Monthly Archives: August 2010

Elijah, Come Out of the Cave! Now! (Part 2)

Click on following link for earlier article: Part 1.

Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9: 28 – 31)

Matthew, Mark and Luke included this scene, the Transfiguration, in their gospels. John did not, but John wrote his gospel account, thirty years after the other three and mainly filled in the holes which the the first three had overlooked.

Now, we have to remember that the Father is the most awesome and meticulous Director ever. By comparison, anything that Hollywood has ever directed or produced is but a second-rate, shoddy rip-off. You see, when God is the Director, nothing is left for chance. Every detail is planned and arranged ahead of time, and the Transfiguration is one of God’s most majestic events.

Peter, John and James go along with Jesus to pray on a mountain. While the three are praying, Jesus is transfigured into a glorious being, and if that’s not enough, Moses and Elijah appear. The two Old Testament icons talk with Jesus about His soon crucifixion.

“Wait a second!” you shout. “How did Moses and Elijah know what was about to happen to Jesus?”

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

Moses and Elijah had been looking forward to the Son of God arriving on the scene for hundreds of years. But the important question is not how they knew, but rather, why they were the chosen representatives of all the saints who had died before this time?

Now, we can understand why Moses was selected. After all, he was the man which the Father used to bring the Law to Israel and Jesus was the Lamb of God who fulfilled the Law. Thus, Moses was there to pass the torch to the Lord, the bearer of the better covenant.

But why Elijah? Why not King David who was also a prophet? Or Isaiah? Or Jeremiah? Or Ezekiel?

(Continued in Part 3)

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

Elijah, Come Out of the Cave! Now! (Part 1)

Quite a few years ago, I attended a meeting at a small country church where two traveling prophets were ministering. I specifically went there in hopes that I would hear a prophetic word for myself.

Both of the prophets were veterans and had been in ministry for twenty years or more. Their usual practice was for one to preach a message one night, while the other preached the following night. During the ministry phase of the service, both prayed for people.

I sat on a back pew during the man’s message and because of the time lapse, I don’t recall what he spoke about. But I do remember, what I felt.

My spiritual radar was turned on and I could feel the hurts and wounds of the people sitting in the pews throughout the sanctuary. Almost all needed deliverance from some type of demonic oppression or another. And at the time, I felt that if the people did not receive their deliverance, any other ministry would mostly be a waste of time.

When the man finished his message, the other prophet joined him for the ministry phase of the service. Both stood at the front of the church, ready to pray for people.

“Does anyone in the sanctuary need prayer? If you do, just come forward and we’ll pray for you,” one prophet said.

I wanted prayer, but at the same time, this was not the church I regularly attended. So, I waited for the church’s members to go first. No one did.

“Well,” said one prophet, “since nobody wants prayer. We’ll close the service and meet here again tomorrow night, okay?”

My politeness went out the window when I heard his words and I stood up. I believe that if you come to get something, no use in leaving without it, right?

“Hey, I need prayer!” I shouted as I walked down the aisle toward the front.

The two prophets laughed along with the rest of the church. Then, the two prophets prayed for me and I heard the prophetic answers I needed for my life. I left the meeting as a blessed man.

But what about the other people who sat in the pews?

In the days following the meeting, I bugged the Lord on why the two prophets did not discern the needs of the people sitting in the pews. (If you are wondering, the Lord likes to be pestered and bugged by us believers. So, bug Him!)

Eventually, the Lord spoke to me and His answers changed my life.

(Continued in Part 2)

9 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

I’d Like to Prophesy, But … (Part II-13)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

Click on the following links for earlier articles: Part II-1, Part II-2, Part II – 3, Part II-4, Part II- 5, Part II-6, Part II-7, Part II-8Part II – 9, Part II- 1o, Part II- 11 and Part II-12.


Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)

The excitement in the near future will be how God turns the 90% of believers who do not really care about or believe in prophecy or prophets into gung-ho enthusiasts of prophetic words.

Now, there’s a part of me which believes, “Oh boy! This is going to be lots of fun.”

But also, a stodgy realist lives within me who often reminds, “Don’t kid yourself! It will be a lot of work!”

So, I’m ready to enjoy myself, but also, I’m prepared to roll my sleeves up and work. How about you?

You see, we can study and know the written and revealed word from Genesis to Revelation, and still not be prepared for what’s coming our direction three months or a year from now. Because where in the Bible does it state that terrorists are planning nuclear attacks on San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle or your city?

Yes, there are general scriptures which we can draw strength from, but there are no specific ones for our needs right now in America.

And if the Father does not change and Jesus does not change, and therefore, the Holy Spirit does not change, then what about the following:

But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (John 16: 13)

How can the Holy Spirit possibly fulfill His ministry without prophetic words, or even specialists who are called prophets? It’s not possible, right?

If we believers are really going to do what Jesus says to do, so that houses are built on rocks and ready for every storm, then we must learn about and listen for prophetic words. Because the alternative is that our house will collapse in the midst of the storms.

