Thursday, March 4, 2010

Extreme Prophetic?

Sadly, there are a small number of fringe-element Charismatic ministries today who claim to be operating in the "extreme prophetic" that are the very sort of devil-inspired ministries that give the Charismatic Church a bad name. They are a blight on the image of the 21st Century Post-Pentecostal Church that it must disown and distance itself from in order to reclaim its rich heritage and integrity.

As it stands, it is these few "bad apple" ministries that are spoiling the Charismatic barrel in the eyes of the world as well as the ecclesia as a whole. The Neo-Pentecostal church must begin to rise up to the place of spiritual maturity in which it begins to discipline itself. Every significant institution of society--whether it be the medical field, with the likes of the A.M.A. or the legal profession with its A.B.A., and so forth--have had to come to the realization that it must regulate or govern itself if it is to maintain the integrity and even the longevity of the institution. Both Houses of the U.S. Congress governs itself, with measures built into the rules and procedures for sanctioning or disciplining of unruly members. The time has come for the institution of similar measures in the Neo-Pentecostal Ecclesia.

We must begin to "speak the truth in love." We must summon the fortitude to tell it like it is, call a spade a spade, identifying doctrinal error and demonically-inspired supernatural phenomena and exposing the deeds of darkness wherever it is found, including if where it is found is in "big name" or high-profile ministries that have by whatever means ascended to the ranks of the elite and the high and mighty that we all have afforded them. We have tolerated the existence of "rock star" status and persona far too long in the Charismatic Church and it's high time we began to tear down their altars and high places as the Old Testament prophets spoke on behalf of God concerning the pagan gods of their generations.

It's high time that the true prophets arise out of their lethargy and laying back in the woods to seize the axe of Samuel and begin to hack some of these Agags to pieces! That will be the "extreme prophetic!" And, I believe the day when we see more and more of that happening has already dawned!

The following article by Joyce Perdue has some great things to say about the "extreme" men and women who are needed in the church that Jesus is building today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gifts Vs. Offices (Part 1)

A Trio of Gifts from the Trinity
In the Kingdom of the Triune-God good things come in THREES. Trinitarians espouse and expound the Truth that the God-Head consists of three PERSONS, as opposed to manifestations as our non-trinitarian Pentecostal brethren contend. All verily God, perfectly united in essence and purpose, yet simultaneously separate and distinct. One God in Three Persons Trinitarians maintain. (Regardless, it is my personal position that God is grieved and much damage is wreaked when the Body of Christ divides and separates into camps who refuse to walk in fellowship with one another over such matters, and that when we do, it is clear in Scripture that we are not fully walking in the true Light of the Spirit but rather in spiritual darkness, regardless of how right those of each camp contend they are. Undeniably, the primary product of our walking in the Light as He is in the Light is that we love one another.)

“God so loved the world that He gave…” (Jn. 3:16). In this—the one most familiar and quoted of all Gospel verses—is reflected volumes more than what all the commentaries of Christian doctrine and theology have ever been able to suppose and propose. Add to it the fathomless precept of “the summing up of all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10) and human ruminations of who God really is soar to such sublime heights so as to dizzy the most impassive of souls.

The preponderance of Scripture propounds over and over the phenomenal Truth that the One true Triune-God whom traditional orthodox Christendom ascribes, avows, and serves is the Supreme Giver. It is undeniable and unavoidable that giving is a central attribute of the nature of God. He is “the God of all grace” (1 Pet. 5:10). He is so full of grace (charis, Gr.) [giftings], ever-lasting love and kindness, and mercy that endures to and throughout all generations, that He simply cannot help Himself but to GIVE! He is a God of bountiful GIFTS and GIVING! When He gave us His only begotten Son, He GAVE all and the best He had to give. One of His Names is El-shaddai, which means “the God who is MORE than enough,” also demonstrates His nature of superfluous benevolence. When God gives, He gives in overflowing, abundant measure. It only follows then, as a brief aside, that anyone who purposes to emulate God and His attributes, in addition to all else, must also be a wildly generous and hillarious GIVER! (1 Cor. 9:7)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Picture Of A Prophet

Oh, how desperately the Church--including the Neo-Pentecostal Church-- in this last hour needs a full-color picture of a genuine black-and-white prophet, to portray to its constituency what one looks like, to allow them to fully receive "the reward" or benefits of a prophet.

