Self-proclaimed Ministers  

I am amazed when I hear the hypocrisy from fellow believers in Christ Jesus who refer to some ministers as being “self-proclaimed”. Yes, the devil has false ministers to replicate those stated in Ephesians 4:11. However, that is no excuse. The hypocrisy is that the “self-proclaimed…” prefix is oftentimes added to the apostles and prophets more than the evangelists, pastors and teachers. In fact, I have never heard someone call a person a self-proclaimed pastor, even though there are many. A part of the façade is that the last three types of ministers can attend a seminary and their completion of the degree program seemingly adds to their credibility. Anyone who reads this, if you disagree with what I am saying, please provide the Scripture where the Lords says that any of His ministers must attend a manmade institution in order to serve Him and His people. Yet, I am not saying there is no place for seminaries. Many people have degrees from seminaries and ordination certificates from churches, but they are not ministers of Christ because He Lord did not call or appoint them. There are many ministers of the gospel, or in some cases a gospel, but they are not ministers of Christ because He did not ordain them (see 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). One of the hallmarks of the ministry gifts in Ephesians 4:11 is that Christ has to call, appoint, commission, and send them. Even for the pastors, seminaries do not produce them, the Lord does. Like the Lord said, ‘…I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.’ ~ Jeremiah 3:15 (KJV) Many “pastors” do not have a shepherd’s heart, especially the Good Shepherd’s heart, which is one of the indicators that the Lord did not call them to that position, assuming He called them at all. For the sake of brevity, even though I don’t think this will be brief, see Ezekiel chapter 34 where the Lord used His prophet to speak out against “heavy shepherding”.

We know the sin of Jeroboam was leading Israel into idolatry. But he also transgressed against God by appointing people to the priesthood who were not Levites (1 Kings 12:26-31). Similarly, seminaries and churches appoint people to ministerial positions the Lord did not call them to, either to that position or at all. Seminaries can help people masquerade as one of the Lord’s evangelists, pastors, or teachers, but not so much for the apostles and prophets. For example, a seminary graduate professing to be an apostle cannot substantiate his or her apostleship with a Ph.D. A degree is not the same as God-given authority, especially that commensurate with apostleship. When Paul defended his apostleship, he did not do so with his educational background, but rather, via his sufferings for Christ and the gospel (2 Corinthians 11).

Prophetic Geometry
Many are prophets but only a few are prophets of the Lord.

 

Similarly, going to a seminary, or even a school of the prophets, will not make someone a prophet, not even someone with the gift of prophecy. Again, only the Lord can ordain a minister. While the Lord is not against having a formal education, to include in Biblical studies, we should not make seminary or even a church ordination as a sign of the Lord’s “seal of approval”. Please keep the following in mind regarding some of the Lord’s chosen vessels:

  • Moses tried to turn down the Lord’s commission, in part because he said he was not eloquent and was slow of speech (Exodus 4:10). Yet the Lord still used him as a judge and a prophet.

 

  • When the apostles were taken to the Sanhedrin, they were viewed as ignorant and unlearned (Acts 4:13), even though Peter gave an impassioned speech because he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8). The Lord used the foolish thing to confound the wise.

 

  • The apostle Paul, a Pharisee who studied under the well-respected doctor of the Law, Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), was certainly not uneducated. Yet people said, “…his letters, …are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:10 (KJV) Paul did not come across as a minister whose speech had been refined in a seminary. In fact, if one were to consider his studies under Gamaliel as being in a seminary, keep in mind that after the Lord called Paul to serve Him, Paul left Israel and went to Arabia where he was taught the gospel by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1). I submit to you that some ministers, who have a legitimate calling from the Lord, presumptuously went to a seminary. They assumed that was a part of the Lord’s process for them, but it simply delayed their trip to “Arabia” for the lessons the Lord wants to use to equip them. For some ministers of the Lord, seminary training is not a part of the Lord’s developmental process for them. In other cases, the Lord may want them to experience “Arabia” before a seminary…
Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

I am not here to bash seminaries so let me get back to how I started, which is the hypocrisy in Christianity of labeling some ministers as being “self-proclaimed”. When the Lord called Moses, Samuel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah to serve Him, it was a very private matter. In the case of Samuel, Eli was in the vicinity, and he knew the Lord was going to speak to Samuel, yet he was oblivious to what the Lord had said to Samuel (1 Samuel 3). Eli had to ask the young man about what had transpired. Let that be the eraser to obliterate the false doctrine that the Lord will tell your “pastor” about your calling before He tells you. In addition, please note, the Scripture does not tell us if the Lord called or commissioned Samuel as a prophet that night. On the contrary, the Scripture says, “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his Words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” ~ 1 Samuel 3:19-20 (KJV) Yet, I would not be surprised if people doubted that Samuel was truly a prophet… Sadly, I have seen people refer to prophets, and those with the gift of prophecy, as being clairvoyant when their predictions come to pass, simply because they will come up with every and any excuse not to believe. It is reminiscent of the Pharisees who tried to tarnish Jesus’ name and ministry by attributing a work of the Holy Spirit to the devil (Matthew 12:22-37). They had no desire for the truth.

I contrast Samuel’s calling with Jeremiah’s, which was again a private matter, one that is not as easily verifiable as producing a seminary degree or church ordination certificate. Jeremiah said, “Then the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, ‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.’” ~ Jeremiah 4-5 (KJV) Please note, it was the Lord who ordained him as a prophet. The Lord ordains, which is oftentimes a very private event, and people later confirm it, which may or may not be very public. Some would doubt a prophetic call like Jeremiah’s because they did not witness it. We know that Jeremiah is a well-respected prophet today, but that was not always the case when he was alive. We now know the Lord called Jeremiah, and he had prophecies that came to pass, such as the death of the false prophet Hananiah (Jeremiah 28). However, even Jeremiah was accused of being a self-proclaimed prophet (Jeremiah 29:27).

