We Have Messed It Up Royally!

In the beginning God

God birthed the Church in power (Acts 2:1-5)
God gave a mandate to the Church to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20)
God stated that the Church would do that by bearing witness to Jesus – especially His resurrection (Acts 1:8)
God gave us authority to make disciples (not believers) and bring them to maturity (Matthew 28:18-20)
God promised to go with us and back up His message (the gospel) with power so that the gospel would be fully preached (Matthew 28:20 and Romans 15:18-19)

We have messed it up royally!

Somewhere between then and now – Christianity became something to be practiced inside a building instead of being a pulsating, life-transforming encounter with the living God that spills over and impacts the unsaved world.

Christians have stopped having true faith in Jesus and have learned to rely totally on their pastors or priests. For some the only time they connect to the Lord is on Sundays when they assemble together with other believers (not disciples) to worship and hear the pastor or teacher share his thoughts on a few verses of the Bible. This is also the only Bible they feed on in any given week. Witnessing about their faith to others is obviously non-existent for most of today’s believers. And, miracles, signs and wonders don’t follow them as Jesus promised they would – they chase them by running from one conference to another.

Unless the Western Church returns to biblical roots, it will continue its rapid downward slide to irrelevance and oblivion.

Jesus will not tolerate a rebellious and dead Church for long, for the Church is meant to represent His Kingdom to the lost people of the world. He is warning all such Churches today:

Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:5)

Up until 15 years ago I was a conference-holic. I needed my fix every three or four months. I just itched to attend a set of meetings, talk with other leaders, listen to the ‘big guys’ who had made “it” work (I never did define “it”). They had radio and televsion programs, published books and were in great demand as speakers. Successful. I just had to go and learn more (not a bad thing) and get away to exercise my brain and recharge my spirit. Again, not a bad thing!

Then I became involved in a course through my doctorate studies that took me for 10 days to Dallas, Texas along with 26 others from various nations around the world. This “course” was headed up by Leighton Ford and with the help of some tremendous men and women we did classroom “stuff” during the day and then, in the evenings and late into the night, we went on the streets to practice what we had been learning. We went out street witnessing. Change my life – permanently.

Since that time many years ago I have spent at least one full afternoon a week (usually 2) on the streets (and in coffee shops – it gets cold here in the winter) engaging others in conversation, working at presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since that time I work at sharing the gospel every day during regular life events – grocery shopping, walking the dog, buying gas at 2 in the morning as I return from an out-of-town ministry trip, supper out with my wife. The methods I use have changed at least three or four times but the actual getting out of my study and office, away from helping and listening to believers, and into the world (as Jesus commanded we do) has never changed.

Now I don’t go to conferences or specials. I don’t have the time as I am “about my Father’s business of seeking and saving the lost” (Luke 19:10). And, I no longer have a need to go to these special events. Where I use to go to these conferences to exercise my brain and recharge my spirit – that now happens on a regular basis as I hit the streets and businesses sharing Jesus and as I talk to others on a regular daily basis as I go about normal life activities. It is definitely a lift to my spirit – and sorting out answers to the questions raised and thinking through what went wrong and what worked during the day’s outing is all the exercise my brain needs on a regular basis.

I was talking with a couple yesterday in the City of Moose Jaw (the hour-long coffee became almost three hours). They are constantly sharing Jesus so when we get together He is always the focus and we just have a great time. In the midst of our conversation we began to think about a good-size town that has absolutely no gospel witness and where there is not a gospel-believing Church. Well, it got electric in the coffee shop – well, at least in our corner of it.

So, this coming week we are getting together to drive out to this town to walk around and pray and see if the Lord wants us to plant a new Church in this area that will not practice it’s faith inside a building – instead it will be, from the start, a pulsating, life-transforming encounter with the living God that spills over and impacts the unsaved world.

A Series of Questions

Do you ever read a prophetic word and come away confused or concerned?

Do you wonder if the prophetic person is really hearing God or just making this stuff up?

Do you wonder if the word given as from the Lord truly lines up with what the Bible states?

Here is a word released on August 21, 2008 … I received it by e-mail from a mailing list I signed up for. It is also available, I am sure, from the prophetic website “The Elijah List” and from the home ministry page of the voice speaking the word.

I will give you a minute to read the word over once or twice and then I would like to ask you a series of questions.

We are born with celebration or sorrow built into our genes. All of us want to celebrate, but sometimes the sorrow stops us.

Through the spirit of the Lord, our sorrow can turn to joy. After Passover I prophesied that “We are in our most dangerous season from August 12-September 15.” In history, the Hebrew month of Av was the most critical time of covenant expression in the earth.

This month can be either the “high road” or the “low road” in your life processes. Some of the keys to look for during this year, as we enter into this season of new beginnings, will be:
• How we process our circumstances
• How we express our attitudes about others
• How we receive correction for our course of life ahead
• How we look at our supply lines
• How we align with God’s covenant purposes
• How we receive the expression of His Spirit
• How we allow our gifts to express themselves
• How we join in covenant worship expressions
• How we allow our desires to come into full alignment with the desires of a Holy God in heaven
• How we re-evaluate the vision that we are developing and the sphere of authority we have

This is a time of asking the Spirit of the Lord to cleanse our blood and break any spiritual, generational, iniquitous patterns in our lives.

Pray the following: “Dear Lord, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end. Establish the just, for You are a righteous God who tries the hearts and minds. Examine me, Lord, and prove me! Try my mind and my heart. I will bless You, who has given me counsel. Sanctify my mind and instruct me in the night seasons. Yes, my mind shall rejoice when my lips speak right things. Let your righteousness be the girdle of my loins, and faithfulness the girdle of my mind.”
Now hear God say to the church: “‘[I am] He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (Rev.2:23, NKJV).

Ready – a series of questions based on this specific “prophetic word” …

1> Are we really born with celebration and sorrow in our genes? Biblical?
2> Is all sorrow bad and all celebration good? We can celebrate victory over an enemy after killing them – is that good? Or, we can express godly sorrow – is that bad?
3> Why should I be concerned about the Hebrew month Av as I am not Jewish and I don’t live by the Jewish calendar?
4> Which “covenant expression” is being referred to – Old Covenant because of the reference to the Hebrew month of Av? Or New Covenant because I a blood-bought, born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?
5> Why would this be a concern for a non-Jew and a born again Christian who lives under a new covenant made with better blood with better promises?
6> Why is this month more special than any other month in my “life process”?
7> What is being referred to by the words “life Process”?
8> Why is this a season of new beginnings? Did that not start for me when I was born again?

