I was reading about a book that suggested the president of the United States should be looking for a prophet to get God’s instructions to run the nation.
This didn’t sit right with my spirit and here’s why: Believers need to be equipped to hear from God themselves. In the Old Testament, prophets spoke to kings and advised them. But we’re in a different time now; a time when Ephesians 4:11 lays out a new mandate for five-fold ministers to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.”
Here’s the issue: I receive e-mails from people all over the world asking me to “go before the Lord’s throne of grace and get a word for me.” I understand that most of these requests come from people who are probably desperate to hear from God. I don’t blame them. I pray for them. But I don’t prophesy over them. They need to seek spiritual counsel from their own church. That’s their covering.
On April 21, 2007, the Lord woke me up at midnight to offer up the words in the next paragraphs below. It appears we didn’t move fast enough. What will we do now? The answer to all of the world’s woes is for the sleeping giant that is the Church to rise up and take its place in society, and bring true hope, true change.
Here is the prophetic word:
There is a great awakening coming to this nation. For I have heard your cries and I long to heal your land. I am a covenant God and I will not forget the covenant I made with your founding forefathers. Yes, there will be a shaking, but the foundations will not crack and they will not crumble. Only those things which can be shaken will be shaken that the sin in the land may be laid bare.
When you read the Word of God, do you see it as a practical guide to living out His perfect will for your life? Do you look at it as God’s expectations of you? Prerequisites to inherit His promises? Do you take God’s Word literally? Or is it merely an ideal?
Although it’s true that we are all progressing from glory to glory, it’s important that we don’t use Scripture as an excuse to make God’s expectations merely a set of ideals. God’s Word outlines His standard of living, so to speak. God’s Word gives us plenty of examples of what happens when people meet those expectations and what happens when they do not.
Men of God like Kenneth E. Hagin took every Word of the Bible literally. In his teachings, Hagin explained how he made a promise to the Lord while on the bed of affliction as a teenaged boy. He told God as soon as he read and understood any passage of Scripture, He would be a doer of that Word. He would apply it to his circumstances; he would live by it.
I was walking into my condo this morning, somewhat disappointed because of a series of delays that got my day off to a late start and admittedly dreading some seemingly difficult assignments at hand.
At that moment, the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Life is what you choose to make it.” There’s nothing like God’s perspective to change yours.
Life is what you choose to make it. God has given us domionion. He’s given us a free will. He’s given us abundant life — but we have to choose to take Him up on those things. They won’t drop down on us like manna from heaven. But we don’t have to strive for them either. We need only believe and walk by faith.
Oftentimes people ask me what to do when they receive a prophetic word from the Lord for someone else. Do they share it with the person to whom the Lord is speaking about? Do they keep it to themselves and pray? Do they do nothing?
First, let me say that the Lord has a purpose in everything. He will not tell you something about a person, city, nation — or even yourself — just so you can be ‘in the know.’ Knowledge is never for knowledge’s sake. It is to be applied. So doing nothing is never the right response.
Second, let me say that when the Lord gives you a prophetic word, praying for the person, situation, city, nation, etc., is never the wrong move. In other words, you can’t go wrong praying. It may very well be that the Lord has called you to intercede based on your newfound knowledge from Him so that He can bring change to a situation or help a person in need. Prayer may not be the final action, but it’s a good place to start.
Have you ever wondered why love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances? (1 Corinthians 13:7) It’s because love knows it can’t fail. It holds on tight no matter what the situation looks like on the surface because it knows good always overcomes evil.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What is love’s hope rooted in?
Love’s hope is in humility, for it is never envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, and does not display itself haughtily. Love’s hope is in justice, and it rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love’s hope is in people, and it’s ever ready to believe the best of every person.
In this final part of our series on the spirit of Jezebel, we’ll look at Jezebel’s demise.
Jezebel is an enemy of the apostolic because she counterfeits true prophetic operations that lead hungry believers to empty their pocketbooks for false spiritual moves that work to discredit the true five-fold ministry gifts the Lord is restoring.
But just as mature prophets are rising up with a Jehu conquering spirit to rid their lives of this menacing spirit, mature apostles are combating the false spiritual moves that Jezebel is orchestrating by refusing to compromise the truth of the Gospel for the sake of unjust gain. Notice how Paul dealt with the damsel in Thyatira.
In Part III of this series, we’re looking at the damsel in Thyatira and how he handled this situation in the light of the Jezebel spirit and false apostles and false prophets. It was in Thyatira that Paul encountered a damsel possessed with a spirit of divination who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling (Acts 16:16).
The “masters” in this verse were governmental officers with natural authority in the jurisdiction just as the apostles were governmental officers with spiritual authority in the jurisdiction. But the thievery of these wicked masters lumps them in with the “sorry bunch” Paul described as pseudo-apostles and crooked workers.
So in Thyatira we see the damsel (false prophetess) making a way for the masters (false apostles) to gain unjust profit (merchandising) through a false ministry gift (divination).
We’re talking about the spirit of Jezebel, and false prophets. You’ll recall that the Apostle Paul spoke against false apostles who sought unjust gain, proclaiming: “I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing ‘preachers,’ vaunting themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch – pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers – posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core” (2 Corinthians 11:12-13 MSG).
