed by many witnesses.
But whenever I say such things about Bill Johnson, people rush to defend him, saying what a “great guy” he is, and what a great ministry he has. And yes, he is a very charming man who does say good things. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be so dangerous. Deception always wraps itself in the best “sheep’s wool” it can find. Otherwise it would have no chance of deceiving the sheep! Why do you think the Bible warns of “SEDUCING” spirits in the Last Days – and “LYING” signs and wonders? If the deception was not so “seductive” then nobody would fall for it. And this stuff is very seductive indeed.
Things Get Worse
Several years ago the Bethel crowd put out a book which we only found out about recently. It was co-authored by Bill Johnson’s administrative assistant Judy Franklin with a foreword by Bethel pastor Kris Vallotton. Bill Johnson wrote two of the chapters and his wife Beni wrote another. In other words, it has Bethel’s stamp all over it. (It is still sold on the Bethel website).
So what is this book about? Here is what the blurb says: “Exploring the mysteries of God in sound, light, vibrations, frequencies, energy, and quantum physics.” Does that sound “New Age” to you? Yes! and it gets even worse. Please remember that this book has Bill Johnson’s name on it, and Bethel’s strong endorsement and participation.
When you open the book you find chapter headings like this: “Vibrating in Harmony with God,” “Good Vibrations,” “Quantum Mysticism,” and “The God Vibration.” And some of the sub-headings are even more astounding: “Dolphins and Healing Energy,” “The Power of Color,” “Human Body Frequencies,” etc. You might ask, What kind of “Christian” book is this? And the answer is that it is Bethel and Bill Johnson’s kind of Christian book. It literally has Bill’s name on it.
This is a peek into the real Bethel behind the scenes. When you look at this publication, suddenly you understand why we see all these weird videos and testimonies from Bethel of strange “New Age” terminology and bizarre spiritual practices. Now we know why. We have the evidence in black and white.
We have shown the contents of this book to leaders and people that have been fans and supporters of Bill Johnson. They have verified the source of it. And just reading this content has turned most of them from being a supporter of Bethel into an opponent in a matter of a few hours. It really is that bad. So openly “New Age” you could hardly believe it. With all this talk of “vibrations” in the book, perhaps we can now better understand why Bill Johnson’s wife Beni wrote in her blog: “I was talking with Ray Hughes the other day and was telling him about using a 528 HZ tuning fork as a prophetic act. Someone told me that this tuning fork is called the tuning fork of LOVE… the sound of this fork brings healing.” (Please note that crystals and tuning forks are used in NEW AGE therapy, not Christianity. And by the way, Beni Johnson for years has been co-pastor of Bethel alongside her husband Bill).
This might also help explain why Beni Johnson recently released a photo of herself “soaking” (lying down) on the grave of a dead Christian leader, and why Bethel students also put out photos of themselves “grave sucking” (as it is called), trying to “soak up” the anointing from the graves of dead preachers. I am not exaggerating. They actually do this.
I hope you can see how dangerous and unbiblical it all is. Somebody needs to confront Bill Johnson about it (yeah, uh, don’t hold your breath waiting on that to happen –editor). That is why I am including a whole new section of these disturbing facts in the 2015 edition of my book, “Kundalini Warning.” And it is also why I am writing this article. When Nadab and Abihu offered “strange fire” before the Lord in the Old Testament, they were consumed by God and died. (Lev. 10:1-2). “Strange fire” is still deadly today. The body of Christ needs to be warned.
As one of the graduates of the Bethel ministry school (BSSM) wrote to me:
“There would be all kinds of distracting behavior (random shouting, laughing, etc.) during school sessions and church services. When any guest speaker came to school, students would flock to the front to get as close to the speaker as possible. We were taught that any anointing we wanted could be received by simply “claiming it” for ourselves…. The drunken behavior and questionable teachings from some, if not all, of these speakers was shocking at times…. I would always hear people talking about their encounters with angels and how they visited heaven. One young woman I knew said she could see angels everywhere, she talked to them all the time, and she would help her friends to do the same.”