On Trial A Test of My Faith_1

Woefully, many doubters would still doubt, which could cause you to doubt your calling from the Lord, even if they were to hear it from the Lord for themselves. That kind of doubt is demonic. I say that because the devil knew who Jesus was, yet, he tried to temp the Lord by saying, If thou be the Son of God’ (Luke 4:3, 4:9). Do not let doubters cause you to doubt your calling from the Lord, and don’t spend too much time trying to prove anything to them. People recognized John as a prophet, yet they still doubted Jesus’ identity, even after the prophet proclaimed twice that Jesus was the ‘Lamb of God’ (John 1:29, 1:36). And if that was not confirmation enough, And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I AM well pleased.’” ~ Matthew 3:16-17 (KJV) Yet, despite such overt proclamations, people still doubted who Jesus was. Lest not forget the following when members of the priesthood tried to discredit the Lord, but He was not quick to try to defend Himself, and His Sonship:

And the high priest arose, and said unto Him, ‘Answerest Thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee?’ But Jesus held His peace, and the high priest answered and said unto Him, ‘I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God.’

Jesus saith unto him, ‘Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’

Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, ‘He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy. What think ye?’ They answered and said, ‘He is guilty of death.’” ~ Matthew 26:62-66 (KJV)

 Let me start with the not so obvious regarding how hypocrites will inevitably expose themselves, especially while trying to expose (discredit) you. The high priest was not after the truth, but rather, he was looking to condemn Jesus. Consequently, in his desperation to disprove Jesus, he transgressed against the following Law of God:

And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes.” ~ Leviticus 21:10 (KJV)

Jesus did not even brother pointing out Caiaphas’ errant actions. The Lord did not waste His time on someone who refused to believe, especially based on the overwhelming fruit (evidence) from the Lord’s character and ministry. There is one instance in the Bible where I heard the frustration in the Lord’s voice as He tried to get through people’s hardened heart, even though He also stated the reason why they could not see, hear, or perceive Who was in their presence.

“Jesus said unto them, ‘If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do ye not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My Word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.’” ~ John 8:42-44 (KJV)

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

As a minister of Christ, learn from Him and recognize when it is basically pointless to try to defend your calling from the Lord. Some people will not believe simply because they refuse to. Don’t take the devil’s bait by trying to prove people wrong, which was something the Lord was painfully aware of during this, His final moments:

And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, and saying, ‘Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.’

Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, ‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, ‘I AM the Son of God.’” ~ Matthew 27:39-43 (KJV)

Jesus came to sacrifice Himself for our sins so it would have been very counterproductive to come down from the cross. In addition, some of the people who made those comments still refused to believe in Jesus after He rose from the dead.

Jesus did not go around telling everyone that He was the Messiah, but there were times when He did. One such example is a woman of faith, someone who did the work of an evangelist by telling people about Christ. It also serves as an example of how you may get more respect from nonbelievers, and even away from churches, than you may receive in the church. The person I am referring to in this example is the Samaritan woman at the well, one who clearly stated that Jews did not associate with Samaritans (John 4:9). Yet, unlike so many other people during that time, she at least discerned that Jesus was a prophet (John 4:19). It mirrors what happened with Elisha and the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:9). A part of why some people use their titles is because others cannot discern it. Unfortunately, when the person uses the title, he or she is oftentimes labeled as being a “self-proclaimed…” Well guess what? After the Samaritan discerned that Jesus was a prophet, He basically let her know He was the Prophet Moses wrote of when God said, I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My Words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him.’ ~ Deuteronomy 18:18 (KJV) Jesus told the Samaritan that He was the Messiah. But rather than saying He was “self-proclaimed Messiah”, she left her water pot to go and tell the villagers that she had an encounter with the Christ. By the way, the villagers did not ask to see the certificate that she had been ordained as an evangelist. When you have encounters with others who cannot perceive your calling, or even worse, oppose it, remember, “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) Some of you can attest to this because the members of your church have been silent regarding your calling, but you have been getting a lot of attention from members of the kingdom of darkness.

Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free
Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free

 

As previously mentioned, do not think that if you were one of the ministers in the Bible that people would respect you more. If you are an apostle, research how things ended for the eleven remaining initial apostles after Judas’s death. Also, examine Paul’s sufferings for his faith in Christ Jesus as outlined in 2 Corinthians 11, and how his life ended. If you are a prophet, examine the lives and challenges of the Biblical prophets, such as the following examples:

  • Ezekiel: The Lord let him know the people would not listen to him, even though they would know a prophet had been among them (Ezekiel 2:5). The Lord later said, ‘Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My Words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto Me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.’ ~ Ezekiel 3:4-7 (KJV) Keep in mind that the Lord may give you assignments where the people won’t receive you or your message from Him, but that will testify against them when the Lord renders judgment.

 

  • Jeremiah: I do not like the terms Biblical scholars use to classify individuals as being “major” or “minor” prophets. It has contributed to numerous abuses by people who refer to themselves as being “major” or “master” prophets… But one of the so-called major prophets of the Bible is Jeremiah, a prophet who was heavily persecuted and oftentimes imprisoned. If the Israelites had listened to him, they would not have spent 70 years in captivity. So again, do not consider it strange when people do not listen to the Word of the Lord you may have to proclaim, or if they describe you as a “self-proclaimed prophet”. Please pay attention to the angst Jeremiah suffered as a part of his prophetic ministry:

O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; Thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the Word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name. But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, ‘Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.’ But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.’ ~ Jeremiah 20:7-11 (KJV) If the only thing that stood out to you was about the Word of the Lord being like fire shut up in his bones, I recommend that you remove the lens of the sermons you have heard on that section and focus on the persecution he endured. In modern terms, Jeremiah had haters.

  • Moses: Before the Lord used him to part the Red Sea, look at how many times Moses appeared before the pharaoh to implore him to let the Lord’s people go. Despite the signs and wonders, the pharaoh still had a hardened heart.