And then what happens to our loved ones and our neighbors?

(Conclusion, but will be continued in the future.)

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, reformation

I’d Like to Prophesy, But… (Part II-12)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

Click on the following links for earlier articles: Part II-1, Part II-2, Part II – 3, Part II-4, Part II- 5, Part II-6, Part II-7, Part II-8Part II – 9, Part II- 1o and Part II- 11.


Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6: 46)

“Find a way to hook into those people who disagree with you” was a truth that I learned as a young believer from a book written by Rev. Kenneth Hagin.  And over the years, this statement has helped frame how I try to relate with other Christians.

For instance, I was once visiting with a Christian who was in full-time ministry. Though I had never met him before, he had somehow heard about me. Early in our conversation, he said, “I don’t believe in prophecy, speaking in tongues or that there are even such things as prophets or apostles anymore.”

“Oh, okay,” I said, not really giving it much thought one way or the other.

The man continued on speaking about his beliefs that the spiritual gifts and the ministries of the prophets and apostles were relics of the past. He quoted some scriptures and mentioned some noted Bible teachers who agreed with him.

As I stood there listening to him, a prophetic word arose within me for him and his ministry. Now what? I thought.

The man finally finished his speech and seemed satisfied that the boundaries of our fellowshipping with each other had been set. He then showed me around his place and explained about the goals of his ministry.

I listened and asked questions. We enjoyed our time together.

When it was time for me to leave, I asked, “Do you need prayer for anything?”

“Funny that you should ask,” he said, “but I do need special prayers for some problems I have.” He explained the problems to me. Then he added, “But remember: no tongues or prophecy. Okay?”

I nodded agreement to his reminders and I began praying.

First, I prayed for his problems, proclaiming scriptural answers. Then, I prayed like this: “And Lord, if this happens in his life, show him this. And if this happens, show him this…”

On and on, I prayed in this manner for about ten minutes. When I finished, his eyes looked as big as pie plates.

“How’d you do that?” he asked.

“What?” I said.

“How’d you know about my dreams and heart impressions that I haven’t told anyone about, not even my wife? How’d you know?” he demanded.

We then talked about the gifts of the Spirit. He no longer talked about his arguments, but rather, he talked about his new experience and what it meant to him and his minstry.

And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that your faith would not rest in the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2: 4-5)

(Continued in Part II – 13)

8 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

I’d Like to Prophesy, But… (Part II – 11)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

Click on the following links for earlier articles: Part II-1, Part II-2, Part II – 3, Part II-4, Part II- 5, Part II-6, Part II-7, Part II-8Part II – 9 and Part 1o.

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6: 46)

Most of what has been termed the Prophetic Movement (1980’s to present) is what I believe to be really a forerunner move of prophecy and prophets. This does not mean that the movement is unimportant to the Body of Christ because the Lord always sends His various movements to the church to change us believers and prepare us for future events.

Now, there will be many who might disagree with me on this. They will mostly believe that the prophets who have already been raised up and the words of prophecy which are now being spoken are already mature. And thus, the church has already arrived at the pinnacle of prophetic success and only needs to follow in the raised-up leaders’ footsteps and their teachings for even greater successes.

To these people who will disagree with me, I say, “Let’s wait and see, okay?”

Since I’m writing prophetically, obviously I could be wrong, and if I am, I will publicly apologize, okay?

What I term as the forerunner prophets have been sent specifically by the Lord, during the Prophetic Movement, to one small section of the church, the Pentecostal and Charismatic groups. These groups comprise approximately ten percent of the Body of Christ, but this ten percent is relatively isolated from the remaining ninety percent of the church. And sadly, it’s almost impossible to jump over the chasms at this time between the Pentecostal/Charismatic branch and the remaining trunk of Christianity because of doctrinal issues and past conflicts. Thus, the present Prophetic Movement has had little affect on 90% of the church, except for being a hindrance to prophecy and prophets.

I see the forerunner prophets as, sort of guinea pigs, for teachers like me and others to watch so that we will learn from them, and then spread prophecy to the remaining ninety percent of the Body of Christ. (Remember: wisdom often comes out of our mistakes rather than from our preparations beforehand.)

Then, I also see a new breed of prophets who will be soon raised up. These will come mainly out of the ninety percent of the Body of Christ which is not Pentecostal or Charismatic. This new breed of prophets will have John the Baptist-like anointings.

The new prophets with the John the Baptist-like anointings will not be mired down in the swamps that the forerunner prophets are stuck in right now. They will not be imprisoned inside four walls and controlled under a church hierarchy. They will have the boldness and fire to take on church leaders, governmental leaders and sin in our cities and our nation.

It will be glorious and messy at the same time, just like when John the Baptist preached along the Jordan River, before the ministry of Jesus arrived to take John’s place.

(Continued in Part II – 12)

4 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

I’d Like to Prophesy, But… (Part II – 10)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

Click on the following links for earlier articles: Part II-1, Part II-2, Part II – 3, Part II-4, Part II- 5, Part II-6, Part II-7, Part II-8 and Part II – 9.