In summary, this is a very dangerous movement and the warning needs to be sounded as far and wide as possible.###
Andrew Strom is a prophetic minister who has written several books and hundreds of articles exposing the error of Neo-Charismatics, in particular. He resides in New Zealand. His popular website is at: http://www.revivalschool.com.
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David Wilkerson, during most of his ministry, and in particular since one day in 1958 when he was thrust into news headlines, was a controversial figure in ecclesiastical circles. But, he was not controversial in the same way or for the same reasons many people who have basically earned that appellation. David Wilkerson was controversial because he was a genuine modern-day prophet both to the world of the unbelieving and to the church of the purported believing.
David Wilkerson simply saw and heard things in the Spirit that others did not, or would not, and boldly and courageously, spoke out about what he saw and heard, not because he chose or even desired to, but because he was called, chosen, and impelled by God to. All of that is the very simplest but all-encompassing definition of who and what a genuine prophet is.
As he witnessed the rapidly and exponentially proliferating of unrestrained hedonism and debauchery in the 1960s and its entrenchment in American culture, Wilkerson began speaking prophetic words of admonition about impending judgment of America if Americans did not repent from their unabashed sinfulness. With strong words of exhortation that oftentimes were words of rebuke, he also chastised the churches and church leaders of the time for their complacency, inaction, spiritual blindness and dullness, and infatuation with and seduction by the world and its allures. The core of his message was essentially what every genuine prophet of all ages espouses and expounds: That as the world system, along with its human perpetrators, spirals deeper and deeper into the vortex of utter evil and wickedness, the true Church that Jesus is building, in its role of restraint (2 Thes. 2:7-8), preservation (Mat. 5:13), and salvage (Rom. 11:14; 1 Cor. 9:22) must gird up, rise up, stand up, and speak up against it, thereby “snatching some out of the fire” (Jude 1:23). Yet, as with all genuine prophets, whether those of Bible times or those of more recent times, Wilkerson’s prophetic warnings were always seasoned with grace and God’s offer of mercy for those willing to turn from their wicked ways, to repent, and turn to God. In fact, often publicly, but always privately, the messages he received from God for the people of the world and the church, who he loved so deeply and indefatigably, broke his heart, and caused him to weep uncontrollably, much like the prophet Jeremiah, who theologians dubbed “the weeping prophet.”
Before the prophetic words of remonstrance reached his lips, they were purified by having passed through a salty river of intercessory tears, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, and sometimes for years. Maybe no one in the 20th/21st century spent more protracted periods in agonizing prayer than David Wilkerson. Times without number, he sequestered himself away from all the hub-bub, distractions, and trifles of life and ministry, and secreted himself alone with God for two weeks, three weeks, 21 days, or 40 days of fasting and intense prayer. The frequency of his separation from others was a source of frustration and even anger and bitterness at times for family, friends, and fellows — a price that had to be paid. But, few who’ve ever lived had the fire and fervor of David Wilkerson, and the source was the austere secret place where, like Moses on the mountain-top and Elijah in his cave, he met face-to-face with God. There, in that austere secret place, alone with God, is where he came to know God — who He is, what He desires, what pleases Him, and what displeases Him — with rarefied intimacy. Above all else, like King David, David Wilkerson was a man after, meaning in desperate pursuit of, God’s heart. Like Enoch, he walked with God until he walked right into the company of God, for God took him.
On Friday, April 29, 2011, Gary Wilkerson, David’s son posted the following tribute:
“David served the purposes of God in his generation, then he died” (Acts 13:36).
On Wednesday afternoon my father, David Wilkerson, passed away in a car accident. We grieve the loss of a beloved father, a faithful husband and a holy man of God. My mother, Gwen, his wife of 57 years, was in the car also, but we are told she will recover fully. (Editor’s note: she did, but then succumbed to cancer in 2012.)
Dad’s 60-plus years of ministry have impacted the lives of those closest to him and extended to millions around the world. Today we feel a personal loss, but at the same time we rejoice knowing Dad lived life to the fullest, obeying God with devotion and loving Jesus radically.
He was known for his unlimited faith. He believed God could change the lives of gang members and transform the most desperate drug addicts. He believed that a dynamic church could be launched in the heart of Times Square, New York City.
He believed he could be a man who loved his wife and children well. And he did.