 

  • Other Prophets: “And theLord hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.” ~ Jeremiah 25:4 (KJV) That statement, or a derivative thereof, is repeated at least 6 times as a reminder that people have a history of disregarding the Lord’s messengers. In addition, Jesus said, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ ~ Matthew 23:37 (KJV) People are still stoning the Lord’s messengers, but usually with words, such as, “You are a self-proclaimed…”

One of the many reasons some people struggle with identifying their calling from the Lord is that they cannot recognize the calling from the Lord in others. Some have had encounters with the Lord, like Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3), Paul on his way to Damascus (Acts 9), or Ezekiel’s vision of the Lord (Ezekiel 1), yet they are still clueless about their calling from the Lord. Sometimes that struggle is because of a minister who went to a seminary. The minister can tell them about hermeneutics and what the Words of the Bible mean in the original languages, yet cannot help others identify their calling. That is in part because they do not believe in Biblically sound supernatural experiences, and even some of the ministerial positions outlined in Ephesians 4:11. There are times when people profess their calling simply because others cannot discern the obvious. Hence the dilemma of potentially not being taken seriously when you don’t use a title, or being doubted and thereby interrogated when you use one. It is a good thing the Ninevites were discerning or they would have perished. Jonah did not go through Nineveh claiming to be a prophet, even though he was, and neither did he use the Lord’s name in his proclamation. Yet, the Ninevites took the appropriate actions when Jonah went through the city crying out, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’ ~ Jonah 3:4 (KJV) Do not succumb to the pitfall of labeling ministers as being “self-proclaimed” instead of testing the spirit behind a person (1 John 4:1, Matthew 7:15-16, etc.). By the way, why do you doubt the person’s calling but you have no issues reaching out to that individual to intercede to the Lord for you? Could it be because the Lord said, ‘But if they be prophets, and if the Word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts…’ (Jeremiah 27:18 KJV)? Sometimes people do things and the servant of the Lord can hear that ripping sound when they expose themselves, like Caiaphas did.

Minister to the People
Minister to the People

If you believe or know you have a calling from the Lord, you may not receive confirmation like how Elijah placed his mantle over Elisha, after the Lord had told him to appoint Elisha as a prophet (1 Kings 19:15-21). I included the latter part of that statement because some people have been mislead into thinking they are something they are not… On the other hand, some have been called but not yet appointed. Lest not forget that Jesus said, ‘For many are called, but few are chosen.’ ~ Matthew 22:14 (KJV) Some of the Lord’s anointed become like king Saul, someone the Lord later rejected (1 Samuel 15:23, 15:26, 16:1). Having a calling from the Lord is great, but lest not forget the following potential pitfalls:

 

  • “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” ~ 2 Peter 2:15 (KJV)

 

  • “Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” ~ Jude 11 (KJV)

 

Cain killed his brother Abel, which is what some professing believers are doing to their brothers and sisters in Christ who have a legitimate title from the Lord, but are being dubbed as being “self-proclaimed”.

As I begin to close, sometimes the Lord will use people to confirm your calling from Him, despite their unbelief and/or reluctance. For example:

 

  • I had an encounter with a mother who did not believe in modern day prophets. Well, she received a prophecy regarding her then unborn son. But despite her unbelief, she and her husband named their son after a prophet, which is in line with the prophecy they had received. I was concerned for the young man because of his parents’ unbelief, but his name serves as a reminder that the Lord is in full control. The Lord can do things because or in spite of you. In addition, as many can attest, even though He cannot lie, it is oh so true when Jesus said, ‘A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.’ ~ Mark 6:4 (KJV)

 

  • I went to a church where I believed it was the Lord’s will for the pastor to mentor me. But I ended up like David, who had to leave king Saul’s “mentorship program” to get raised in the wilderness instead. But the Lord uses everything for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Consequently, the Lord used the experiences to inspire me to write “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant”. David knew the Lord had ordained him as Israel’s next king, yet he was content with humbling himself and serving king Saul without trying to usurp his authority. Just look at how many times David referred to Saul as “The Lord’s anointed”, even though he was anointed too. Tragically, David’s reverence for the king did not stop Saul from trying to persecute and kill David. I know many people can relate to David’s wilderness experience, which was not necessarily sparked by an unwillingness to submit to another person’s authority. You thought the Lord was going to groom you in a church and/or seminary but you got raised in the wilderness instead. Your mentor, or potential mentor, became your persecutor. Anyhow, one of the many ways the Lord confirmed my calling was when the pastor read a certain Scripture, one I had heard many times before, but on that night, as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I knew the Lord was using him to communicate those Words to me. That was not the first time the Lord had confirmed His calling to me, and neither was it the last time. But like the Samaritan and the Shunammite women, some things have to be spiritually discerned. I can imagine the look on my face in another incident when someone publicly called me out in an automotive repair shop. Do not limit the Lord to your church. He knows where you are and how to find you, just like how Elisha was busy working out in his parents’ field.

The Mouth Speaks

Sometimes you can tell simply based on how a person communicates which spirit he or she is of, and what his or her calling is. Don’t let an unbeliever, to include an unbelieving believer (Mark 9:24), rob you of your identity in Christ. I mentioned that Jesus would not defend Himself or His Sonship at His “trial” with the high priest. A part of the reason why I was inspired to add Sonship was to warn you against abusing your title and/or chasing a ministerial title. Jesus called his closest disciples, apostles, but then He bestowed a more meaningful title, one He had bestowed on His prophet Abraham, and that is “friend” (John 15:15, James 2:23). While having a title is great, keep in mind that the Lord has many servants but few friends. And please, don’t ever refer to yourself with a title that the Lord did not give you (see Revelation 2:2, 2:20). The Lord will call out his servants who are in hiding, as was the case when Saul at his coronation (1 Samuel 10:20-23), or those who are trying to run from their calling or assignment, like Jonah (Jonah 1). Conversely, the Lord will also identify and deal with those He did not call or send, like Hananiah (Jeremiah 28), or the prophetess Noadiah and the other prophets Nehemiah perceived were not from the Lord (Nehemiah 6). Nehemiah knew, that despite their titles, they were not from the Lord because they tried to intimidate and discourage him from doing the work of the Lord…

 

Never lose sight of your sonship because “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” ~ Romans 8:14 (KJV) Many apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are on their way to hell (Matthew 7:21-23), but that is not the case for the sons and daughters of the Lord. Let me close with one of the most abused self-proclaimed titles in Christianity, and that is being a “Christian”. Believing in Jesus is only a part of being a Christian. We are told that devils believe there is one God, and tremble (James 2:19), but they are not going to heaven… Jesus did not say we would know people by their titles, but rather, He said we would know them by their fruits. One of the reasons why devils are not going to heaven, and some self-proclaimed Christians, to include ministers, is because Jesus also said, ‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments.’ ~ John 14:15 (KJV)