Skipping down past the points (bullets) …

9> Why does my “blood” need cleansing? Don’t my kidneys do that task for my body? Are you suggesting some sort of evil flows through my blood system?
10> Is not receiving the righteousness of Christ when born again sufficient? Are we suggesting that it is Jesus plus something?
11> If I repent with godly sorrow for any current sin – is not forgiveness granted – so why does my “blood” need cleansing?
12> Did I not become a “new creature in Christ” when born again? If so, why am I still “breaking spiritual, generational iniquitous patterns”? Was I not rescued from the domain of darkness and brought into the light? Do I not have fellowship with Jesus which is impossible if I am still in darkness that is yet unbroken in my life?
13> Does the wickedness of the wicked really come to an end before Jesus returns? Did not the prophet Isaiah state that darkness will become gross darkness? Does not the book of Revelation depict this gross darkness still on the face of the planet when Jesus returns?
14> Is not “righteousness” the breastplate covering our heart – not our loins?
15> Is not “salvation” the helmet we are to wear not “faithfulness”? Are not our minds girded up by being renewed through a knowledge of and understanding of God’s Word?
16> Is God suggesting that we are followers of Jezebel and thus we will be rewarded according to our false works as our children are struck dead? (Revelation 2:23 in context)
17> Why is this a “night season” and what exactly is that?
18> Should not our hearts rejoice all the time – when our lips speak right things AND when they don’t? Did not Paul state: “Rejoice in all things” and “Give thanks for all things”?

Let’s answer the points raised regarding keys to look for during these “new beginnings”…

• How we process our circumstances
By seeing them as believers who know that God is sovereign and still in control
• How we express our attitudes about others
We will love them and forgive them and accept them as Jesus did us
• How we receive correction for our course of life ahead
We receive it humbly and with thankful hearts – thankful that God and others care enough to speak correction and then we will act on the input received
• How we look at our supply lines
The Bible says that God gives everything that pertains unto life and godliness
• How we align with God’s covenant purposes
If it is the New Covenant – as it should be – then by being Born Again, obedient to His commands and coming into line with His Word as recorded in scripture
• How we receive the expression of His Spirit
Not sure what that means! What does “receive the expression of His Spirit” mean? I receive all that the Holy Spirit is doing in my life, His Church and in the world.
• How we allow our gifts to express themselves
The way the Bible says we should – humbly and lovingly as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and for the benefit of the Church
• How we join in covenant worship expressions
Note: Hopefully New Covenant and therefore not Jewish festivals adopted and adapted to the Christian Church where they are not needed. Answer: We join in by assembling with other believers and expressing our love for Jesus from our hearts enabled by the Holy Spirit in worship
• How we allow our desires to come into full alignment with the desires of a Holy God in heaven
Simple – we died in Christ and rose to a new life lived in Him. So, His will is our will and we do His will.
• How we re-evaluate the vision that we are developing and the sphere of authority we have
Why are we re-evaluating the vision the Lord gave us? Is it not good enough? Did we get it wrong? Was it not God? Do we no longer like it and so want a new one? The sphere of authority we have is again a given and we don’t need to re-evaluate it. When God enlarges or shrinks it – you will know!

In my heart this “prophetic word” is not a prophetic word. I know – be careful what you are saying Ralph.

It leaves me with the impression that it is a lot of gobbly-gook … words strung together to make it sound spiritual. It lacks substance. It mixes Old and New Testament together implying that Jesus is not enough. It misuses scripture taking a verse totally out of context. It is vague about what the “new beginnings” are. The points are all answerable by even a young believer who has a so-so grasp of their Bible and has nothing to do with the prophetic and ‘new beginnings’ – but everything to do with living as a believer who is maturing in his walk and relationship with the Lord. It lacks anything that we can measure and say – that word was right because what it said would happen did happen!

Ever question who the prophetic voice is accountable to so that if it does not come to pass you will know who to contact? I do – because there are too many words bringing too much confusion and hurt to the Body of Christ by well-meaning men and women whose prophetic words lack substance and biblical accuracy.

It is time to test and prove all things – especially published prophetic words to the Body of Christ, the Church, in general – even the ones I publish every other week in my e-newsletter.

Lakeland – It Is Time to Repent!

There is something missing in the aftermath and continuing saga of Todd Bentley and Lakeland, Flordia. Something I have not seen yet but that I believe is absolutely essential if the Charismatic Church is to regain some of it’s relevance and integrity in the eyes of the wider Church and the world.

I have ben reading and listening and even watching comments being made by those who have national and international platforms from which to speak and who were directly involved in Lakeland and Todd Bentley’s ministry there. John Arnott, Bill Johnson, Che Ahn, Peter and Doris Wagner and others.

I have listened with horror as they explain how little they knew of Todd’s life and ministry before the now famous June 23rd, 2008 ordination / “apostolic alignment” service. I have sat is total disbelief as I read that they had not even spoken to him – let alone spoken to him in some depth – before that very public service. I shuddered when I saw a number of people trying to distance themselves from Todd and his ministry after the fan was turned on and the shovel was in hand. “No, being on the stage was not granting approval to all that was taking place at Lakeland”. I boil with anger as I see those who lovingly spoke out against some of the extremes and the lack of solid Bible teaching now being called “religious and divisive”. I get down right mad when some of those who stood on that stage and ordained and aligned and, in my mind, thus approved of Todd Bentley – his message, his ministry and his methods – are now attempting to take the spotlight off of what they did and did not do and point it on those who were, out of genuine concern, speaking up (at times, at great risk and great cost) about what was and was not happening.

Here’s what missing – I do not see the leaders (17 of them who were on the stage on June 23rd, 2008 in Lakeland, Flordia) REPENTING. Repenting for what they did and did not do. They failed the worldwide Church. They stood up and approved a man and his message and his methods and his ministry. I don’t really buy the excuses I have been seeing coming out as to what they thought they were doing or what they were intending to do.

It doesn’t matter that, after the fan is turned on, you state that you did not lay hands on the man but stepped to the back of the stage and let others do that. YOU WERE THERE and involved in a public service and that says to everyone that you approved and recommend this man, his message, and his ministry (and ministry methods) to the Church.

We draw attention to some of the healings that have happened and been credited to God moving at Lakeland. (Che Ahn’s letter) Great. But that is simply switching the focus off the real issue.