Dad was not one for fanfare, acclaim or ceremony. He turned down invitations to meet with world leaders yet would give everything he owned to support a poor orphan or a widow in distress.
Like King David of old, Dad served God’s purposes in his generation. He preached with uncompromising passion and relentless grace. He wrote with amazing insight, clarity and conviction. He ran his race well and when his work was done, he was called home.
I don’t think my father would have retired well. I don’t think he was one to sit in a rocking chair and reminisce about times past. I believe that Jesus, knowing this, graciously called him home.
Dad’s last mission on earth was to be an advocate for the poorest of the poor—to provide relief and support for hungry children and widows and orphans. After founding Teen Challenge, World Challenge and Times Square Church, he sought to feed starving children in the most impoverished countries in the world. Today, Please Pass the Bread is saving the lives of thousands of children, through 56 outreaches in 8 countries.
Like King David of old, after having served God’s purpose, he died. I know if my father were able to encourage you with his words today, he would invite you to give your all to Jesus, to love God deeply and to give yourself away to the needs of others.
The works he began outlive him. We can all attest to his impacting us—not only in his preaching, writing and founding of world-changing ministries, but in his love, devotion, compassion and ability to stir our faith for greater works.
Wilkerson published many of his warnings and admonitions in various publications, including his newsletters (prior to the Internet), books, audio sermons, and videos later in his ministry. By and large, the more he warned, the more controversial he and his ministry were regarded, especially, it seemed, by the Pentecostal church of which he was a part, being a third generation Pentecostal minister, having received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at age eight, and having been ordained by the Assemblies of God in 1951, after attending the AG-affiliated Central Bible College. While the church he founded in 1987 in New York City, Times Square Church, quickly grew to several thousand congregants, and continues to minister to tens of thousands, nevertheless, Wilkerson was basically held at arms length by Pentecostal church leaders, and even more by Charismatic church leaders, as complacency, lack of fervency, deception, and outright apostasy increased in those streams.
In the early days of the PTL Club nationally televised program, its founder/host Jim Bakker would occasionally have prophetic types like David Wilkerson as guests on the program. But, as “sin in the camp” increased, that occurred less and less, until finally, “negative” voices speaking about sin and error were banned entirely from the program. Nothing new or surprising about that, it goes on yet today on Christian television networks like TBN who bans and ostracizes genuine prophets who are deemed to be “loose cannons” who network brass know can’t be muzzled or silenced, but who are genuine mouthpieces of God, who speak whatever God whispers in their ear and the Spirit leads them to speak without hesitation, filtering, qualm, bias, or concern for self-preservation, no matter who or what it is about.
Even an obscure and unknown nobody like me is subject to such discriminatory banning and blackballing in that I was banned from the local TBN station more than ten years ago now, after only one appearance on the local “Praise The Lord” program, which I only found out about when a local host invited me to be a guest on that program he was hosting because, he said, I was among the few in the area who had a true understanding of the topic he was going to be discussing on the program — the apostolic and prophetic restoration. He had known this because I had reached out to him after hearing his radio program several times and invited him to be a panelist at a round-table I had moderated about a year before that was one of the breakout sessions during the day of a conference hosted by another ministry in the area. About ten minutes after I had accepted his invitation, he called back to say that regrettably he would have to retract his invitation because when he called the station manager to inform him of the lineup of guests he had put together for the program, the station manager informed him that I could not be a guest on his program because I had been summarily and totally unbeknownst to me banned from appearances on the station. He was shocked by that revelation, but not nearly as shocked as me. When I asked him if the station manager had given him any reason(s), he said he had not and that it was clear that the decision was non-negotiable. To this day, more than ten years later, I’ve never been given a reason for that banning, but that station manager and his wife who also worked at the station were summarily dismissed themselves sometime later.