If you are a bona fide minister of Christ, before you spend too much time defending your God-given title and/or authority, never forget that Jesus said, ‘He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.’ ~ Matthew 10:40 (KJV)

"Labor Pains"

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

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Overcoming Fear

Fear is a tool of the enemy to prevent believers in Christ Jesus from even beginning to exercise their faith to do the Lord’s will. It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6a), and faith without works is dead (James 2:20). James also said he would show us his faith by his works (2:18). One of the reasons for the 40-year delay in getting into the Promised Land was that most of the Israelite spies feared the sons of Anak, the giants who occupied the land (Numbers 13-14). The devil used fear to prevent a generation from receiving their promise from the Lord. On the other hand, when the entire Israelite army was gripped with fear from Goliath’s threats, David exercised his faith in God and conquered the giant that stood between him and his destiny. The greater the blessing the Lord has in store for you is the more formidable the opponent(s) the devil will send; his mission is to stop you, to include stop you from even trying. Many Christians are waiting on a blessing from the Lord while He is waiting for them to exercise their faith in Him and face the giant(s) in their lives.

The devil will use fear to get a foothold into your life, and in time, it will become a stronghold if you do not wage war against it. If you know the Lord is calling you into your “Promised Land”, and the enemy is standing in your way, keep the following in mind:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)

Cast down and cast out those things that are opposing the Lord’s will for your life. Do not let a devil intimidate you “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) Christ was humble but He was not a coward; He confronted issues, people, and devils. Do not let cowardice derail you on your way to your destiny.

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The Cost of Clarity  

Interestingly, I had a meeting recently, followed by a chat with a small group afterwards. Then I saw something when I came home that has inspired me to share the following, which is based on the conversation and my subsequent observation.

One of the things I love to receive from the Lord is a warning because it can help to avert disaster. I prefer to correct something now than to pay the price later. But even a warning from the Lord is not always clearly communicated. In Numbers 12:6-8, the Lord said sometimes He communicates more clearly than others. You may have had experiences where you later discovered what the Lord was warning you about, and even though it was very serious, the warning was vague, even though you knew it was a warning. Well, I am here to tell you that clarity costs.

The Lord had very important messages to communicate to the pharaoh of Egypt (Genesis 41) and the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2). However, those two dreams required someone to interpret them. Conversely, when Laban was trying to cheat Jacob of his wages, the Lord tipped the scales of justice in Jacob’s favor by clearly revealing which animals would reproduce (Genesis 31). Similarly, the Lord clearly communicated to king Abimelech (Genesis 20) and Joseph (Matthew 2) in dreams.

I won’t go into details, but the absolutely worst experience of my life was not without warnings from the Lord, but the warnings were not very clear to me at the time. It was like putting together a puzzle while wearing foggy glasses. But in retrospect, I can see the various ways the Lord was warning me, and also why I could not perceive things clearly at the time. I got in serious trouble, a hot mess, but the Lord graciously rescued me from that hell on earth. One of the reasons was because the warnings were not very clear (to me then) so my actions could be counted as out of ignorance rather than willful disobedience to the Lord. Again, clarity costs, especially when it results in willful disobedience (see 1 Kings 13). Quite frankly, at the time I thought the Lord was putting me through the most difficult test of my life, like when He told Abraham to sacrifice his only beloved son (Genesis 22). It was so difficult that I actually asked the Lord to kill me and send me to hell instead. Oh, another reason why the Lord was so gracious to me was because the devil wanted me dead; it was serious!

On The Run
Divorce the devil and his cohorts.

Prior to and even after my horrific experiences, which even though the Lord delivered me from still came with serious enduring consequences, the Lord has had me deliver warnings to people. But those warnings were given clearly, which means a person’s failure to comply means disobeying the Lord. Yet, I may give a person a strong warning at the time but the person still has the right to choose, and reap the consequences for his or her decisions. When Micaiah warned king Ahab that if he went to battle he was going to die, the king chose to ignore the prophet’s warning. In fact, he put the prophet in prison. But Micaiah simply let him clearly know that if he returned from battle then the Lord had not spoken through him (1 Kings 22:28). When you deliver a true message from the Lord, you never have to try to convince someone it was from the Lord. The message will either bear witness to the person’s spirit, or, the recipient will find out in the fullness of time. Sadly, sometimes a person forgets about the warning and then cries out to the Lord and asks, “Why me?” You don’t have to believe me, but the Lord does not give idle warnings.

Another type of warning is when a blessing from the Lord has conditions attached but He really wants to stress the conditions so the recipient does not mismanage or lose the blessing. An example of this is when the Lord clearly spoke to the newly appointed king Solomon about how He would bless the king, but he had to keep the Lord’s statues and commandments, like his father David (1 Kings 3:14). Sadly, we later see that even though he was blessed, Solomon violated the Lord’s commandment with respect to marriage. As a result, his foreign wives and concubines turned the king’s heart away from the Lord and into idolatry (1 Kings 11). I recall giving a similar message to someone. The Lord seemingly had me spend three times longer on the warnings regarding stewardship than the blessing itself. The recipient of that message may not have understood the underlying message behind the delivery, but I was painfully aware of the reason. Oftentimes, when the Lord gives you such a message, it means He knows you are on track to mess something up and He is trying to warn you in an effort to avert it. When Cain was angry with Abel, the Lord told him that sin was crouching at his door but he must rule over it. The rest of Genesis 4 tells the story of murder and the ensuing consequences. Cain complained about the punishment but he could not complain that the Lord had not warned him. If the Lord does not warn you of something, consider it as judgment against you. For example, Rebekah and her son Jacob conspired to deceive Isaac into giving Esau’s blessing to Jacob (Genesis 27). The deception worked, but there was a price to pay, beside Jacob having to flee. When Laban subsequently tried to deceive Jacob into marrying Leah, a woman he hated, the Lord was silent. Jacob was clueless about whom he had married until he woke up the following morning. Consequently, if you can honestly say that the Lord did not specifically warn you about something, you may want to find out why. In addition, lest not forget some of the enduring general warnings that are in the following Scriptures: Deuteronomy 32:35, Galatians 6:7-8, Obadiah 1:15, Psalm 7:14-16, Proverbs 6:27-31, etc.

