As many over the last few weeks, I have watched what is happening within our culture and within the American Church. My emotions have went from peace to disappointment back to peace many times. No Coronavirus has more power than the Holy Spirit! However, fear has become common among the faithful.
In light of historical records of our leaders in 1920’s that responded very differently to the Spanish Flu; I have seen the need for people to rise up and be people who move in faith, power but also compassion and grace. After all, we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Fire Baptized Holy Spirit driven Pentecostal churches is to be the light on the hill according to Jesus.
This put me on a path to search out the scripture anew to what see what the Holy Spirit might be saying to us. We know that all revelation must be tested against the canon on scripture and I wanted to lead by the truth of God’s word; not just the latest prophetic word.
I believe in prophetic ministry very strongly. I also believe that many within the prophetic movement have lost their integrity to give the word of the Lord.
Enter Jeremiah the prophet
The prophet was very concerned about the lack of truth among the prophetic movement of his day as well. If you have followed Azusa Report for long, you know that I believe and teach that we are about to come into the days of Zephaniah at the end of the “church age.” What many do not realize is that Zephaniah was the mentor of Jeremiah. The concern for national holiness was imparted from mentor to pupil.
Jeremiah 23 tells us a lot about where we are as a people. Prophetic ministries are flooding the internet with “words” and none of them seem to agree. I have seen words from Shawn Bolz, T.B. Joshua, Charlie Shamp and others. Yet, they seem to either be copied from each other or have different messages from the Spirit. This is alarming.
“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:16)
At the end of the day, we are faced with a reality: prophetic ministries are looking to give us false hope as long as it gets books sold and new followers on social media. They give false words and the visions they have are from their own thinking and the false hope that they believe to be true. It is a scary place to be but it is where many prophetic ministries live. Some really believe in the false hope they put out and some of them do not but put it out to get likes and shares.
Hope is a powerful thing but false hope is a very, very dangerous thing to give people. Many of these prophetic ministries out there should be ashamed of themselves but they are businesses, not focused on souls and the harvest.
“I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?” (Jeremiah 23:25-26)
Facebook is full of prophets claiming to have a prophetic dream. There is one prophetic ministry that seems to claim to have a dream from the Lord every night. He is always posting about this dream and that dream. If you was to follow him, you would think he has an obsession with President Donald Trump; not Jesus Christ. I am not saying that he does not have prophetic dreams. I am saying that at least some of them are either not prophetic or just plain made up.
The bigger problem is that people lack complete discernment about it and believe these dreams day in and day out. They take his words as “gospel truth.” I see little testing of their experiences against the scriptures and they are putting prophetic words on the same level as the written canon. This is dangerous at best.
“Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ (Jeremiah 23:30-31)
This is what we are seeing at such great levels that I have not seen anything like it in my lifetime. Prophetic ministry are “borrowing” words from others and customizing them to look original. They are doing what Jeremiah “wagging their tongues.” It is all about growing a following and not actual concern for people in crisis. This is not just among the “Facebook prophets” either. This is happening among the speakers at your favorite conference too.
Ministry Kingdoms vs. God’s Kingdom
What we among is many who long to be their own kingdom in ministry using the name of Jesus as the tool. This is not just happening in Africa, India and Asia. It is happening among us right here in the United States. People who see building a following can make them well off and successful in life. They will do anything to keep the cash flowing; even it means giving people false hope.
We have seen this happening with everything from selling ministry (conferences) to the insane requests of some traveling ministers such as Juanita Bynum. (She was just the ones that was busted!) Asking $10,000 and up to preach the gospel to the poor is not being “all things to all people that by all means that I may win some.” It is running a corporation; not extending the ministry of Jesus to the broken and downcast.
It is time that we repent of seeking to build our own kingdoms and see being as ministry as a way to prosperity. (Jesus promised us suffering, not prosperity anyways)