Cameras are ubiquitous in this techno-crazed world we live in today! They are absolutely EVERYWHERE! Seems as though 50% or more of people living on the planet have either a digital camera or the camera on their cell phone or other mobile device. Cameras silently monitor our streets and just about every public square. It's truly George Orwell's 1984 in 2009! There's zillions of photos circulated around the globe every day in this techno-age, capturing just about every kind of action, behavior, subject, and event in existence. But, oh! how desperate is our need for a SPIRITUAL camera! If only one could be invented!

We know the world has only one set of eyes, one set of five senses to experience their own personal panorama of life, moment by moment, day by day, and one brain or mind to process all their senses take in. We know they are limited entirely to a carnal mind...the Bible tells us so...a mind corrupted by the flesh to process the trillions of electronic pulses sent to their brains for processing every hour of every day. But the conclusions the brain generates is based on the software with which it is programmed, which, unfortunately, is the carnal mind, the mind filled with, set on the flesh, the Bible explains.

But, the true believer, the one who has genuinely been BORN AGAIN, experiencing an authentic regeneration of their human spirit, by means of an infusion with the very Holy Spirit of it's an entirely different story for THAT person, the CHILD OF GOD! They have become a NEW CREATURE in whom NEW THINGS have come! One of those new things that have come to the new creature in Christ, lo and behold, is "THE MIND OF CHRIST!" The "mind of the Spirit" it is also termed in God's Word!

The natural man -- the person who lives life based entirely based on the conclusions his carnal mind engenders and tells him -- "does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But the SUPERnatural man, the person who has been born again and who lives their life not based solely on what their natural mind tells them, but tunes into the mind of the Spirit to apprehend the "mind of Christ" or what the Spirit is saying, discerning, and informing within the human spirit, sees, hears, senses, and processes things differently, often entirely antithetically.

True, genuine, authentic prophets are like that...they see, hear, discern, and process things differently, and volumes could be and have been and will yet be written about that. What prophets "bring to the (spiritual) table" to use a common phrase, is so thoroughly undervalued, primarily because it is so unknown by most believers, including most leaders, unfortunately. So few have any clue what a genuine prophet is or does or brings to the church. Perhaps there is a clue in the fact that the only Fivefold Ministry function Jesus Himself said carried with it a special "reward" for merely "receiving" it in the form of what it is and is intended by God to be is that of the prophet. Though just about every time I have invoked the concept among ministers over nearly three and a half decades of ministry it was met with the icy silence of suppressed contempt, I will not shrink back from saying what the Lord has whispered in my ear so very many times, which is that prophets have a special place in the heart of God and a special function in the Church that He is building and is the Head of.

For decades God has been rearing and raising up a company of prophets, many of whom, despite the purported "prophetic movements" promoted by "prophetic organizations" over the past couple decades, are just now emerging from the wilderness and being released and sent forth by Lord as His surrogate spokesmen. My humble belief is that only a precious few claiming to be "prophets," who walk in and operate out of the OFFICE of the prophet, in the last quarter of the 20th Century, actually were/are. There are a few...and God is releasing a lot more in the 21st Century. Some of them are spiritual fathers or mentors, advisers to all of the Fivefold Ministry, but they will especially be spiritual fathers to younger and developing prophets.

Oh, how the Church NEEDS PROPHETS! And, God is SENDING them! But, too often the Body of Christ rejects them...still...even sincere and obedient-minded believers...mostly I believe because they really don't know what a genuine prophet looks like. They've never seen a picture of one, so to speak. Oh, how desperately the Church--including the Neo-Pentecostal Church-- in this last hour needs a full-color picture of a genuine black-and-white prophet, to portray to its constituency what one looks like, to allow them to fully receive "the reward" or benefits of a prophet.