The Lord is full of mercy and grace, but when He gives a clear warning, it means choosing to ignore it, and consequently Him, is an act of willful disobedience instead of ignorance. There have been times when I warned individuals about things and they persisted and I either kept quiet or interceded. But oftentimes, there is no intercession because the Lord gives us the free will to make choices, to include contrary to His will, and He allows us to reap the consequences of those decisions. I am passionate about delivering warnings from the Lord. One reason is because I have committed many sins in my life but I never knew how severe the consequences would be, even for seemingly minor infractions. The devil is constantly seeking to get or retain legal access into our lives and sin provides that gateway. There are times when people are reaping the consequences of certain actions from many years ago. Yet, they cannot make the correlation between current challenges and past sins. Engaging in sin is basically making a covenant with the devil. One of the numerous hypocrisies about the devil is that he will help you break a covenant with the Lord but he does not give up easily when you try breaking a covenant with him. The devil will try to hold you to every letter of the covenant you either knowingly or unknowingly made with him. Thank God that there is power in the name of Jesus, the only begotten Son who was sent to free us from the bondage of sin and death. ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ ~ John 8:36 (KJV)

Thank the Lord for His love, which includes His mercy and grace. I close with the following reminder (instead of a warning) about God’s mercy and grace: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2 (KJV)

 

Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

“Spouse Material”

Wife Material 

Men,

Please, do not confuse a woman who comes into your life for a union that is God-ordained versus demonically arranged.

In the case of the former, things will simply work as she effortlessly fits into your life like Adam’s missing rib. In addition, the Lord will give you a quickening in your spirit to let you know that of all the women in the world, she is the “help meet” He has ordained for you (Genesis 2:18-25). Consequently, regardless of whether the Lord brings you to her, or she to you, the relationship will bear the following fruit: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 18:22 (KJV)

In the case of the latter, you will discover that Proverbs 18:22 is not simply about finding a wife, but rather, a Godly wife, with whom you are equally yoked. In a demonically arranged union, the woman will be a thorn in your flesh, a rib that does not fit, because she is a messenger of satan, sent to ruin your life and your relationship with the Lord. For example, king Ahab was an evil king, but he got worse when he married Jezebel (1 Kings 16:28-33). The effects are even more pronounced for king Solomon, whom the Lord selected to build His temple, but because he married idolatrous women, his walk with the Lord was not upright because he practiced idolatry.

In summary, please do not confuse your “help meet”, your God-ordained (missing) rib, with the destroyer sent to serve as a thorn in your flesh. By the way, sometimes the thorn in your flesh is sent to prevent you from being with the one the Lord ordained for you (see Genesis 29-30).

The Sound of a Fallen Tree
A collection of poetry about heartbreak.

 

Husband Material 

Ladies,

It is very important to discern between a fruitless man and a man the Lord has pruned to be a better fit for you, and to enhance his fruitfulness. A freshly sheared sheep is capable of producing wool, if given time and opportunity. But please ensure it is a sheep instead of a goat or you will be thoroughly disappointed.

love-marriage

 

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

God, The Love of My Life (2)

Chess  

A narcissistic minister may act like a queen, king, rook, knight, or bishop but the person is simply the devil’s pawn.

Interestingly, as in life, under certain circumstances in chess, a bishop may be referred to as a “good bishop” or “bad bishop”. In the case of the latter, the bishop is called a “tall pawn”. Similarly, a narcissistic minister is puffed up with pride and thinks more highly of him or herself than one should, especially a minister of Christ.

Chess grandmaster, Mihai Suba, is quoted as saying, “Bad bishops protect good pawns.” How many times have we seen that unfold in the catholic church? I am not biased because it has happened in protestant churches too. But as it relates to narcissism, a narcissistic minister (bad bishop) will protect his or her pawns (flying monkeys). Just in case you are not familiar with the term, a “flying monkey” refers to anyone who is unaware of the narcissist’s true identity but supports and defends the narcissist. Or, the person may be fully aware of the narcissist’s evil ways, and whether via fear or admiration of the narcissist, the person will still take the narcissist’s side. Sadly, one of the ways a narcissist gains people’s trust is by using “flying monkeys”. They vouch for the narcissist and/or serve as a diversion from truly discerning the narcissist’s character.

And that brings up another issue. In the game of chess, a pawn can get promoted, to include becoming the most powerful chess piece on the board, a queen. However, despite outward appearances, that person will still be a pawn at heart. A minister with a lofty title or position who is actually a pawn at heart will succumb to pride. Please take note of when the apostle Paul wrote:

“This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” ~ 1 Timothy 3:1-6 (KJV)

It is easy for a discerning person to spot a minister who is truly a novice. A person can be in ministry for 10 years and yet be a novice in comparison someone who has only been in ministry for a year, simply because of maturity. In addition, the devil loves to promote people who are woefully unqualified, they may have spiritual gifts but little in the way of good character. A promotion from the devil is simply a way to gain or retain a pawn’s loyalty. In the case of chess, the highest promotion is to become a queen, which is reminiscent of one of the devil’s pawns in the Bible, Jezebel, who became Ahab’s wife and queen over Israel (1 Kings 16:30-31). The devil has many Jezebels pretending to be ministers of Christ…

A narcissistic minister is delusional may carry him or herself like the knight, which is represented by a sculpture of a horse on the game board. However, while a narcissistic minister may think he or she is like a knight on horseback, most people can see that the individual is more like the false prophet Balaam on his donkey (Numbers 22).