We talk about the need or prayer for Todd and his wife and the Church – I agree. (John Arnott’s letter) But that is not the real issue.

We talk about divisiveness and religious spirits and lack of unity (Bill Johnson’s comments on a Sunday in Redding, California). Great! But that is not the issue.

From what I have seen and read so far (limited, I am sure) I do not see these men and women who were on stage with Todd that night repenting. Repenting of approving charisma before character. Repenting of approving subjective experiences over the objective Word of God. Repenting of approving non-biblical teachings and non-biblical revelations. Repenting of not confronting Todd about his borrowed anointings from long dead saints. Repenting of approving third heaven visions and Cloud of Witnesses visits from the dead. Repenting of not speaking into his methods which drew attention to himself and did not represent the character and nature of God. Repenting of approving a gospel that was “another gospel” and not the clear gospel of repentance with godly sorrow for their sins (have you even listened to Todd’s gospel presentations?) Repenting of inviting this man and his ministry into your churches and networks without first dealing with these (and many other) glaring issues of long standing. Repenting of your apparent lack of discernment or lack of knowledge about what was really being taught and done at these nightly meetings. Repenting of declaring this a revival when, by all biblical and classic definitions, this was no more a revival than a visit to the outhouse is a genuine revival.

That’s what is missing – REPENTANCE. And, we should not allow anything to distract us from asking the leaders – all of them – to publicly repent. Stop backpeddling and simply repent. Stop taking the focus off of your actions. Stop putting the focus (and blame) on those who spoke out about what was being taught and said and done at Lakeland. The issue is not us – it is you – national and international leaders who acted wrongly and hastily and without knowledge, it seems – in approving everything and everyone involved by standing there on that stage on the 23rd of June.

No matter how you slice it – you stood there and in the eyes of the world you ordained, set apart, connected with, stood in agreement with, put your stamp of approval on (and you need to know how much influence that really has around the world), stated by your attendance that you were in agreement with the teachings, the methods, and the ministry of this man. I honestly can’t see how you could really believe you were doing anything less than that (as some of you now state). It is time to publicly repent of your lack of genuine leadership in the worldwide Church.

Standing in the Gap

There are a number of things that need to be addressed in the Charismatic Church today. Lakeland and Todd Bentley is just one.

Those with national and international platforms are not talking about these issues. Those who are seen as or call themselves apostles – as well as those who really are – are not addressing these issues. They are not stepping up and giving apostolic direction to the Church in a time when it is desperately needed – biblically and theologically.

One man who is doing something about it – is J. Lee Grady. I do not know the man personally and have never sat under his ministry. The one time he was in my city ministering I was in another city ministering and so did not see or hear him. But recently I have “discovered him” and have been receiving his articles via email. He is editor of Charisma Magazine (again I had not been subscribing to this magazine for years either) and writes “Fire In My Bones”.

This man has been, in my opinion, stepping in and doing some of the work of an apostle. He has been waving the red warning flags – not crying wolf and he’s not on a heresy hunt – where they need to be waved. He has been dealing with issues in the Church when it has not been popular to do so. He has been speaking biblically and theologically into the life of the Charismatic Church. He has been asking the tough questions and attempting to give biblically balanced answers to those tough question.

J. Lee Grady and www.fireinmybones.com has been doing the work of an apostle to the Church even though he is not one. At least, not to my knowledge. He is a man standing in the gap until other apostles (the real ones) who have a national or international audience begin to speak directly to the glaring issues facing the Church today – especially in North America.

Not sure when those who are seen and respected as apostles will speak up – but it may be time to stop worrying about popularity, speaking engagements, and sales figures for books and CDs and start thinking of bringing correction to where correction is needed. And it is needed.

One of the concerns arising out of Lakeland is the issue of angels. Lakeland brought the issue front and center because of the ‘ministry’ of Emma; but angels and their ministry and what believers are reporting angels doing and what leaders are teaching and saying about angels need to be dealt with. Past due and desperately needed.

J. Lee Grady – who is doing some of the work of an apostle – has recently written a blog/article on angels (as a result, I am sure, of Emma and Lakeland) and it is well worth the read. I have pasted it below this blog entry…

Two other issues that are out there and need immediate and strong apostolic correction:
1> The doctrine called “The Cloud of Witnesses”
2> The practice of “The Third Heaven”

Both these teachings are not biblical and are, in my neck of the woods, resulting in serious heretical teachings and believers going off into La La Land and doing, seeing, and teaching some fairly off-the-wall stuff. Both existed before Lakeland but both are taught by Todd Bentley and numerous other media voices with extensive ministries.

Now – J. Lee Grady’s recent article from www.fireinmybones.com

Angels, Deception and a Cry for Biblical Truth
Weird teachings about angels have become the norm in some charismatic circles today. It’s time to demand sanity on the subject.

At a growing Brazilian church in Boston, a pastor told his congregation he was having regular conversations with an angel. Weeks later he set a chair on the stage for the heavenly visitor, whom he said was attending Sunday services even though no one could see him. The pastor eventually wrote a book containing messages he had supposedly received from the angel. The man’s teachings became so bizarre that he was eventually removed from his denomination for promoting heresy.

That scenario may seem extreme, but it is one example of widespread emphasis on angels and angelic encounters in the charismatic movement today. In the case of the Brazilian church, the pastor went off the theological deep end and his church became a cult. It remains to be seen what will happen in other sectors of our movement as leaders promote teachings about angels that range from the mildly weird to downright wacky:

“It remains to be seen what will happen in other sectors of our movement as leaders promote teachings about angels that range from the mildly weird to downright wacky.”

* Evangelist Todd Bentley, leader of the Lakeland Revival, stirred up interest in angels when he wrote about Emma, a female angel he said wears a long white dress, floats above the floor and resembles Kathryn Kuhlman.

* A young evangelist who was preaching in Canada last spring held up a jar with a feather in it and told the congregation it belonged to an angel who visits him. He said the angel was coming to the service to release riches and healing to those who wanted prayer.

* Leaders of the prophetic movement often speak of angels that bring healing, wealth or special anointings. Some have described angels as tall as skyscrapers while others say they have seen tiny angels the size of insects. One prophet spoke of angels who are sleeping inside the walls of churches. Another segment of believers claim that the glowing circles of light that often show up on photographs are angels in the form of “orbs.”

