Social Aloe is a gathering place for healing and deliverance, especially for the brokenhearted and those who have drifted away from the Lord. Social Aloe is meant to provide edification, exhortation, and comfort for the glorification of God.
If your right hand gets dirty, when you use your left hand to hand to wash the right, both hands get cleaner in the process. So, whenever the Lord gives you an opportunity to help others, He is also giving you an opportunity to help yourself in the process. Doing something good for others is oftentimes good for you too in pleasantly surprising ways. Have you ever helped someone who was feeling and possibly looking downtrodden and felt worse when that person thanked you with a smile? Smiles are precious, especially when they break through and emerge from a previously broken or hardened heart. Hands are precious too, particularly when they are used to convey the love of Christ Jesus to others.
Don’t be shocked, but there was a time when I pursued sin. However, now that I have ended my relationship with sin, and began pursuing Jesus, sin has been pursuing me, relentlessly. And it has showed up at some unexpected times and places. For example, yesterday, I was on a website that I frequent because it is a resource for me to copy and paste Scriptures whether I am writing a book or a social media post. I was shocked when I saw an advertisement for another company on the left side of the screen. It had two images, one of which was of a topless woman, obviously not a “Proverbs 31 woman” (Proverbs 31:21-22). It was surreal that I was on a Biblical website where another company was showing its products, one of which I did not want to see, and it had no place with something that was holy. It was literally like a person with a Bible who has such as photograph in it. Once I realized that what I was seeing was really there, I left the page and began rebuking the devil. Like I said, there was a time when I pursued sin, but since I began pursuing Jesus, sin has been pursuing me. The devil has a smorgasbord of sins on his menu and he will use anything in his efforts to ensnare us. We know the devil as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 19:10). For some people it is easy for him to accuse them of sin, because they are living in it, but for others, he will falsify a case against them. For those who do not succumb to any of his many seductions, he will use entrapment.
In fact, as I was getting inspired to write and share this post, I was reminded of a dream I had, one I came across in my journal yesterday. I woke up from the dream feeling as if what I had seen in the dream was the Lord telling me why He has been withholding something from me. I woke up feeling as if the Lord has been withholding something from me because I was not ready. The worse part was I felt as if the Lord could not trust me with it. Now, when the Lord says you’re not ready, you’re not ready, regardless of how well prepared you feel. But I kept wondering how it could be if the Lord could trust me with other similar things, then why not that? Another reason why it is also important to also analyze how dreams make you feel is that it made me feel as if I did not deserve the Lord’s best. However, I know that is not the case; the devil simply wanted me to unknowingly come into agreement with him, and he did it in a very underhanded way. Sometimes our humility gives the devil access into our lives. I felt like I was a mere servant of the Lord but the Bible says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” ~ Romans 8:14 (KJV)
As we draw closer to the Lord, we have to ensure that we do not knowingly or unknowingly come into agreement with the devil. Jesus did few works in His hometown because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:54-58). Fear is basically faith in the devil and unbelief in the Lord. Fear also gives devils room to operate in our lives. Job was a righteous man, and the first two chapters of the Book of Job shed light on how the Lord lifted His hedge of protection from and the resulatant afflictions by the hands of the devil. But there was more to it than that based on when Job said, ‘For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.’ ~ Job 3:25-26 (KJV) What kind of fears have you been harboring or even ruminating on? Lest not forget, “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) What have devils robbed you of because your fear is greater than your faith, to include feeling unworthy of what the Lord has in store for you?