On a few final notes, when you recognize that a minister is a narcissist, leave that ministry because it needs to be “game over!” Unlike in the game of chess where a player will realize that he or she has no more moves based on the rules of the game and will concede defeat, a narcissist will try to make rules for his or her benefit. Even when utterly defeated, a narcissist may refuse to admit it and continue as if he or she had won, or cry foul as if he or she was victimized. To this day, I have never seen a false prophet who has repented, not even when confronted with irrefutable evidence. But then again, evidence is for your sanity and to warn others instead of to get a narcissist to admit guilt and repent. Don’t play games with a narcissist, to include those who are among the clergy. The clergy is a nest for narcissists because many people won’t challenge or disobey the clergy because it may seem like challenging or disobeying God. How many times have we seen misconduct among clergy yet congregants rally around them as if they did nothing wrong? That is particularly sickening when a minister for example abuses a congregant and the minister stays in the pulpit while the survivor of the abuse is ostracized and cast out. And people pretend as if the minister did nothing wrong. Those ministers and congregants won’t like it when they appear before the Christ they profess to serve.

I leave you with one of the many warnings in the Bible with respect to copycat clergy; many professing ministers are not serving Christ Jesus:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (KJV)

Character
Some ministers are narcissists who try to cloak their evil ways in Christ.

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

The Saboteur    

When you have a dream about a person, in addition to inquiring about the source of the dream, you need the Lord to let you know if the dream was about the person, what the person represents, or both. If the dream was symbolic, examine the person’s real life functions and character. For example, dreaming of a mail carrier is symbolic of a messenger, either heavenly or demonic. A person who is evil in real life will represent evil in your dreams. Yet, conversely, a person you trust in real life could be a messenger of satan in your dreams, a “person” being used in your dream to gain your trust… Dreaming of a beloved deceased relative or friend is not a good thing, especially if touching is involved because it means coming into agreement… If you have a dream about spending time with, or you are married to, someone who typically makes decisions that sabotage his or herself, such as being a poor steward of (financial) resources, the enemy is trying to attack and drain your resources. This was only a snippet to remind you to take your dreams seriously, to pray for the interpretation to the revelation, and to advance the Lord’s plans for your life while killing the devil’s plans (see John 10:10). I am trying not to go too in depth, but I must also say, please be careful about dreams where a person’s character is misrepresented. If you do not know the person well enough in real life, be careful about hasty judgment. The enemy can cause you to miss a great opportunity by making a good person seem evil in a dream; he will sow weeds in an attempt to block your harvest/blessings (e.g. Matthew 13:24-25). Based on personal experiences, it does not take long for a person’s actions in real life to validate or invalidate what you saw in a dream.

On Trial A Test of My Faith_1 

Bonus: It is time to pray fervently (spiritual warfare) if you have a dream where you are trying to move forward (to something wonderful), but it is like an invisible force is trying to hold you back. In fact, you may be able to freely go in any direction except for the correct direction. Be aware, the Lord is showing you that the enemy is opposing you, or planning to oppose you, in a similar manner in real life (see 1 Thessalonians 2:18 and Genesis 31:1-13). It is particularly noteworthy if you have dreams with such a theme on a recurring basis. Don’t be surprised if you keep having difficulties advancing in life, to include incredible opportunities that suddenly and seemingly inexplicably fall apart.

 

Additional Reference: Luke 8:1-15

Anatomy of a Heartbreak: When SAMson met Delilah
A narrative of recovering from heartbreak and reaching Jesus in the process.

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

(Sudden) Change of Heart  

If you are single, you meet someone of interest and you take a liking to each other, but things seemingly start to fizzle before getting started, ask the Lord what is happening. This is particularly suspect if one or both of you seemingly inexplicably lost interest. Also, take note if people start telling you negative things about the person, even though they do not know him or her and cannot substantiate their allegations. Your index of suspicion should be even higher if people start speaking negatively about you to the individual, and you know that what they are saying about you is not true. However, you are in a precarious position and unable to deliver the facts because people have poisoned the well against you so to speak, even to the point where the person you are interested in won’t listen to what you have to say. Things get even worse when those who know the facts, and can shed light on the cloak of deception, don’t speak up and try to “clear the air” with the truth. Someone is serving “Haterade”.

When Jesus told the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15), He mentioned that the farmer sowed seeds but only a fourth of them grew to maturity and produced fruit. The Lord said, ‘A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.’ And when He had said these things, He cried, ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ ~ Luke 8:5-8 (KJV)

So, what are the elements that are working against your blessings, to either snatch them away, ensure they never take root, or choke the life out of them shortly after they have taken root? In the case of the latter, that is like the sudden change of heart you and/or the other person may have experienced in a matter. It was growing and then suddenly stopped, and most likely died.

Sometimes even your closest confidant may end up becoming your worst enemy on the way to fulfilling your destiny, a messenger of satan, if you are not discerning. Keep in mind that in Matthew 16 the Lord commended Peter for speaking on the Heavenly Father’s behalf. However, the Lord later rebuked the devil who was speaking through Peter. It is written, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” ~ Proverbs 11:14 (KJV) Yet, especially as demonstrated with Peter, you want to ensure you are getting Godly counsel, and that the counselors are speaking on behalf of the Lord. Take note of what Jesus said when He rebuked the devil who was using Peter to try to stop Him from fulfilling His destiny. ‘Get thee behind Me, satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’ ~ Matthew 16:23 (KJV) You may have to rebuke someone you care about and/or look up to because that person is representing the devil’s interests instead of the Lord’s.

love-marriage

Please note that there are ways to determine if the devil interfered with your blessings. For example, if you later approach those who were in opposition of the desire of your heart, and they cannot offer a plausible explanation for “their” point of view at the time, or even worse, they have no recollection of what you are referring to. It may even be worse if they now have great things to say about the person they once slandered, yet never shared the revelation with you. Another way is if you get to see the person’s true colors for yourself, and it breaks the fog of deception.

Can you imagine the shock on Peter’s face when the Lord looked at him but said satan? Yet, at that point in time, Jesus’s beloved apostle was a messenger of satan… I leave you with this very important reminder from Peter and the other apostles, which is something that contributed to numerous Israelites dying in the wilderness without entering into the Promised Land, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ ~ Acts 5:29 (KJV) When you listen to people instead of God, you may end up calling the person of interest, “the one who got away”. It is bitter sweet to hear of an elderly couple that had been separated for years, lived lives with other people, but their hearts were never at rest until they reconnected with their one true love. Oftentimes, when you hear their stories, someone had interfered with their relationship, and sometimes that person was a parent.

