Polemic Prophetic Preaching

February 11, 2008
by Steven Lambert

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In an earlier post in which I was commenting on matters inherent in the Grassley Investigation, I wrote: “A ‘Day of Reckoning’ is surely coming to many irresponsible and unscrupulous ministries.” I prophesied that we are about see a fulfillment of the Prophet Malachi’s prophecy (Mal. 3) in the Church that will begin with the leaders.” I also wrote:

“…it is a shameful indictment on the modern church, as well as on purporting neo-prophets that a Senator’s spokesman has to be the spokesman God uses to issue the prophetic rebuke concerning the excesses found in some portions of the Neo-Pentecostal Church, ‘The Christian public should have demanded a higher level of accountability a long time ago.'”

I further prophesied a release and sending forth of true prophets God would be initiating this year of 2008, who will come “proclaiming piercing prophetic messages that will penetrate the lukewarmness and complacency, and in some cases the apostasy, presently pervading the Church at-large, and whose central theme will be the first word of the Gospel — ‘Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!'”

I then proffered a spirit-inspired prayer on behalf of the corporate Body of Christ:

Send us, O God, those true prophets Leonard Ravenhill envisioned who know no compromise, have no price tag, cannot be bought out or bought off; who daily breathe the rarefied air of divine inspiration; who march to a different drumbeat; seers sent to lead the blind; Noah-like “preachers of righteousness” who are unabashedly forthright, unashamedly outright, having lives that are upright, but who claim no birthright; dwellers in splendid isolation in the natural realm, yet in the heights of God in the spirit realm; firebrands possessed with passion, purpose, and pugnacity of the Spirit; sent-ones sent into the valleys of spiritual malaise and waywardness with a heart-piercing, conscience-pricking, “Thus saith the Lord!” God, send us, true prophets!

[If you did not receive or read that post, click here.]

That prayer, which has been prayed in essence by many other agonizing intercessors over the years, and more and more as we’ve seen the day drawing nearer, doubtless has been heard in Heaven and is being answered as I write. But, Friends, I come to tell you that the prophets God sends as His Spirit-Spokesmen assuredly will be nothing like the limp-wristed, namby-pamby, compromised, Caspar Milquetoast, worldly-minded, smooth-talking orators spewing out a perfectly scripted and memorized easy-listening, all-positive, “it’s-all-good,” no-pain, self-improvement, 3-step message, who the churches welcome today with open arms, as they make their showy appearance dressed down or blinged up in the latest worldly fashion vogue, sporting the latest hip, weirdo, hair-do and facial-hair-do, along with the obligatory outrageous and mutilating body-tattoos and piercings, emulating the latest rising Hollywood or entertainment star. NO WAY!

You can know with certainty that these fearless prophets God sends will come preaching a polemic message that will sear your ear-hairs, make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, and cause a full-body outbreak of goose-bumps on top of your goose-bumps! More importantly, their polemic prophetic preaching will penetrate the most apathetic soul and pierce the most resistant conscience! It can scarcely be said any better than what John Eckhardt wrote in his masterful treatise on the apostolic office, Moving In The Apostolic, which I highly recommend you read to gain an understanding of the apostolic office. The following is an excerpt from that book.

Polemic Preaching
During the reformation of the sixteenth century, Martin Luther and other reformers were known for their polemic preaching and writing. Polemic means an aggressive attack on, or refutation of the opinions or principles of another. It is the art or practice of disputation or controversy.

The word is derived from the Greek word “polemikos,” meaning warlike or hostile. The reformers aggressively attacked the error and hypocrisy of the established Church, and defended the truth of the gospel against those who attacked their teachings. Their major concern was that the truth be preached and taught at any cost. They would die for the truth; truth was the only thing that mattered.

Today’s Church knows little about polemic preaching and writing. If one stands up for the truth of what he or she believes, that person is labeled dogmatic and non-ecumenical. The spirit of compromise has entered many churches, and they are not as concerned about the truth. But the Lord has always raised up defenders of the faith, people who are not afraid to preach and defend the truth. They recognize that the truth must not only be preached, but defended. If men do not defend the truth, lies will prevail. If lies prevail, people walk in bondage and deception. This is another reason why the church needs the ministry of the apostle.

Apostles have an anointing to defend and confirm the truth. They walk in boldness and proclaim the truth in spite of persecution and opposition. The Lord puts a word in their mouths to confound adversaries or opponents, or as the King James Version calls them, the “gainsayers.” To gainsay means to deny, dispute, contradict and oppose.

For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist (Luke 21:15, KJV).

The Williams translation says, “All your opponents combined will not be able to resist and refute.”

According to Titus 1:9, a bishop—overseer, pastor—should “by sound doctrine” both “exhort” and “convince” the gainsayers (KJV). This Scripture goes on to say:

For there are many insubordinate, both the idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain (Titus 1:10,11, NKJV, italics added).

The Word of God says that there are mouths that must be stopped. The only way to stop some mouths is through polemic preaching, “sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:8).

The Beck translation says, “so that anyone who opposes us will feel foolish.” The Norlie translation says, “Your message should be true, your language correct and not open to criticism. In that way, your opponent may be put to shame.”

The art of the polemic is speaking the right words with apostolic wisdom to put to shame those that oppose the truth. “How forceful are right words” (Job 6:25). The correct argument, using the right words, carries tremendous force. This is not the wishy-washy Christianity that we see so much of today. This is a return to apostolic Christianity.

And this is what the Lord is restoring to the Church. Don’t let it surprise or confuse you. It is necessary for the Church to continue to walk in the truth. The Lord is raising up apostles whose words will shake the Church. Their words will be as a bulldozer in the spirit plowing through the lies the enemy has sown in the church. As a result, the truth will prevail, and multitudes will be set free. [end quote]

[Quote from: MOVING IN THE APOSTOLIC – God’s Plan To Lead His Church to the Final Victory, By John Eckhardt]

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