With such exotic teachings on the rise, we desperately need some biblical guidelines. If you believe everything you hear these days, angels can be huge, tiny, spherical, male, female, feathered or non-feathered. What’s next? Yipping dog angels? Mermaid angels with fins? Court jester angels with bells on their hats?

Since my earliest days in the charismatic movement I was always taught that the Bible is our guidebook for doctrine and practice, and that the early church’s experience in the Book of Acts should be a pattern for us. This would direct us to assume that if a spiritual experience is not in the Bible, then it should not be considered normative for us today.

When I look at what the New Testament teaches us about angels, and specifically what the book of Acts shows us about them, here’s what I find:

Angels who looked like men told the early disciples that Jesus would return one day (see Acts 1:11)
Angels are actively working behind the scenes to minister to the saints, especially to offer protection (see Acts 12:7-11)
In one case an angel directed Philip where to preach (see Acts 8:26)
Angels sometimes appeared in visions to give instructions, as one did for Cornelius (see Acts 10:3,7,22)
An angel came to Paul to strengthen him and to assure him that he would preach to Caesar (see Acts 27:23-24).

If we look at Paul’s epistles, we find only a few references to angels—and most are actually warnings to the early church about a wrong emphasis on angels:

Paul warned the Galatians that false angels can bring deception (see Gal. 1:8)
Paul warned the Corinthians about “angels of light” that are messengers of Satan (see 2 Cor. 11:14)

Paul warned the Colossians about misguided people who worship angels and deceive people with their emphasis on mystical experiences that are rooted in their hyperinflated egos (see Col. 2:18).

The book of Hebrews was written to a group of Christians who were considering going back to Old Covenant worship. In the first chapter the author makes it clear that angels have a lower place in God’s economy when compared to Jesus Christ.

Many Bible scholars believe the readers of this epistle were being tempted to go back to an Old Covenant paradigm in which angels played a more significant role. The author of Hebrews warns these believers to focus their attention instead on the Son of God, who is more glorious than angels. We can make some basic assumptions about angels in the New Covenant era:

1. Angels help the church fulfill its mission, and they protect and guide the saints. Every one of us has probably experienced the activity of angels in our lives—often without knowing it because they are usually invisible.

2. Angels sometimes intervene with directive messages. But there is no case in the New Testament church in which an angel gave his name or brought attention to himself.

3. Angels don’t teach or explain doctrine. In our movement today, some leaders have suggested that certain angels (such as “Winds of Change”) have arrived to usher in new movements. Emma has been described as a “nurturing angel” who brings a prophetic movement. But nowhere does the Bible suggest that angels bring moves of God. Jesus commissioned the church to advance the kingdom by preaching the gospel. Angels know this and they are expecting us to do our job.

4. Angels don’t bring healing. The New Testament church was commissioned to bring healing “through the name of Jesus,” and Jesus was always the focus for anyone who was healed miraculously. The story of the Pool of Siloam falls under the Old Covenant system, since this phenomenon occurred before the ministry of Jesus. And when Jesus came to that pool He proved to be a better solution to those who waited for the stirring of the waters.

5. Angels look like people, and in every case in Scripture they appeared to be male. However, in some cases their appearance was frightening because they carry with them the glory of heaven and the fear of God.

6. False angels preach a different gospel. One of the devil’s strategies is to send counterfeit angelic messengers who bring teaching that is contrary to biblical truth.

There are many flaky, weird and foolish concepts being circulated in our movement today that must be corrected. If we don’t hold tightly to Scripture, we might unknowingly give birth to a cult that could bring great damage and division to churches worldwide. It’s time to get back to the Bible!

Thanks Lee for standing in the gap and helping the Church. Thanks for blowing a clear trumpet call for all to hear. I hope and pray that they are listening.

Slow Down and Stop – Sit down and Shut Up!

Have you noticed how busy and involved our world is? There is always something to do, somewhere to go, somebody to talk to. We are seldom still, often never alone for a minute of any given day, activity abounds and yet we never accomplish everything that needs to be done. Describe your world? It does mine!

Most of us are very busy and productive people. We have been taught that this is a good thing – and it is. Work is not the result of the curse for Adam had a task and meaningful ‘work’ involvement before he sinned and brought the human race into spiritual darkness, separated from God and His love. In my generation the “protestant work ethic” was a very strong value in most families and a good motivator to keep us working, active, busy and earning a good living.

And, we were created by God as social creatures needing one another and needing to be connected to something greater than ourselves – community. We were created to blossom and become all that we were created to be (and do) through our relationship with God and one another. So, social activities, recreation and ‘fellowship’ are good things and absolutely needed to be whole and healthy.

But, there is the need for balance in our lives. A need to withdraw once-in-a-while … to be still, to be less busy, less active, less socially involved … and just be quiet and removed from constant motion, regular activities, normal routines and the hustle and bustle of regular life. This is why we invented holidays and why God created the Sabbath.

The problem is that most of us aren’t very comfortable being alone. And, most of us don’t like just to sit and relax and be still. We definitely don’t like quiet so we keep that television, radio or CD cranking out noise most of the time that we are awake and, for some, even as they sleep. We work around the house on our day off. More people shop for groceries Sunday morning than attend worship services (at least in the city where I live). People get up and go out early in the morning doing yard work, washing the car, changing the oil in the truck, golfing, boating, water skiing, or seeing friends at the local coffee shop. No rest for the wicked I supose. We just don’t like to be still, to be alone, or to be quiet.

Why is it that we seem to need constant motion, involvement with others, activity and noise? I think it is because we don’t want to have to look inside our hearts and minds as then we would see how hollow, meaningless, empty, and pointless most of what we do and say really is. We would see how little we live by the core values that we say we hold to and believe in. We would find out how lacking in purpose and meaningful direction our lives really are and how little we are really accomplishing that will actually matter 50 years from now. We would discover that we really don’t know the “real me” and that we don’t like what we do know about ourselves.

It seems that without the need for posturing and posing, motion and momentum, activity and achievement, involvement and interest – we have to face up to who we really are. And that can be, and usually is, painful and disappointing.

But if we truly desire to live a life that has meaning we need to learn how to slow down and stop – sit down and shut up! If we want to know how to love and receive love then we must learn to slow down and stop all the activity and busyness, sit down and shut up! If we truly want to live life to the maximum and feel good about who we are we must commit ourselves to regular time alone where we slow down and stop everything – sit down and shut up! and listen to God.

A prophet of Israel stated this truth 750 years before Jesus was born. (Isaiah 30:15) This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

Seems like we are not trying to solve a new problem.