Additional Reading: Genesis 24 & 29

 

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

Unhitched

Be mindful of the devil using seemingly trustworthy people, especially those from your inner circle, to cause you to sin (rebel) against God. A sin is a violation of God’s commandment (1 John 3:4). Sin started when Eve led Adam to violate the Lord’s commandment to not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord gave Adam the commandment, in part because Adam spent a portion of his life doing the work of the Lord prior to Eve’s creation (Genesis 2:17). It is obvious that Adam told Eve about the Lord’s commandment based on her interaction with the devil (Genesis 3:1-5). However, nothing really happened until Adam ate the fruit after she had eaten it and shared the harvest with him (Genesis 3:6-7). I am not implying that Adam and/or Eve went to hell, but let what happened with them serve as an example that no one is worth going to hell for, no one.

When the Lord gives you a directive, and you share it with someone who then tries to get you to violate it, you have a decision to make. A person who tries to get you to violate what the Lord told you obviously does not take your salvation and relationship with the Lord seriously (e.g. 1 Kings 13). In one of the worse case scenarios, that person is trying to become your god. In some cases, your feelings for and relationship with the person may complicate you decision. But here is what Jesus said to help you simplify that decision:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I AM come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.’ ~ Matthew 10:34-39 (KJV)

Sometimes you have to use the sword the Lord mentioned and cut some people off, and possibly keep them permanently out of your life, especially out of your relationship with Christ. Your greatest foe may be in your household, to include the one with whom you share a bed. This is a regrettable part of the narrative of king Solomon’s life, and relationship with the Lord:

“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, ‘Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods’: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.” ~ 1 Kings 11:1-6 (KJV)

A Test of My Faith
Endure life’s fiery trials.

Woefully, many people are making excuses for not doing the things the Lord has called them to do. They may feel justified because their reason(s) may be quite valid. But that won’t be the case when they give an account to the Lord on the day of their judgment. Before that day comes for you, if you are making excuses regarding not fulfilling your calling from the Lord, please keep the following in mind:

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, ‘Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.’

“And Jesus said unto him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.’

“And He said unto another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.’

Jesus said unto him, ‘Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.’

And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.’

And Jesus said unto him, ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’” ~ Luke 9:57-62 (KJV)

That is in stark contrast to His disciples who became apostles, such as the following example: “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.” ~ Matthew 4:18-20 (KJV) The apostles did not hesitate or make excuses. By the way, Peter did that even though he was married (Matthew 8:14).

Centuries prior to that, the Israelites had a good reason to not go into the Promised Land when the Lord told them to go and possess it. Yet that same reason became the Lord’s justification to keep that generation out of the Promised Land; they perished in the wilderness. Do not be among the generation that perishes in the “wilderness” because you disqualified yourself from reaping the Lord’s promise, thereby causing Him to use a more faithful generation to give your promise to instead. Who has the single greatest influence on your life? What or whom are you holding unto that is preventing you from wholeheartedly holding unto the Lord? Remember, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” ~ Romans 8:14 (KJV)

Are you a prophet in the cave/wilderness?
Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant

 

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

Open Letter  

A mail carrier’s responsibility is to deliver the mail to the intended recipient. In the case of certified or registered mail, the carrier has to ensure the recipient or an authorized representative signs for the mail to confirm its delivery. There was a time when just about every package required a receipt confirmation. Consequently, if you weren’t home at the attempted time of delivery you would see a note on your door with the next planned delivery date. In addition, after a certain amount of missed delivery attempts, the carrier would return the mail to the sender. But in most cases nowadays, the carrier will leave the package at your door or in the mailbox and track the package as being delivered, even though not necessarily received. Once a package is delivered, the mail carrier’s assignment is done. The mail carrier is not responsible for ensuring that the recipient opens the package. In fact, the recipient could burn the package in front of the mail carrier and it would be none of the mail carrier’s business because the message had been delivered.

Similar protocols apply to when the Lord uses a messenger to deliver a message. The messenger’s responsibility ends upon delivery of the message. In fact, the intended recipient can even refuse to accept the message, which means the messenger should stop. Otherwise, the messenger will cross the line and misrepresent Christ (assuming the messenger is from the Lord) by trying to force an intended recipient to accept the message. The line that gets crossed is straying from being prophetic to engaging in witchcraft, or “prophetic witchcraft”. A true messenger of the Lord needs to know the various prophetic protocols by studying the Bible, especially when trying to deliver a message to someone who is Biblically astute.

One of the first prophetic protocols for both a messenger and the intended recipient to know is: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” ~ 1 John 4:1 (KJV) The potential messenger has to first ensure the potential message came from the Lord, and that He commanded him or her to deliver the message. The intended recipient also has to test the spirits. In some cases, the Holy Spirit will alert the potential recipient that someone with sinister motives is about to try to misrepresent Him. We see an example of this when the Lord let Ahijah know the wife of king Jeroboam was coming to see him under illusive circumstances (1 Kings 14). Their plan to deceive the prophet was dead on arrival so to speak. The Holy Spirit may also reveal a messenger’s true character via the gift of discerning of spirits or word of knowledge or wisdom (1 Corinthians 12). Another Scriptural reference for evaluating a potential messenger is when the Lord said, ‘The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.’ ~ Jeremiah 14:14 (KJV) If you accept a message from a deceived messenger then you will get deceived.