For ten years or so, I put the whole matter out of my mind, and didn’t give it another thought. But then, a short time before Paul Crouch Sr.’s death, who actually interviewed me in 1977 when I was the scheduling coordinator for a large touring choir I helped to start called, “Festival of Praise,” at the top of the “Praise The Lord” program that was entirely devoted to a FOP performance at Ralph Wilkerson’s (no relation to David) church that then met in a high-capacity auditorium laid out in the round that the church had purchased from a failed theater, located across the street from Disneyland in Anaheim, called, “Melodyland Church,” I felt led of the Lord to reach out to TBN via email concerning whether or not this ban had come from TBN headquarters and was network-wide or just that station manager and was limited to that station. Paul’s assistant, and later Matt Crouch’s assistant, responded telling me Paul and TBN brass knew nothing about it, knew nothing about any purported justification or reasoning, that that manager had been terminated, which I already knew, and that I should consider any such purported ban lifted. Which was decent of them, but, though I forwarded that email to the new station manager, mailed them some ministry materials, and subsequently called twice requesting to speak to the new manager, I’ve never heard from anyone at the station, the manager has never returned my phone calls, and I’ve never again been invited to be a guest on the local version of the program.
All this to say that nothing has changed with Christian television networks; they still don’t like genuine prophets on their programs because they know they can’t control them or what they will say. They’re not invited to be a part of the “good ole boy” club of preachers who, like our Congress, “go along to get along” and to maintain their political careers. Genuine God-called, -appointed, and -anointed prophets are GOD’S spokesmen, not any man’s or collection of men. Their “silence” cannot be purchased with inordinately large honorariums, like so many of the “yes-man” sycophants who comprise the relatively small club of hosts and frequent guests who have demonstrated their willingness to “look the other way” or “wink” at the obvious, broadly-publicized and well-known outright, blatant, and habitual sinfulness and debauchery of the network’s founders, family members, board members, bigwigs, and many of its frequent hosts. Such people are enjoying their “rewards” now in the form of appearances on internationally televised programming on the largest television network in the world in order to expand their personal notoriety and thereby fill up their ministry coffers, but in the final day of reckoning, as they stand before the Bema Seat of Christ, their going to have some major ‘splainin’ to do, as I see it…IF they even make it to that glorious and privileged place…which in my view is highly questionable!
Such people, ministers and leaders of ministers, whose conscience allows them to simply “look the other way” and pretend that these things are not happening, or that they don’t know anything about it, or to hide behind some disingenuous claim that these reports are only unconfirmed rumors that they have no direct confirmation of their validity, or who disclaim any culpability or association with known hypocrites and their irrefutable behavioral apostasy, strictly for self-aggrandizing purposes, in my opinion, are people of highly questionable character, morals, and spirituality, no matter how well they can sing a song, preach, prophesy, orate, interview, moderate, or speak with the sincerest of countenances into cameras. They might be “stars” on Christian television networks, but they’re only spiritual criminals, con-men, and apostates in the Kingdom of God.
David Wilkerson was of the polar opposite ilk. He was one of those men the Bible talks about who was of such high character, morality, and spiritual nature that the world was not worthy of his life and presence for the 79 years that he graced this planet. The thousands who knew or knew of him were to a person shocked and dumbfounded when in 2011 he was suddenly and mysteriously taken from us.
“April 27, 2011, Reverend Wilkerson posted on his devotional blog, “To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights, and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, ‘I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident.’” That afternoon, Reverend Wilkerson was killed in a car accident.” [From David Wilkerson’s Bio on his ministry website]
To learn more about David Wilkerson and his international ministry and the tremendous impact of his life, visit his ministry website at: worldchallenge.org
Virtually (possibly literally, if they all could be known) all of David Wilkerson’s prophecies about America, in particular, have come true already, many, if not most, of them came true during his lifetime, which is not something that made him happy or caused him to swell up with pride, for he, like all genuine prophets, was a reluctant prophet, for the true prophet speaks not out of hubris and selfish ambition, but out of severe brokenness and humility, and as one who has begged God, sometimes for many years, for his divine and sovereign intervention so that the message need not be spoken and the impending judgment, if repentance is not forthcoming, need not be meted out. In a PTL program taped in November 1976, David Wilkerson shouts from the rooftops what he heard whispered in his ear from the Lord. It’s astonishing how accurate Wilkerson’s predictions he talked about in this brief TV appearance were.