The late Leonard Ravenhill was himself a genuine prophet to the Church, but like most, so greatly undervalued, under-appreciated. But, thank God, before he left us and graduated to Glory, Ravenhill set up his prophetic spiritual camera, and, using technology of the Spirit, snapped this photograph through the lens of the Spirit to give us this awesome, glorious, and accurate "picture of a prophet!"

The Church's Greatest Need

"The Glory of the Latter House shall be greater than the Former!" (Hag. 2:9)

The hour we live in without equivocation is the most spiritually profound of all of history, and certainly of all “His-story.” Indeed, it can be no less when we are told that all of the historical Biblical events comprising His-story—i.e., the history of Israel—“happened to them as an example (illustration) and they were written for OUR instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11; cf., Rom. 15:4). God is therein declaring that the entire content of the Old Testament—the events it chronicles and the wisdom and instruction those events illustrate—are and always were intended for the true end-time believers comprising the end-times Church that Jesus is building!

Moreover, our spiritual assimilation of the morals illustrated and reflected in those Old Testament events and examples coupled with those given us in the New Testament will play a major role in producing the outcome that the Glory (tangible manifested presence of God) that abides upon those comprising the “Latter House”—the house of the faithful High Priest, who was faithful over His house as a SON (Heb. 3:1-6), that is, the Church Jesus is building—will far exceed any Glory that was ever upon the Former House—the house of Moses, who was faithful over his house as a SERVANT.

While the faithfulness of God’s SERVANT Moses produced per the Law of Reproduction a succession, intermittent as it was, of SERVANTS, the faithfulness of the SON over His House produces the surpassing results of “bringing many SONS unto Glory” (Heb. 2:10). By virtue of the fact that the House Jesus is building is a House of SONS, versus SERVANTS, the Glory of the Latter House MUST indeed be GREATER than the Former, for the Glory of SONS of God versus SERVANTS of God is like unto the glory of the sun compared to the glory of the moon (a non-illuminary planet).

God’s ultimate intent in the Creation of the Cosmos has always been to produce a burgeoning House or Family of SONS—SONS OF GOD! The choice and perfect Seed He sowed—His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON (itself one of the inscrutable mysteries of God, in that He was “begotten” and not “made”)—spiritually germinated and ever since has been producing like unto its Kind, that is, SONS! Abraham and his lineage, the Patriarchs, were SERVANTS. Moses was a SERVANT. David was a SERVANT. Though the magnitude of their servitude and faithfulness was incomparable, their highest expectation could only ever be to produce a legacy of SERVANTS, reflecting the Glory of SERVITUDE.

But, the SON, His legacy shall be an innumerable company of SONS, who “shall be like Him,” reflecting His Image—the Glory of SONSHIP! And, now, in these days, more than ever before in the history of the Creation, the Creation groans and writhes in the excruciating pangs of childbirth as it with rapt expectation awaits the revelation of the SONS of God.

Reader, I implore you to keep listening to this word. Stay attuned to the Spirit to hear this! Your life and the life of those you love depends on it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Prophets -- God's Change Agents

This edition is Part 2 of a series regarding the new things God is decreeing for the days ahead. I believe the topic of this series is both prophetic and timely, in that God is right now is decreeing and effecting major and in some cases paradigmic changes both in the world and the church, and is causing particular events to transpire that have never happened before; i.e., "new things." God is "suddenly" releasing and launching much that has been held in abeyance for many years. He is also bringing a sudden end to much that has been for a many years as well.
Isaiah 42:9
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.

Isaiah 43:18,19
Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 48:6-8
I proclaim to you new things from this time,
Even hidden things which you have not known.
They are created now and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard them,
So that you will not say, 'Behold, I knew them.'
You have not heard, you have not known.

One of the tribes of Israel, the sons of Issachar, were "men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do" (1 Chrn. 12:32). Prophets are spiritual "sons of Issachar." The spiritual inheritance of that tribe is alive within them. They have a special anointing for discerning the times and knowing when God is bringing forth new things, new paradigms, and bringing the Church into new dimensions of the Spirit.