God created the Sabbath to be a day of rest. We argue over whether it is Saturday or Sunday, a whole 24 hour day or part of a day. The real issue is – do you even take a sabbath? Never mind how long it is or where it is situated in the week – do you have a sabbath rest? A time to connect with your Creator and with yourself. A time to “be still and know that He is God” (and you are not). A time to find out that the world will not come to an end if you take some time away from trying to control everything and everyone; that people will survive Mr. or Mrs. Fix-it taking some time away from your fixing it!

Are you in touch with your true self on the inside? Do you know who you really are when no one is looking? If you do, have you noticed that there might be a need to make some adjustments? Do you have peace on the inside? Contentment? When you take the time to look deep in your soul – do you like what you see? God created the Sabbath so that we can do just that – take a “time out” to examine the true meaning of life and the real values upon which to build that life. The Sabbath is time to get back in touch with your Lord Jesus Christ so that you can get your life (and activities) back into focus – an eternal focus. The Sabbath is a time to refill the gas tank so that we are no longer running on empty or sucking fumes to keep going in life.

So, take that Sabbath time. Do it! Don’t invite people over. Don’t listen to a new CD. Don’t go out for supper and a movie. Don’t do yard work or grocery shop. The car looks fine dirty! Don’t play cards or video games. Don’t read a novel. Don’t bath the dog. Don’t finish that construction project you started three years ago that now seems so urgent. Just SLOW DOWN AND STOP – SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP. Listen for the voice of God and look into your own heart and soul. Come to a place of quiet and stillness so that you can find real rest for your weary body and mind and your exhausted soul and spirit. Reconnect with the Life Giver and rediscover true life.

Oh come on, try it – just once or twice. Who knows, you may like it.

Lakeland – Curry Blake

Curry Blake is another “voice in the wilderness crying out…” and this article was forwarded to me on July 30th of this year by Dennis Cramer – international prophet – who sits on my advisory council … Highlighting is mine

Doctrine or Manifestation?
Which do you follow?

Do you follow after supernatural manifestations even when they accompany wrong doctrine? What importance does correct doctrine hold for you? My last newsletter started with the 3 questions above. My whole premise was based upon a question. What importance does correct doctrine hold for you? After I sent out my last newsletter, I received many email responses, all of which were overwhelmingly positive except for 3 from people that thought it was necessary to “defend” Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival. Most of my readers (except the 3) understood what I was saying and did it. They took the time to “examine” themselves, their doctrine, and the role correct doctrine plays in their Christian walk.

The 3 “negative” responses were from people in the “Prophetic Camp” which perfectly exemplify what I was warning people against. They did not actually read the newsletter, they thought I was attacking this new move, so they immediately wrote me with threats that God was going to kill me like Ananias and Sapphira for “touching God’s Anointed”. Many people are so insecure in what they are doing, that they will immediately work themselves into a frenzy and violate Scripture to try to defend what they are doing. If you still have a copy of my last newsletter, please go back and read it. In it I urge people not to just accept everything, but to “examine everything” toss out the bad and keep the good. In the past, I have learned some good nuggets from people that I would not walk across the street to hear preach. We must be at least as smart as a cow, “chew the cud and spit out the sticks”. The amazing thing is that I did not even mention Todd Bentley or the Lakeland Revival. Did I know about it? Of course. Was I warning people against it? NO.

I was warning people against their propensity toward accepting anything that comes along even if the doctrine is incorrect. It was this characteristic that I believe could lead to being deceived. I have heard good and bad about Todd and the Revival. I am not Todd’s judge, but I am required by God to TRY to make people think.

In a recent poll by George Barna, the doctrine a church preached was 3rd on the list of importance to people, following 1) CLEAN BATHROOMS and 2) a world class children’s’ program. Can you see why I might be concerned with the current state of people’s judgment. Several years ago, I would drive 150 miles roundtrip just to go to a church that was preaching correct doctrine. Today, according to Barna, people tend to choose a church based upon how close it is to their home regardless of its doctrine. Not long ago, I became aware of a person named Chris Angel. He is an “illusionist”. He has performed such feats as: rising in the air above a pyramid shaped casino (ala: Jesus’ ascension) and walking on water and passing through walls, and he prays in Jesus’ name before each stunt. There has never been a time when more people, Christian and non-Christian are enthralled with the supernatural. As the church we must have a balance between signs and doctrine. If I attended a church where there were amazing signs and wonders, yet the doctrine preached was not correct, eventually the constant hearing of false doctrine would wear me down until I believed the wrong teaching, even if I didn’t at first.

One report I received about Lakeland was this: Those that go to Lakeland that were not grounded in solid Bible teaching seem to go off into following angels and the supernatural, those that have a solid grounding in Bible doctrine, come home charged, refreshed, and eager to step out to touch lives. Again the defining difference is correct doctrine. In 1995, if you went online to check out the revival in Pensacola, you would find those that were for it and those that were against it. If you were in Los Angeles in 1906, you would have found much more in the newspapers against Azusa Street than you would find for it. In 1977-78 you would have found very little against Jim Jones and Jonestown until after the suicide/massacre. But in all the instances, the people that held the Scriptures in highest esteem knew whether or not to become involved. One thing that has stood out about every revival is this: The more specific you get in doctrine, the quicker a revival dies.

Let me be very clear here. I am not saying doctrine should not be preached. What I am saying is this: A revival is not a Bible School. You should not go to a revival to learn or adopt doctrine. The predominant characteristic of the revival is what God wants to do. In the Pensacola revival, salvations and rededication to God was the main characteristic, unusual manifestations took place (and they became the focus of most media) but what God was doing was calling people back to Himself. In this current happening, it appears as though God is wanting to heal people and motivate those that have correct doctrine to begin walking it out in their daily lives.

Invariably, there will be those “posers” that want to duplicate the Lakeland Revival in their own area. First off, you can’t. If you try to duplicate the Lakeland Revival in Des Moines, it would not be the Lakeland Revival, it would be the Des Moines Revival. Every revival has its own unique characteristics. Why can’t we learn this. Why can’t we just begin to obey God help Him touch our community using our unique characteristics, instead of trying to copycat what God has done somewhere else? I have seen this tendency in everything from the healing rooms to revivals. Usually, when God has not produced through you what He has through others, you will try to capitalize on what He has done by claiming to “catch the fire” and bring it back so you can have “Lakeland” type meetings. The difference is this: The Lakeland Revival started and then the word about it spread, drawing people. What many do is this, since they have nothing going on, they go to where things are happening, then return home to claim they have the fire. So what happens is this: Instead of it starting and then the word spreading, they spread the word trying to get something to start. Jesus healed the sick and His fame spread, which brought crowds.