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do what I say? (Luke 6: 46)

A year or so ago, a major ministry, headed by a man who has written more than twenty books and was involved in a well-known revival, asked me to comment about an article that an editor wrote in their online magazine. I was flattered and agreed to do so.

The article outlined how the editor believed the Lord was using prophets in today’s churches and cities and regions. His main point of emphasis was that the Lord was now using teams of prophets and prophetic people. He went so far as to say:

The Lord no longer uses “lone wolf” prophets acting just as individuals, apart from a team approach or under a ministry umbrella.

I wrote a comment generally agreeing that the article pinpointed the ministry of today’s prophets. But in one short blurb, I added: “I do not believe scripturally that you can justify saying that the Lord no longer uses “lone wolf” prophets. The Lord is the Boss and if He chooses to send one man to a city, He can. After all, the decision is His and not ours to make.”

Now, you would have thought that I had slammed the editor and the whole ministry with my itsy-bitsy blurb. Because for the next two weeks, the editor, his staff and even the ministry head wrote comments back and forth to me on the website.

Their two major points of disagreement with my remarks about “lone wolf” prophets were:

1. The Lord already had church governments set in place in cities through pastors, elders and city councils,

2. And so-called “lone wolf” prophets are not accountable to the local church governments and can cause great harm to the communities.

I agreed with both of their major points, but even so, I wrote in so many words, “So what?”

You see, by their definition, John the Baptist was a “lone wolf” prophet and so was Jesus. And if you include the Old Testament, then you would also have Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah and countless other prophets. Who were these prophets accountable to? No one except the Lord.

Once again, I reminded them that the Lord was Boss and He could do whatever He wanted to do. If that included sending a “lone wolf” prophet into a city to shake it up, then that was the Lord’s decision. The Lord is not worried one way or another about our accountability systems nor is He worried about the messes that His prophets may make.

The ministry head relented a bit after a week or so by saying:

I could see the possibility of the Lord sending a “lone wolf” prophet to a city if the local city church government had deep-rooted sin and refused to repent of their sin.

I replied the Lord may send a “lone wolf” prophet to a city irregardless of sin issues. He may do it just to check out the hearts of the leaders and the believers, but there again, that’s the Lord’s decision.

Our two-week debate ended with us agreeing that we disagreed with each other on the “lone wolf” prophet issue.

Why are the forerunner prophets different from the John the Baptist anointed ones?

(Continued in Part II – 11)

10 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare

I’d Like to Prophesy, But… (Part II – 9)

This is a continuation of the nine-part series,  I’d Like to Prophesy, But…

Click on the following links for earlier articles: Part II-1, Part II-2, Part II – 3, Part II-4, Part II- 5, Part II-6, Part II-7. and Part II-8.

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6: 46)

Why did the Lord create the callings of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher? Yes, we can read Ephesians 4: 11 – 16 for ourselves, but in simple words that are easily understood, why did He do it?

I believe the Lord created the callings because He gave the church certain specialists, and also, examples for us believers to pattern our own lives after.

For instance, the Greek word apostolos which is translated into the English language as apostle really means the “sent ones.” But if you look at the Great Commission, aren’t all believers told to “Go,” and thus, are sent ones, too?

And by the same token, evaggelistes is translated into the English as evangelists (“bringers of good tidings“), poimen is translated pastors (“shepherds”), and didaskalos is translated teachers (“ones who teach”). But once again, each believer is called to evangelize or shepherd or teach someone, if only their own children or loved ones, right?

But the one calling, which causes today’s Christians to get all bent out of shape, is the Greek word prophetes which is translated into the English word prophets. The Greek word actually means “the ones who speak for God.”

Now, the ones who speak for God (the prophets) have discomforted and irritated people throughout history. And the reactions of the people to the words spoken by the prophets have not always been pleasant. Abel was murdered by Cain. Isaiah was sawed in half by King Manasseh. Jeremiah was tossed into a cistern. Countless numbers of other prophets were slaughtered in the Old Teastament.

Yet, there was a quiet time when God did not speak through His prophets to Israel. This four hundred year period occurred between Malachi and the New Testament, but the quiet was broken when John the Baptist arrived on the scene.

John’s words of “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” were well-received by the people who flocked out to hear him, but his words were not accepted by the Jewish leaders (Pharisees, scribes and priests). They ended up beheading him.

Later, Jesus was asked by the temple leaders about His authority and Jesus asked them an interesting question in return.

“Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.” They began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From men?” – they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet. Answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know” …. (Mark 11: 30)

So far, the American church has only seen a few forerunner prophets. But as yet, we have not seen prophets with John the Baptist anointings whose words cause leaders to worry about what the people will think or say. When this happens, what will the leaders say?

(Continued in Part II – 10)

6 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Gifts of the Spirit, God, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, reformation, spiritual warfare