Because they are discerners of these things, they frequently "see" things before others do, including other leaders. Also because they see and discern things before others do, there is a pioneering aspect to the personality and gifting of prophets. They are also predictive, rather than reactive, vis-à-vis most other people. Most people believe it when they see it. Prophets believe it before other people see it, because they've already seen it and its outcome in the Spirit. Prophets are still "seers." They perceive things in the Spirit realm others do not, at least not yet. They specialize in revealing the "secret counsel" of God in His timing.

Prophetic Polemic Preaching

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:
" 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 rarified 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, mamby-pamby, compromised, Casper-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-tatoos 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 resistent conscience! It can scarely 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.

Judgment Prophets

In 1986 I attended what was billed as a “prophetic gathering” in a tiny Florida Panhandle town. What it was billed as is not what it was in reality. It really was a cleverly disguised recruitment rally for membership in a network of prophetic ministries that was a newly formed subsidiary of the hosting organization, which, in the words of the leader, who they called “papa-prophet,” would soon be recognized as “the international prophetic clearinghouse.”

As preposterous as that sounds to rational minds, that is exactly what that organization was successful in convincing a fairly large percentage of the Neo-Pentecostal stream out of that initial conference. Aided by the approbation and endorsement of a number of other Neo-Pentecostal ministerial “networks” with whom they were in league, this organization — “The Panhandle Prophets” — essentially achieved their goal of duping the majority of Charismatica into accepting the premise that this single, man-made organization was chosen and appointed by God as the supreme sanctioning prophetic organization in the world.

To a large degree, depending on one’s perspective, this organization under the auspices of its leader either successfully hijacked the emerging prophetic movement, or presided over a false “prophetic movement” that was a Satanic preemption of the emergence of a company of prophets that has yet to commence. Over the past two and a half decades, the Panhandle Prophets have had somewhat of a lock, of sorts, on the prophetic, which they have jealously guarded because of the manifold self-aggrandizing benefits it has produced for them, not the least of which has been significant personal wealth accruing from their network of prophets and churches that requires membership dues and organization-set levels of tithing percentages from members commensurate to the level of recognition and status desired.

The stranglehold of influence this organization has been able to exert over the prophetic movement since the mid '80s, which has been extremely detrimental to the prophetic movement as well as the fulfillment of God's intended purposes for the prophetic within the true Church Jesus is building, is due to the fact that many carnally-minded Charismatic leaders simply accepted without appropriate investigation and prayerful consideration this self-promulgated and self-promoting proposition of this organization — i.e., that they are the premier prophets in the world and their network of prophetic ministries is the supreme sanctioning organization for prophets. The self-stated self-view of the leaders of this organization is that God has appointed them to recognize, approve, and authorize prophets, church-wide and world-wide. The level of hubris reflected in the self-view and attitudes of those associated with this organization, and I personally know quite a number of them, is absolutely astounding, but the fact that so many church leaders have accepted their grossly arrogant, unChristlike assertions is absolutely mindboggling!

Absurd as it sounds to the sane, many Neo-Pentecostals leaders actually accepted the ludicrous sales pitch of this organization and would only allow their “authorized and approved” prophets to minister in their churches, or called them to see if a prophet who was contacting them to minister in their churches was authorized and approved by them. The upshot of the organization’s methods, though they have always adamantly denied that that was their intent, was blatant black-balling of prophets who were not a member of their organization, resulting in untold damage, not only to those prophets’ ministries, and thus their lives, but also to the Body of Christ who were prevented from receiving the benefits of those prophets' ministries.

Prophetic Purpose

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.