Today, people want to try to capitalize on the “work” of other people rather than do what the people that have manifestations did to put them in a place where Jesus can use them. I am making a point here, because I know that everything is by grace. Our “work” is to believe on Jesus. In a recent promo for a book on the supernatural, the author wrote that by reading his book you will receive an anointing to go deeper into the spirit realm. My first thought was, if I can get an anointing from a book, doesn’t it seem plausible that I could get the anointing from reading THE BOOK, the Bible?

Another aspect I have not even touched on is the fact that at times God uses some people in specifically unusual ways. We generally call these gifts. You may not walk in another person’s gift, but you can reveal Jesus to those you meet regardless of the gift you have.

To conclude, let me say that the proof of anything is in its fruit. Not everyone can or will go to Lakeland, but the Spirit of God is right where you are right now. Should you spend your time trying to get manifestations?

Yes I believe you should pursue manifestations, but not at the expense of correct doctrine. We do not have to choose between the two – they should come and operate together. By the way, pursuing “manifestations” would be called seeking, or desiring spiritual gifts. (1 CO. 12-14) But remember the manifestation of the Spirit is given TO ALL FOR THE PROFIT (ADVANCEMENT) OF THE PEOPLE, and THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Curry R. Blake runs “Healing Rooms”

Heresy Hunter or Apostle?

I have been accused by a number of people over the last few months of being critical and judgmental. I have been criticized for being critical – interesting! And those who have criticized me – are they not also being critical? Several have told me that the Church does not need “heresy hunters” and I could not agree more.

However, what the Church absolutely needs is apostles who will speak up for the truth. 1 John 4:1 tells us “not to believe every spirit but to try or test the spirit to see if it is from God” – lines up with the Word of God. Good test. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 states that we are to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Good advice! I thought that this is what I have been doing.

This is not hunting heresies – although, as one tests the teachings coming forth from places like Lakeland one just might discover heresies. Then what do I do – sit down and shut up? Or, do I “ernestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)? The latter, of course, in spite of what some may think and what others believe my motives to be.

As an apostle – little known and enjoying not being in any specific spotlight – it is my job to make sure that non-biblical teachings are exposed for what they are – false teachings that can simply be false teachings or, more dangerous than that, heresies. This is part of the work of apostles as they lay foundations and correct faulty foundations (Ephesians 2:20).

Excuse my chasing a rabbit but – where were all the big names who should have been speaking out about behaviour and doctrine that were not correct almost from the beginning? Why were the red flags not flying over the past few months when much of what was being taught and done was not in line with God’s Word or God’s character? Where were those well known apostles who could have corrected this before it blew up and wounded so many? Maybe if they had spoken up then people like J. Lee Grady of Charisma, Terry Somerville, and Currie Blake and little guys like me would have not had to.

After 32 years of daily Bible study and reading – research and reflection – I believe I have armed my spirit and my mind with a fair amount of God’s Word so that it can spot the false almost instantly. And, I believe I have a decent enough walk with the Holy Spirit that I am sensitive to His warnings as well … that anointing within that leads to truth as spoken of by John in his first of three letters. So, my warning flags have been up from the very beginning. Now, I will be accused of pride and arrogance!

So, with my decent knowledge of the Word and the unction of the Holy Spirit within me – I check everything that I hear taught and see done to the scriptures. This is what the Bereans did as recorded in Acts 17 … and it is what I do as an apostle.

Really, all believers should be doing this simply as believers and they should not be leaving this important task up to the apostles. However, because apparently a lot of believers don’t do this, then it is imperative that those in the five-fold ministry do it for them so that the sheep are protected from false doctrine and maybe even false five-fold ministers who do wonderful signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24). Please note – I did not call Todd Bentley a “false” miniister, evangelist, or whatever. Simply that the sheep, because they seem to be lacking discernment in our day and age, need protecting.

Lakeland had a lot going for it – strong teaching of the Word of God and correct teaching of the Word of God were not among the strong points. So, it is up to others to point out the errors and to state where teachings based on experiences with dead saints, third heavens, winds blowing, an angel called Emma, visions and dreams, revelations and other subjective events simply do not line up with the scriptures and doctrine once delivered to the saints or go contrary to the stated truth. The Bible is our standard – onjective, not subjective (see my blogs on spiritual warfare within the church).

If that makes me a “heresy Hunter” in your eyes – so be it. But I will continue to guard the sheep and speak for the truth as contained in the Bible regardless of which big name or big event that pits me against. I must be faithful to the God who rescued me from the pit of Hell and I will defend His Word and His character.

If I am wrong in my doctrine and my concern for the often ungodly way things were done at Lakeland – those things that I have been honest enough to speak up about – then show me. I am a good listener and will humbly submit to His truth even if it means admitting I am wrong.

But, meanwhile, let’s stop calling those who contend for the truth “Bible Police”, “Heresy Hunters” and whatever else I have been called (some edited out due to being inappropriate for a Christian blog before I allowed it to be posted). Let’s dialogue – that’s what the box below this last paragraph is for – for you to express your opinion and interact with what is being discussed by the many who post comments on this site.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Lakeland – Terry Somerville

One of the saints in my local church here forwarded a newsletter to me from Terry Somerville. I have taken the part of the newsletter dealing with Lakeland and Todd Bentley and pasted it below this opening comment – worth the time it takes to read it. This man of God always has wisdom to share and a balanced approach to issues in the Church. His web address is listed at the end of his article.

Over the last few months many of you asked for my thoughts on the Lakeland Revival. I hadn’t visited the meetings myself so I released several teachings to help believers test things out. I had heard good and bad reports from ministers I know, and because some of Todd Bentley’s teachings were way off I urged caution.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2. Corinthians 13:1

Well, now we know. It has become established that there has been much exaggeration and hype about resurrections etc. (Google “Robert Ricciardelli” to find 1st hand reports.) Apparently Todd was cautioned on this and increased the numbers he reported! This is usually called lying. Now we are hear that Todd and his wife are separating. Dear Lord, help Todd and your church!

So what do we make of the whole Lakeland Revival mess?