For three years or so the Lord has been speaking to me out of the prophetic prediction of Malachi 3:1-6 concerning imminent events that He will be orchestrating in the Church that He is building, i.e., the genuine Body of Christ. In the first quarter of this year, the Lord has been continually increasing the intensity and urgency of what he has been showing and telling me in this regard. I cannot possibly convey much at all of those prophetic insights He’s been communicating to me here in this forum and format or at this time because it is far too expansive and extensive and I have only recently begun to attempt to transfer it from my spirit to paper, so to speak, or in reality, to computer. I will, however, be progressively sharing it in some books and study courses I am currently and concurrently working on.
Anyone who has any substantial experience in “prophetic writing” knows how arduous, strenuous, and time-consuming such an endeavor can be, especially when words so often fail when attempting to convey spiritual impressions, concepts, precepts, and insights into human language as the medium of natural – i.e., intellectual – assimilation. I cannot account for the experiences of other prophets, but I know in my own case, what I “see” in my spirit, is so clear, precise, unambiguous, forthright, apparent, but when I attempt to communicate what I’ve seen in the spirit for consumption by others, words/language fail, and communication methodology conventions hinder rather than help. Or maybe in reality its just my own communication capacities that are lacking.
Many times I’ve wished that God would allow at least momentarily a peeling back of the clouds of human carnality overlaying our spiritual senses (hearing and sight) so that pristine spirit-to-spirit communication could transpire, but as idealistic and desirable as that might seem, it is not His plan or desire. Maybe some of those who are called upon by the Lord to communicate prophetically to God’s people understand what I am trying – probably ineptly and inartfully – to say.
Notwithstanding, I rise today through the auspices of this forum to make a sincere and earnest attempt to convey what I believe I received as a prophetic word from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, which He has instructed me to convey to the Church He is building, that is, His Body. A few days ago, I heard Him instructing me in my spirit to sit down at my computer, write what He speaks to me, and title it “A Prophetic Prognosis.” I did; He did; and what He spoke is what this article is about. It is too long and would take up too much space to place the whole message into this post format. So I have summarized what He spoke to me here and provided a link to the PDF document that contains the entire prophetic word. Continue reading “A Prophetic Prognosis” »
17 Signs You’re an “Empire Builder,” Not a “Kingdom Builder”
By Joseph Mattera
Ever since the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity divided in the 11th century, some of the greatest fears of the once united Christendom has been realized—fragmentation and division.
Even in the 16th century when Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation, there was the hope that there would only be a few major expressions of the body of Christ—never in their wildest dreams did the reformers envision all the denominations and now various branches and networks of Christianity that have evolved—which has given opportunity for a spirit of lawlessness, independence and empire building among some insecure but gifted leaders. Whether all these expressions are of God or not is not the purpose of this article. Continue reading “17 Signs Distinguishing Kingdom Builders From Empire Builders” »
The Church is the quintessential Theocracy. Its government is not a political government wherein the governed themselves constitute, devise, and effect their own government, such as that of this nation, the United States, which is a form of democracy (a republic), supposedly “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Rather, the Church is literally governed by a singular Supreme Potentate—the Lord Jesus Christ—who God has appointed as its Sole and Sovereign Head. Thus, the ultimate Theocracy. The absolute necessity of understanding this one concept is emphasized and re‑emphasized repeatedly in the volume from which this article is extracted, and indeed is the ultimate and salient point of that book, Charismatic Captivation.
But, once it is understood that Christ Jesus Himself is the ultimate Head and Cornerstone of the Church, it is just as vital to understand that the government Jesus presides over is an intermediated or proxy government in its physical application. In other words, He does not govern alone, nor directly, nor even in person. Rather, His government is a “representative” or “delegate” form of government, if you will. This is to say that as God set apart and specially consecrated the Levites under the Old Covenant to represent Himself unto the people, so also Jesus appoints, anoints, and sends special envoys, ambassadors, to represent Him and His government unto the Church. These envoys are His personal proxies, His delegates, His stand‑ins, whom He sends to convey and effect His purposes, plans, pleasures, and passions. Continue reading “How God’s Theocracy Manifests on Earth” »
Every year the prophetic community releases their plethora of prognostications for the coming year. If taken seriously, you’d have to believe that around November or December, God looks over His Gregorian Calendar, and begins to draw up His list of resolutions for the year ahead.