To understand what the true Purpose of the prophetic is, we first have to understand what Purpose is. Purpose is one of five elements of Vision. Purpose is the vehicle of Vision. Purpose is what defines and drives the Vision. Of all the elements of Vision, Purpose is the most critical. Without Purpose there will be no Performance of the Vision. Without a place to go — a destination or Destiny — there's no need for a vehicle. Without Destiny there is no need for Purpose. Purpose is the substance of Destiny. Purpose and Destiny are not synonymous, but they are symbiotic. They are inextricably linked and interdependent, and yet they are distinct. One is meaningless without the other. Purpose has no reason to exist without Destiny, for Purpose is the servant of Destiny. Destiny cannot be attained without Purpose.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prophetic Irresponsibility

Editorial Foreword [By Dr. Steven Lambert]: Prophetic Publishing Responsibility. While browsing through some articles published on a partnering ministry's email messaging group site, I stumbled upon the following article, with which I wholeheartedly agree, and felt an urgency and unction of the Spirit to transmit it also to those of you on our email list. I am republishing it by permission of the author. Please read and absorb it...the points Bryan makes are poignant and apropos. I urge those of you who maintain email lists or websites to obtain permission from the author to republish the article as well, and to do so through your various means of distribution. I feel that strongly about the importance of the issue he raises in the article.

As those who follow this ministry know, I am a lover of the prophetic ministry, which I myself have been operating in for more than three decades. Moreover, some twenty years ago, I authored a prophetic manual and course that has been used by Bible colleges and church leaders, which is a product of my personal study, research, and ministering in prophetic seminars, conferences, and other prophetic gatherings since the early 1980s, before "the prophetic movement" began. I have ministered prophetically to literally thousands in hundreds of venues.

I recite this information not to boast, but to affirm I am no novice to the prophetic. Many ministers who have attended my meetings can attest to that fact.

I believe in the prophetic, but I personally feel that despite the expansive surge of interest in and awareness about the prophetic that has thus far transpired, in many ways, the prophetic "movement" is still an immature movement. Perhaps, it could be equated to being in its adolescence at this point, having advanced past childhood, but it still is not matured. I still see a lot of "prophetic playing," wherein people are more or less playing with the prophetic gifts, rather than using them for God's intended purposes for them. Moreover, there still are a lot of people making usury of the prophetic gifts for self-aggrandizing or self-promoting purposes, rather than for bringing glory to and exalting Jesus. A few of the "pappa prophets," as some have so distastefully elected to promote themselves, have even become quite wealthy or at least well-off through the ill-motivated usury they've made of the prophetic emphasis since the mid-1980's.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Prophetic and Present Truth

The Charismatic Movement brought forth a restoration of and renewed awareness in the "Charismata" or Manifestation Gifts of the Spirit. However, at the close of the 20th Century, God began a systematic restoration of the office of the prophet back into its proper place of function within the Church that Jesus is building. What became known as a "Prophetic Movement" was birthed in the late 1980s, but now in the 21st Century God is bringing new direction and development to the movement as it begins to mature to a place where it can truly and effectively be used by God for the purposes He intended and delineated in Scripture. The restoration and maturation of the prophetic office and gifts is a part of "Present Truth."
" established in the PRESENT TRUTH." (1 Pet. 1:12)
" for knowledge, it will pass away [that is, it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect [total] comes, theincomplete and imperfect will vanish away—become antiquated, void and superseded....For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know inpart (imperfectly); but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]." (1 Cor. 13:8-12, Amplified Bible)
The entrance of God's Word gives light, or illumination of the Truth (Ps. 119:130). By and by, through the centuries, God has been progressively dispelling spiritual darkness in the Church by gradually revealing more and more Truth and gradually granting greater illumination of the Truth. As a result, the Church's understanding of what Truth is, is becoming more and more complete and perfected as we approach the end of the Church Age. This is the import of the Divine exhortation that we "be established in PRESENT Truth" (2 Pet. 1:12, KJV). Certainly the Truth as it exists in the Mind of God is absolute and absolutely perfect, and therefore cannot be improved or upgraded. Rather, it is the Church's understanding of the Truth that is constantly being improved and upgraded. Ever since its birth, the Lord has been teaching and maturing the Church, renewing our collective mind to make it to be congruous with the "mind of Christ." That process continues in these last days as the Holy Spirit dispels the darkness which has been blinding our eyes and elucidates Truth which in a semantic sense is "new" but which in reality is not, since it has really been there all along.