1. Trust Jesus, Not Preachers or Meetings
If you have received from the Lord through Lakeland don’t allow your faith to be in crisis over this. You received by trusting Jesus not Todd Bentley or a meeting! I remember some members of my congregation having a faith crisis when Jimmy Swaggart was exposed because they were saved in his meetings. I had to teach them Jimmy does not save. Jesus does!

For from Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Romans 11:36

2. Jesus Comes Wherever Two or Three Gather In His Name
God moved for some in Lakeland because Christians gathered in expectant faith! When will we get it? It’s not a special place or person. It’s a special savior! It is faith in Him that brings results. What is different about Lakeland, or any special meetings is that Christians expected God to move. But truly, God will move whenever we have such faith!

I remember planning special meetings at our church for an international revivalist. A huge crowd waited expectantly but he didn’t make it. But, we didn’t need him! Faith and expectancy was so high that Jesus moved in our midst in an amazing way! So why not every week at church? Good question! Could it be our hearts are on something else?

3. Christian – Get Your Own Anointing
Many people travel a long way to “get the anointing and take it home.” There’s some huge problems with this teaching. Yes, anointing can rub off, but God wants to make you a river, not have you sponging off someone elses anointing. This is what a Christian is all about!

Going to a meeting somewhere does not qualify you to receive. It may stir you up and be a time when the Holy Spirit gets to your heart. But it’s faith in the full work of the cross that works, not the meeting ! God wants every Christian to walk in their own anointing, not depend on someone elses. Thats the amazing thing about being a Christian. The cross of Christ accomplished everything we need for life and godliness. Believe it.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:38

4. Do We Take Home Some Mystical Power Or Use Faith?
Even when some one “brings the revival home” and a church “gets it” it’s not a mystical substance you brought back with you. It doesn’t work that way, it’s mainly about faith. Look at what happens. Someone went to the ‘revival” so everyone expects God to work. Guess what? Jesus was with you wanting to work His power all along, but you didn’t believe it till you experienced it yourself. Now that you’ve seen it, and friends trust you at church, they will receive it too! It’s time for the church to trust Jesus from the beginning, instead of waiting for far away meetings.

When we first heard about the renewal beginning in Toronto we had no money to go. We prayed in faith “Jesus, give everything you are doing to us too.” That night it came without any travel, any contact, any impartation of anointing. It was simple faith. We have Jesus.

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
I John 2:27

4. There Are No Special Places, Just Believers Gathering!
The teaching that we have holy locations, and holy buildings (churches) and that we must make a pilgrimage to them to receive, is actually pagan idolatry mixed with Old Testament temple worship. Of course God may meet you at these places, but God will meet the sincere believer in any setting.

We are not a people of holy buildings, and holy places. We are individually and corporately the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not waiting for you to go to Florida to meet Him. The reason outpourings happen in certain places is because believers are believing and receiving at that place! When will Christians actually believe they are the temple of God where ever they are?

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
I Corinthians 6:19

5. Listen to Your Listener, Know By Your Knower
Many Christians have said they felt something was wrong in Lakeland, but couldn’t put their finger on it. This is the Holy Spirit bearing witness to your spirit by a lack of peace. When we let the peace of God rule in us it means He is acting as an umpire calling “fair ball, foul ball” If it’s foul ball, test it out. Listen to the umpire even if you don’t understand the call!

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3:15

6. Those Who Say “Don’t Criticize, Accept Without Testing” are WRONG!
Don’t listen to such people. They are deceived! We are explicitly told to test everything. See my article on testing.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I Thessalonians 5:21

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
I John 4:1

7. Our “Spirit Filled” Church Is A Prisoner Of Consumer Culture
One look at the current crop of Holy Spirit ministry tells us the church is under a terrible stronghold of consumerism. Much prophetic ministry has sold out to trashy sensationalism to get a following, rather than directing the Body Of Christ into fidelity with Jesus. The anointing and blessing of God are treated as a product being marketed. “Come and get it!” Attendance and financial gifts are the price of purchase. Revival has become the “sacred cow” of the church. The one who has it wins! We are serving the IDOLS OF THE LAND

Hearts Are Not Right
Yes we are forgiven and belong to Jesus, but our hearts have not been right! We have been serving success, size, fame, youth, money! It seems every new teaching or event is just more of this! Believers must begin serving Him with holiness of heart. Where is the cry of repentance? Where is the desire for TRUE HOLINESS?

It is time for something different. A Church set free from serving the gods of the pagan nation around us. A return to the complete good news of the gospel. Jesus provided all at the cross! He died for forgiveness and eternal life PLUS everything we need for life and godliness. Don’t seek it from the culture but from Him. Repent and seek Him! It’s full LIFE , and the good news is you qualify now by faith only! It’s not men and meetings and anointings, it’s trusting Jesus completed work and love! Enter in.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Ephesians 1:18-19

8. Apostolic Covering Is Not Working
Over the last number of years God has been causing the church to recognize apostolic ministry. Yet the sad truth about the current apostolic trend is they seem to be producing mans hierarchies – an old wineskin! It is not working! Also, the idea that apostles, or any man is a “spiritual covering” or “father” and provides protection is not biblical. Often it has degenerated into mere control and, as we have seen, can end in failure. Hierarchies don’t usually produce the genuine relationships needed in the Body Of Christ.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Matthew 23:9

Jesus is our total covering. We have only one Father who is in heaven. We need brothers and sisters in Christ, a real body that grows and depends on one another.

Conclusion
A new day is coming in His church, and the troubles with the Lakeland Revival gives us all the more reason for seeking the Lord with profound earnestness. Millions of believers are done with Christendom. (the temple style, hierarchical church since Constantine) We are ready to have our pre-conceived ideas of church exposed and torn down. No more hype and flash from leaders in captivity to our consumer culture! We want the genuine, the Kingdom.

We are looking for the pure DNA of the Lord to be revealed in His people.
We want real loving brotherly relationships with our fellow believers,
We want true elders in the faith to step forward.
We want the gifted ministries to mature the Body of Christ, rather than be mixed with worldly motives.
We want the fullness of what Christ purchased at Calvary to be manifest in us.
We want to be fully empowered in this hour, to preach the good news, cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead and disciple the nations.

Blessings
Terry Somerville
www.totalchange.org
Newsletter Archives

A Speech or a Sermon

Today – the next 24 hours – will see many sermons preached in many different places around the world. Men and women of God will stand to declare the Word of the Lord for the people they are addressing. It will be a now word, a relevant message, well written. Prayer played a major role in the writing of it. It was researched properly, meditated upon, thought through. God was consulted constantly through the initial research, rough notes stage, and the final writing. He will be seriously involved in the proclaiming of it for it is His Word and it never comes back to Him void but always accomplishes what He sends it forth to do.