Friends, we believe God is leading us (SLM, Inc—Publisher of Spirit Life Magazine) to start an Internet Radio Station (aka, webcasting or netcasting) in order to take Spirit Life Magazine, the Real Truth Radio Program and many other teachings of Dr. Lambert (Founder/Editor of Spirit Life Magazine) as well as other outstanding Bible teachers to the world. In fact, we also believe that God is leading us to acquire an existing broadcast radio station as well, but we are starting with the Internet Radio Station in the meantime until that happens. We have no doubts about this being God’s leading for this ministry at this time. And this is by no means an impetuous thing. Fact is: He’s been speaking to us about a radio station for nearly 40 years! We believe NOW is the time!
NOW PLAYING: Special Message from Real Truth Radio Program Host, Dr. Steven Lambert:
The Internet Radio Station will be available around the world 24/7, programmed with the finest available cutting-edge Spirit-anointed teaching programs focused on advancement of the Kingdom by some of the top teachers in the world, spiritual development of Body of Christ, and “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.” PLUS, all of that great teaching programming will be nested in between and surrounded by blocks of the best Christian Music of several different Gospel genres available! There’s nothing currently in existence like what we have planned for this 24/7 Internet Radio Station that people around the world will be able to access whenever they want!
Another important part of the daily programming will be a radio version of Spirit Life Magazine featuring news and commentary taken from many of the articles published on this website!
With all the proliferation and promotion of the prophetic that is happily taking place now in some streams and camps of the Church, it is critical that we understand what the true Purpose of the prophetic really is. Some prophetic novices and new prophetic groups appear to think that prophecy itself, whether in the form of personal prophesying over people or publishing prophecies on the Internet, for example, is the goal of the prophetic. Moreover, the actions, attitudes, and speech of some regarding the prophetic seem to indicate that they think that the prophetic is an end in itself. But, it’s not.
Though it may seem enigmatic to say, prophecy is not the Purpose of the prophetic. The true Purpose of the prophetic is not the prophetic itself as an end in itself. It’s not just prophesying. It’s not seeing who can prophesy the most, the loudest, the longest, the most authoritative sounding, or the most profoundly. It’s not to use the prophetic to build a name for oneself, or to promote and proliferate a ministry, a minister, or a movement, or to develop a means of support or income for a ministry, or to sell books, or to become well-known or famous, or to build a church, a following, or a prophetic organization, or to achieve personal ambitions. The true Purpose of the prophetic is none of those things. Continue reading “Prophetic Purpose” »
The JEZEBEL SPIRIT, is an evil spirit obsessed with domination and obtaining control in realms of authority, that operates through witchcraft/sorcery to achieve its goal. The covert operations of the Jezebel Spirit remains to be one of the most prevalent and dastardly problems in all of Christendom—in families and businesses of believers, churches/ministries, and every other arena of interrelations of believers—as well as in every segment of secular society where human relationships exist. In psychology, the effects produced by this demonic spirit are known as “narcissism,” or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in clinical cases (see, DSM-IV). While as a deliverance counselor with Doctoral Diplomate Christian Counseling Board Certification, I personally believe effective therapeutic relief from the effects of NPD requires deliverance (casting out of demons), the Mayo Clinic has published an information-rich and enlightening article on NPD, which, due to unusual copyright restrictions I am constrained from citing, that you can read by CLICKING HERE. [See also “How To Identify A Female Narcissist” below this article.] The references in the Bible to two different women with the name “Jezebel” are portrayed by the Spirit as being classic narcissists. Continue reading “Exposing the Jezebel Spirit!” »
The Harbinger captured the attention of more than 1 million people this year with its prophetic warning to America. But the book’s ongoing implications should be the real concern behind this profound revelation.
This is coming to you from a man who has just passed through the valley of the shadow of death. Since my close call with eternity just a short while ago… everything has become clearer. I can hear His whisper. Unabated obedience has become my mandate. That is why I’m writing this word from the Lord.