Apostle Paul was no stranger to the operations of false apostles or demonic governments. Jezebel is likely one of the principalities Paul wrestled against (Ephesians 6) as she attempted to exercise her influence in territories through which he traveled to preach the Gospel. Thyatira was such a territory. Jesus had one thing against the church in Thyatira: it tolerated Jezebel (Revelation 2:20).
Just as true prophets (John the Baptist) make a way for true apostles (Jesus Christ), false prophets make a way for false apostles. Thyatira was the city where a false prophetess made a way for false apostles to merchandise people through soothsaying and attempted to discredit the ministry of true Apostles Paul and Silas.
Jezebel gained her reputation as an enemy to the prophets of God in the Old Testament era. While dogs devoured the wicked Queen Jezebel, her spirit is alive and well in New Testament times. And this depraved principality has earned another reputation in the last days: enemy of the apostolic.
Queen Jezebel is infamous for her antics in the Book of I Kings. Jezebel is charged with murdering many prophets and cutting off the voice of others that fearfully hid in caves (I Kings 18:4, 13). The Book of Revelation exposes this spirit’s operation in the New Testament age as one that calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce the Lord’s true prophets with lust and idolatry (Revelation 2:20).
Jezebel’s attack on prophets has a ripple effect on apostles because these two graces are foundational gifts that work together to build the Church (Ephesians 2:20). Prophets say and apostles do. Cutting off or perverting the prophetic voice, then, hinders the manifestation of the glorious church because apostles are most effective when prophets are in watchtowers instead of caves, in local churches instead of in lust, parking lots and street corners.
Some are speculating that the events in Mumbai are a prophetic manifestation of Senator Joe Biden’s statement that terrorists will test Sen. Obama within first six months of his presidency. This is an error and prophets need to be cautious about speculating over such matters.
While former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright agrees with Sen. Biden — and while they both could be right — the attacks in Mumbai don’t fit this mold. Obama isn’t even in office yet. Anyway, Biden is not a prophet and wasn’t prophesying. He’s an experienced government servant with insight into how the world works.
The storm surrounding Todd Bentley, leader of the “Lakeland Revival” has quieted. Many people were hurt by the false prophetic operations and other strange happenings there. I met a young man just recently who God has called into prophetic ministry. The young man was hesitating to answer the call because he was so turned off by what he saw in the prophetic ministry, including merchandising, Jezebel spirits, witchcraft and the like.
I wrote the Heart of the Prophetic just in time. It was a Holy Ghost thing. The book is a response to a statement someone offered claiming, “Character doesn’t matter.” I submit to you that character absolutely does matter in the prophetic and in the lives of every believer. If you want to understand the true prophetic anointing, purpose and function, then check out my book. I cut to the chase, through the hype and down to the heart of the matter.
There is a true prophetic ministry. I just don’t think we’ve seen much of it in our generation. Jezebel has hijacked much of the movement. It was premature because the apostles weren’t in place. God is going to work all things together for good somehow. He always does. But we have a part to play. We need to work on developing the character of Christ in us, rather than merely working to develop a gift of Christ.
The Lord expressed this to me on Friday, October 10 at about 6:30 p.m.:
The merchandisers will rise during this hour like never before. Fearful of their own economic uncertainties, they will seek to fleece the sheep using fearful tactics. They will opine about the virtues of Kingdom economics, but though their words may ring true on the surface, the spirit that’s driving them is that of Baalim. Don’t heed these voices. Sow, plant, scatter your bread upon many waters, but seek righteous ground that will yield fruit, and fruit abundant.
Do not be fooled. I will not be mocked. Those who sow into merchandising schemes will not see the fruit they are hoping for. They will see further destruction of their finances as the seed bears rotten fruit.
The recent statement by Fresh Fire Ministries about the marital separation of Todd and Shonnah Bentley has brought a lot of pain and confusion to the Body of Christ, admits Stacy Campbell, who prophesied over Canadian Evangelist Todd Bentley at his apostolic commissioning at what will go down in Christian history as Lakeland Outpouring in Lakeland, Fla.
It is especially confusing because of the manifest miracles and demonstrations of power that have occurred, along with the public endorsement and prophetic blessing given to Todd only a month and a half before his separation from his wife, Shonnah.
I gave Todd Bentley a public prophetic word, which was broadcast around the world through GodTV. The essence of the word was as follows: “There is a generation that the Lord has spoken to me about that will operate in both the gifts/anointing of the Holy Spirit and the glory of God at the same time.”
“But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.” — Genesis 20:3
The first time dream is mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible, it was when King Abimelech took Abram’s wife for his own. The Lord gave him a dream to warn him of his precarious situation.
Abimelech was not part of the Abrahamic covenant. So does that mean God can give prophetic dreams to sinners? What does the Bible say about this topic? What is the pattern? There are other instances of God giving so-called ’sinners’ prophetic dreams. We’ll take a look at some of those in upcoming posts.
We’ve been looking at Genesis 20:6-8. Abimelech took Sarai to be his wife because Abram told the king she was his sister. Let’s listen in to the New Century translation:
Then God said to Abimelech in the dream, “Yes, I know you did not realize what you were doing. So I did not allow you to sin against me and touch her. Give Abraham his wife back. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will not die. But if you do not give Sarah back, you and all your family will surely die.”
So early the next morning, Abimelech called all his officers and told them everything that had happened in the dream. They were very afraid.