However, some people will sleep through these fine teachings. Others will pay little if any attention. Some will read the Sunday bulletin, others will work with their Blackberry answering emails or with their cell phones sending and receiving text messages. Those who do listen will forget most of what they heard and apply none of it. Those who brought a Bible to the Church service and followed along will remember more and apply some. Those who followed along in their Bible and took notes will benefit the most – probably remembering 10% of what is said and applying a small portion of that to their daily life, if any.

What is the problem here? Why is so much time invested and so little gained as a result? Where is the excitement about God’s Word? Why are believers not hungry to hear what God is saying? How come we are at the point of treating God’s Word as one option in the many options we hear daily – and not one that gets top billing but is usually only considered when everything in your life is going south? Do we think the preacher is an idiot? Do we think God is totally out of touch with our needs and our world? Do we no longer believe that the Bible is the Word of God and thus relevant to daily life?

I like what Brother Yun (of The Heavenly Man) had to say recently:

“I have found it doesn’t really matter how much you preach in most churches, because the majority of believers have become ‘sermon proof’. They have listened to thousands of sermons and have become experts at tuning out. Their minds and hearts are far away. They have been conditioned to listen to speeches rather than to respond to the power of the gospel and be changed.”

I think that he has a point there. We are treating God’s Word – or, at least, the sermon – as a speech inparting information that we can keep or discard, listen to or ignore, believe or discount and write off as simply opinion. We are seeing this ‘speech’ as an exchange of information. We are listening (when we do) simply to someone talking.

Instead the sermon should be approached as a time when God’s Spirit through the Word of God will bring transformation – much more than an impartation of information. We should recognize and acknowledge that it is the Gospel that is being preached and that there is power in the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change – transform – permanently alter -a person’s life supernaturally.

In both my home church where I preach regularly and in the churches I minister in by invitation on a regular basis I notice people doing all of the above – Blackberry, cell phone, bulletin – as well as sleeping. Often it is the younger people who nod off and not the older ones. Here’s another problem.

They cared enough to come and worship with other believers. But, they did not prepare their hearts, souls, minds, and BODIES for the service and the hearing of the Word. They did not go to bed early enough to wake up on Sunday morning refreshed, alert, and alive. They did not take time in God’s Word each day of the week and then, on Sunday morning, prepare to hear God’s message to the assembly by talking a few minutes to examine their hearts, repent and receive forgiveness. They do not value the Word of God (being preached) and the preacher (honoring, respecting) enough to pepare ahead of time to get maximum bang for their buck.

And then we wonder why, in most cases, the Church in North America is anemic and weak, impotent and shuffled, by most, to the sidelines of life. We need to begin to “hunger and thirst after righteousness”. That would be one step in the right direction and would go a long way to correcting the problem.

A Prophetic Insight – Lakeland?

This prophetic insight (word) was given to me on August 7th by the Lord. I sent it on the 7th to my web guy in Ohio and it beame the “Prophetic Insight” just emailed to people who subscribe to my e-newsletter that comes out every two weeks. Between the writing of it (August 7) and its publication (August 16) some of the word has already begun to be fulfilled.

The word I received stated:

A Change in Focus

These are exciting times to be alive in the Kingdom and working with the Lord as He moves mightily in nation after nation in the world today. As I either speak to or exchange emails with leaders and believers from many nations around the world I sense that God is truly doing great and mighty things in preparation for a worldwide move of His Spirit. This move will substantially touch every nation of the world. We are in the preparation stages before the release and we need to be listening carefully to the voice of God through the apostles and prophets. True apostles and prophets will be speaking of a time of cleansing and change; holiness and righteousness; integrity and veracity.

This move will be one when God will mobilize the saints (not just leaders) to spread the Gospel and “seek and save the lost”. Evangelism and soul winning will, once again, become the focus of healthy churches and healthy believers. The focus will not be on receiving but on giving. The believer will be looking for places to serve and minister outside the four walls of the Church so as to quietly influence society and the non-believer through their personal expression of His love through them. The focus will not be on learning more but on applying what we already know. Then, as we apply what we know, we will see where our understanding is lacking and go looking for specific and practical truths and insights to round out our ability to reach and touch the hearts of the unsaved. The focus will not be on the five-fold ministers or the Christian media superstars but on ordinary believers doing whatever they can wherever they can for the Lord. In fact, some of the ministries now leading and influencing the Church through conferences, radio and television, and publications will close up shop completely while others will cut back dramatically. It is a day when the local Church will arise and fulfill the role of ‘influencer’ and ‘molder of society and nations’.

Much of what is now being taught as God’s Word will be revealed as the opinion of man and powerless to change lives. Some of what is being declared prophetically will be tested and found lacking in substance and accuracy. False prophets and false teachers will be revealed and will be quietly removed from positions of authority and leadership. The shepherds of the sheep will rise up with fresh insight and new boldness – revealing false teachings and teachers and declaring and teaching the Word of the Lord as never before. They will protect the sheep from much that is being done in God’s Name but is not of God.

It will be a time of massive mobilization of the saints when every true believer will be focused on the lost and will be actively involved in seeking and saving the lost as the Lord commands and leads. Money will no longer flow to buildings and programs but will be diverted, by the Holy Spirit moving on people’s hearts, into evangelism and soul winning opportunities and outreaches. Many full-time leaders, as a result of this monetary diversion, will become bi-vocational earning their living in the marketplace and ministering without a full salary. They will see this as a step backwards but it is really a step forward as they become free of man’s expectations and able to follow fully the leading of the Spirit in their ministry which is no longer totally dependant upon the tithes and offerings of the saints. They will now, once again, walk by faith an trusting God as they did in the beginning of their call to ministry.

Young people will be raised up quickly going from non-believer to mature believer in a short time. They will be hungry for and seek out those who can teach, disciple, equip, and mentor them – learning how to minister supernaturally and speak prophetically into the lives of non-believers. They will be tried and tested and not found wanting and so will be promoted by the Lord into major leadership roles at a relatively early age both chronologically and spiritually.

The face of His Church and its way of functioning will undergo major foundational changes in the next 24 months to release this new focus and those appointed to quietly lead it.

For more prophetic insights see my web site’s e-newsletter archieves….