Getting deceived can be very costly so never rely on a person’s professed title. A very powerful example this, one that is near and dear to my heart, is what happened when the Bethelite prophet tried convincing the Judean prophet to return home with him. You would think that two prophets would share the same fear (reverence) for the Lord, but look at what happened:

“‘For it was said to me [Judean] by the Word of the Lord, ‘Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.’ He [Bethelite] said unto him, ‘I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the Word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ But he lied unto him.” ~ 1 Kings 13:17-18 (KJV)

It is sad but true, things like that still happen today. Messengers will claim to have a message from the Lord for you but you should reject that messenger and everything he or she wants to convey. Many people are telling boldface lies while using the Lord’s name, to include claiming, “The Lord said…” when the Lord had not spoken to them or commanded them to deliver a message. An imposter will even come along and try to make you disobey what the Lord had revealed to you, which is one of the hallmarks of a false prophet. Tragically, the Judean trusted the Bethelite and it cost him dearly; he paid with his life. It serves as a lesson that if someone lacks the reverence for the Lord and tries to get you to contradict the Word of the Lord, that person, regardless of his or her title, is a messenger of satan. As stated in 1 John 4:1, many false prophets are in the world.

Character
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NIV)

A true messenger of the Lord will never try to force you to receive a message, in part because that is witchcraft. Take note of the prophetic protocol Micaiah demonstrated when he delivered a message to king Ahab. Not only did the king refuse to believe the prophet, the following happened:

“And the king of Israel said, ‘Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; and say, ‘Thus saith the king, put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.’ And Micaiah said, ‘If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me.’ And he said, ‘Hearken, O people, every one of you.’” ~ 1 Kings 22:26-28 (KJV)

Micaiah did not have to go out of his way to try to convince Ahab to receive the message, and he only told him once. If they had not imprisoned him, the prophet would have probably walked away and let them know that if the Words he had spoken does not come to pass then the Lord had not spoken to and through him. That is sign of a true and mature prophet, which is commensurate with the following instructions from the Lord:

‘But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a Word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.’ ~ Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (KJV)

Another example that a true messenger of Christ will not force a person to receive a message is found in the ministry of the apostles. “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, ‘It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.’” ~ Acts 13:46 (KJV) The Lord did not command them to badger the Jews, instead, the Lord told them to turn to the Gentiles. The Lord is not going to force anyone to receive Him or His message, but the devil does. Do not become a messenger of satan.

I used to be more lenient, until I had a 1 Kings 13 experience. But ever since then, I will not receive any so-called messages from the Lord from a messenger who has given me a false prophecy before. I will not allow a messenger of satan to deliver a malicious payload in my life. You only get one chance with me, especially if the person boldly told a lie in the Lord’s name like the Bethelite, and then refused to accept responsibility and repent. That man destroyed the Judean’s life and he showed no remorse for his actions, which are indicative of a narcissist. Do not allow a messenger to destroy your life, especially after the Lord has revealed that person’s true character. Micaiah was imprisoned for telling the truth and many messengers today should be imprisoned for telling lies in the Lord’s name. But then again, there is a place called hell.

There are times when I travel and I give people books when I feel inspired. If I do so in the airport with a fellow traveller, I patiently wait until we go through airport security before delivering the book (message). At least the individual will know that my belongings and I cleared airport security before trying to hand something to him or her. Do not accept any message from a person who has not cleared the Lord’s security (His Holy Spirit), or someone who is on the banned list. By the way, if I offer someone a book for example and the person declines, I won’t try to pressure the person to take it, not even if the Lord shows me how the book could potentially save that person. Similarly, if a person does not want to receive blood products is taken to an emergency room while unconscious, the staff may not know that and will give the person blood products in order to save the person’s life. But if the same person went to the hospital for surgery and stated that he or she refuses to receive blood products, not even in dire situations, the doctor had best honor that person’s desires, even if the person ends up dying. A messenger has to respect a person’s free will to decline receiving a message, at least if the person is a messenger of Christ.

Proper prophetic protocol goes beyond ensuring the message is from the Lord, and that it is delivered on time, it also means representing Christ in the process. When Jesus said He was the Bread of Life, many of His disciples walked away from Him and the Lord let them go. He did not pursue any of them and try to convince them to stay and receive Him and His message. He was representing the Heavenly Father who gives us the free will to choose, which includes suffering the consequences for our actions. The Lord is not going to punish you for rejecting a false prophet, especially since the penalty for being a false prophet is death (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:20-22; Jeremiah 28). If you are in a position for the Lord to give a false prophet a legitimate message from Him for you, it is because you disobeyed Him and listened to and is fellowshipping with the false prophet instead (1 Kings 13:19-24). Remember, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:21 (KJV) But to continue with the Bread of Life incident, I love the example the Lord provides after those disciples left Him, and His ministry. “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will ye also go away?’ Then Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’” ~ John 6:67-69 (KJV)

Ravening Wolves

Whether you are a messenger or the recipient, it is important to know the protocol for delivering and receiving or rejecting a prophetic message. Lest not forget that Jesus said, ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.’ ~ Matthew 7:15 (KJV) I have never met a false prophet who repented, he or she may go away, but like an unclean spirit that has been cast out (Matthew 12:43-45), the false prophet tends to return even more wicked than before. Never allow a false prophet to corrupt you. If the Lord has used you to convey messages to others, ensure that you know and follow the prophetic protocols. If not, you may be a legitimate messenger of the Lord, even a prophet, but your actions make you seem like either an immature prophet or a false one. Some prophets are false while others are mislabeled as such because of prophetic immaturity; either way, sometimes it is difficult to discern an immature prophet from a false prophet. But here is a clue; true prophets know how to repent while the false ones keep living a lie. Avoid being mislabeled by getting to know the Biblical standards for being a messenger of Christ.

I have a zero tolerance policy for false prophets and I hope you do too. Do not allow anyone to misrepresent Christ to you by trying to give you a package that is laced with the bacterium bacillus anthracis, the cause of anthrax. Anthrax occurs naturally in hoofed wild and domesticated animals such as sheep and goats, yet when spread to humans can be fatal. Similarly, you do not want to come in contact with what a false prophet is carrying and trying to deliver. Do not open, and in some cases touch, a message from a false prophet, not even if the letter is addressed to you with Christ’s name on the envelop as the sender. If my stance on false prophets seems harsh, it would help if you heard my testimony of how destructive a false prophet can be. But for now, I present the following Biblical example of how to deal with a false prophet:

“And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the Word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And said, ‘O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season.’ And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.” ~ Acts 13:6-11 (KJV)

By the way, many of the above lessons and more are included in the book called “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant”.

 

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

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