Friday, 5 January 2018

The Road Ahead

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14 v 4 - 6: "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
 5  I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
 6  Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?"

One of the most powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit is that we may prophesy under the anointing to edify the Church, which means build up the Body of Christ.
This gift is not the same as a prophetic ministry, or one who stands in the office of a prophet.

The gift of prophecy builds people up into a functioning unit.  It enhances togetherness and encourages obedience to serve the Lord.  In the church the gift can pass from one to another so two or three people may prophesy in one meeting.  This is very rare these days but can blossom again. 

In the church where I was the pastor for many years we had some very unusual meetings.  When we gathered in the Lord's presence we waited for Him to initiate whatever He wanted to do with us.  I always had a prepared sermon but this was how most meetings went:

Someone would open in prayer, then someone else would add their prayer and this would flow until some brought a message in tongues or saw a vision or had a word of knowledge.  The tongues would be interpreted and whatever was revealed was prayed about.  

We would be in one Spirit and He would invariably lead us into intercession for nations or whatever was trending at that time.  Everyone present participated fully in the functions of the church.  It was a vibrant exciting and blessed time.  It would be time for the sermon and I would read the scriptures for the day and every one of them had been manifested by the Holy Spirit through the course of the meeting.

There was no need of a preacher for the Lord had performed His Word for all to know and understand.  And this continues to this day when the Intercessors who are part of this ministry gather to pray.  It is as natural as breathing now to be in the full anointing of the Holy Spirit.  In that anointing we are fully guided by Him and there is unity, single-mindedness, purity and holiness abounding.

It is time for churches to get out of the rut they are in where everything is under rigid control of the pastor, and start to be led by the Holy Spirit in truth and righteousness.  In many places where prophets are invited to attend and minister to the congregation, it seems more like a fortune-telling session, where pregnant mother's are told the sex of their unborn child.  How this edifies the church is mystifying.

In 1 Corinthians 14 v 26 it says: "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."

This is how a functioning church should be experiencing in every meeting.  Because this does not happen often the pastors, and leaders, of the charismatic movement made something happen through the arrival of Toronto Blessing because it started at the Vineyard Church near Toronto Airport.

They call it Revival but it is false.  The congregations are caught up in a strange spirit of uncontrollable laughter followed by hissing like snakes, even slithering on the floor, screaming, hooting, mooing, barking, and doing weird manifestations for hours on end.  There is no way this type of behaviour is part of the move of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14 v 23: "If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?"

Paul was rebuking the Corinthian church for all coming together and speaking in tongues for hours on end without any interpretation, or any teaching in the local language.  The same can be said for Toronto Catch the Fire meetings.  It is definitely not the fire of the Holy Spirit at work.

A Holy Spirit revival comes with EXTREME conviction of sin that can last for days.  We weep with sorrow for the waste of our time on things when we should have been serving the Lord.  We are truly remorseful and renew our commitment without hesitation.  We rejoice for days and share His love with people around us.  The response of people is amazing and many miracles of healing, reconciliation, deliverance and salvation are witnessed.  People are preaching and witnessing everywhere.  Righteousness overflows communities and nations.  The Devil slinks off in defeat and fear!

A prophet of God, who has the ministry or office of a prophet, stands in His Presence and delivers His direct word to wherever He wants it spoken.  The Angel Gabriel delivered a prophetic word to Mary concerning the conception of Jesus because there were no prophets in Israel at that time.

The first time God spoke directly to Israel after 400 years of silence, was to the High Priest, Zechariah, the Father of John the Baptist, telling him that in their old age, he and Elizabeth would bear a son.  The last word the Israelites heard from God was from Malachi 4 v 5 - 6: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
 6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

Jesus told His disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah.  He called him the greatest prophet who ever lived.

There are true prophets today.  They do not declare themselves to be prophets or apostles or any such thing.  They perform their office under the power of the Holy Spirit and receive no acclaim from men.  They give warnings and expose errors, they do not compromise with anything false.

A few weeks ago the world body, the UN, declared that prayer was now an international war crime.  They are specifically targeting The Wailing Wall where the Jews in Jerusalem pray.  They have renounced the acceptance by the USA that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  The seeds for Armageddon have been sown and watered.  The whole world will rise against Israel to destroy her.

The road ahead is visible before us.  The Day of the Lord is the light at the end of the tunnel for those who believe in Jesus and love Israel.  We need unity and direction from the Holy Spirit, and truth from those who see the road ahead more clearly.  Let us set our hearts and eyes upon our Heavenly kingdom and overthrow all worldly distractions to bring home the souls Jesus died for.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, recent events have opened our eyes to how close we are to the end.  Fingers on nuclear buttons, plus hatred for Israel, show how the end is shaping up.  Father guide us in Your truth to make the best choices for our families and churches.  Remove from us the distractions and compromises we have allowed into our lives.  Put our feet on the Rock that cannot be moved.  In Jesus' name. Amen.