A few days ago, after enjoying quality time with Jesus, I was surprised by an alarming vision. I saw a massive, majestic mountain covered in glistening snow. It reminded me of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. Its peaks were sparkling white and I was amazed by God’s attention to detail. It was so realistic I wanted to go skiing! But I sensed that there was more that the Holy Spirit was about to reveal. As I closed my eyes, I was in a winter wonderland bustling with thousands of vacationers. The ski lodge, condos, hotels and cabins were at full capacity at this popular resort. Continue reading “WARNING: The Spiritual Avalanche That Could Kill Millions” »
Prophetic ministry has great potential for blessing and building up the people of God. But when abused and misused, it has the same potential to trouble and destroy. In order to derive the greatest benefit from prophetic ministry, we need both the guidelines of Scripture and the lessons of history to point the way.
Warning Sign 1:
When prophecy is used to enhance the status of a movement and its leaders.
1517-1537 was a very exciting time for many Christians in Europe. A great spiritual reformation was under way, and many believed that God was restoring the church to its original purity and power. Many believed that out of this restoration would come a great revival and harvest that would usher in the coming of the Lord and the end of the age. Continue reading “Five Warning Signs That Prophetic Ministry Has Gone Awry” »
Though the matter of personal prophecy is by far the element of the prophetic realm of greatest interest to the vast majority of Spirit-Baptized believers, it is not the most important. Nevertheless, personal prophecy is part and parcel of the present Prophetic Movement that has been nascent since the mid-1980s, and therefore requires some understanding and knowledge. In this article is presented a fairly simplistic overview of the matter of personal prophecy that is not intended to be an in-depth theological treatise on the subject. Herein, the term “personal prophecy” is simply a term used to refer to prophecy expressed to and pertaining to an individual person. Continue reading “About Personal Prophecy” »
The Perilous Path of Doctrinal Deviation
By Steven Lambert
Doctrinal deviation, degeneration, and denigration is a perilous path leading not to genuine unity of the Spirit, as posited by its propagators, but rather disunity with the Spirit, apostasy, perdition, and ultimately hell itself!
Not All Unity is of the Spirit
Not all unity or unanimity is a good thing or a God-thing. The first would-be world dictator, Nimrod, exercising supernatural leadership abilities, was able to cajole the entire population of the world into coalescing under his rulership in complete unanimity and to participate in the building of a tower dedicated to his worship that would reach into heaven. But it wasn’t a God-thing, in fact it was an anti-God thing, and He personally came down and confused the language of the people, with the result that they could no longer be in unity, and thereby brought a halt to the building of the Tower of Babel.
King David also learned the hard way that unity/unanimity among the people is not always a God-thing, nor does it affirm God’s approval of your plans; rather God killed David’s chief armor-bearer, which cast him into a several month long cavernous depression and despondency. Continue reading “The Perilous Path of Doctrinal Deviation” »
There has been much written about the office and function of prophet in the past three decades. In this article I will be writing regarding my own experience in understanding what the Bible says about the prophetic ministry, and I will attempt to connect this to today’s world.
First of all, by prophet I am not referring to a person who exercises the gift of prophecy as taught in 1 Corinthians 14:2-4 (consisting of general exhortations, comfort and consolation, which everyone in the church is encouraged to do; read 1 Corinthians 14:39). I am also not referring to a person preaching a sermon to a congregation. I am speaking about a person who, through much prayer, travail, and meditation in the scriptures, regularly stands in the council and heavenly assembly of God (with the angels and other messengers of God’s court) to hear what the Spirit is saying, so that the mind and heart of God can be communicated to the church and nation. Examples of a prophet standing in the council and/or court of the living God to hear His word are found in Isaiah 6:1-9; Ezekiel 1-3,10; Jeremiah 15:19; extraordinary examples of this can be found in the New Testament with the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:1-12 and the Apostle John in Revelation 1:9-20 and 4:1-2. Continue reading “The Office of Prophet and Contemporary Times” »
God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the Church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi, and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness.
A thousand or ten thousand ordinary priests or pastors or teachers could labor quietly on, almost unnoticed, while the spiritual life of Israel or the Church was normal. But let the people of God go astray from the paths of truth, and immediately the specialist appeared almost out of nowhere. His instinct for trouble brought him to the help of the Lord and of Israel.
Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, as these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others, and alienated not a few, but he knew Who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart. —A.W. Tozer