Before I close, you may think I went overboard by rebuking the devil for the image in the ad I saw. Well, sometimes you have to recognize the spirit behind certain events, and people. When the devil appeared to Eve, he spoke to her via a serpent, which is described as being more subtle than any other beast of the field (Genesis 3:1). In addition, the devil is described as the “prince of the power of the air”, which is a part of why such filth is broadcast via airwaves. Also, keep in mind what happened when Jesus spoke to His disciples about going to Jerusalem where He would be killed but would rise on the third day. On the surface, it may have seemed like a noble thing when Peter rebuked Him by saying, ‘Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.’ ~ Matthew 16:22 (KJV) However, Jesus looked beneath the surface and He knew who was truly speaking. As a result, Jesus “…turned, and said unto Peter, ‘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) Again, Jesus looked at Peter but He rebuked the devil. So, “Lest satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)
I close with the following:
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5:1-16 (KJV)
Again, “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” ~ Ephesians 5:11 (KJV) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7 (KJV)
Prophets [and other ministers], maintain your integrity lest you fall into error and bring discredit upon yourself, other prophets, and even the Lord. As a prophet of the Lord you should be representing the Lord. For as Jesus said, ‘He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.’ ~ Matthew 10:40-41 (KJV) Sadly, as many prophets can attest, even when you are faithfully serving the Lord, people will reject you, just like they did with the true and faithful prophets (of the Lord) in the Bible. Similarly to what Jesus said above, God said to Samuel the Seer, an honorable prophet, ‘…they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me…’ ~ 1 Samuel 8:7 (KJV) People will reject you because they have rejected the God who sent you so try not to take rejection personally.
In addition to rejection, you may have to deal with lack of support, which speaks to the heart of this discourse. Lack of support, to include financial support, is one of the reasons why prophets who start off on the right path end up going down the wrong path, which include charging for prophecies and manipulating people to give. When Jesus healed the 10 lepers, only 1 even bothered to return to simply thank the Lord (Luke 17:11-19). Or, as we put it nowadays, only one person returned to give a “praise report”. Chances are, few of the people the Lord uses you to help will even thank you or try to support your ministry with even some words of encouragement. Prophets have to battle discouragement, as the case with Elijah after the miraculous events on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18-19). However, just like how what happened to Jesus did not cause Him to stop helping others, or compromise His integrity, neither should you. Now that you have read the prelude, let us take a look at some things that could potentially sabotage the integrity of your ministry and your position with Christ.
“…Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” ~ 2 Peter 1:21 (KJV) That standard has not changed; prophecy is as a result of being moved by the Holy Spirit. While some prophets prophesy more frequently than others, too many people misconstrue prophecy to mean giving personal prophecies (those that apply only to an individual). Most of the prophecies in the Bible were cooperate prophecies as opposed to personal prophecies. In fact, some of those prophecies would be misconstrued today as simply being preaching. One such prophecy was when the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh (the second time) and He said, ‘Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.’ ~ Jonah 3:2 (KJV) Jonah did not even use the Lord’s name when he preached/prophesied in the city. Jonah simply said, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’ ~ Jonah 3:4 (KJV) But those were weighty Words from the Lord, much more than a typical sermon, that would have resulted in destruction if the people had not repented.
One of the errors current prophets make is by using the Lord’s name even though He had not spoken to them or commanded them to speak (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Jeremiah 14:14, 23:32; etc.). In addition, many prophets fall into error by making proclamations in the name of the Lord, as if He is going to do whatever they say. Sadly, the end result is the prophets lose credibility and people become angry with the Lord when “prophecies” fail to come to past. There is a difference between a prophet saying, “I decree and declare…” versus “The Lord said…” The former is most likely words from a prophet while the latter is most likely the Words from the Lord. I prefer the latter because the Lord has an obligation to His Words versus the words of the prophet’s will.
Prophets, it is better to not use the Lord’s name and have something come to pass than to use His name in delivering a false prophecy, particularly a “prophecy” from your soul as opposed to the Holy Spirit of the Lord. If you start blasphemously misusing the Lord’s name, as if He is serving you instead of you serving Him, simply because of your title, you will become a ripe target to begin prophesying through an impure spirit (a spirit of divination, familiar spirit, etc.). The Lord said, ‘…if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I theLordhave deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people…’ ~ Ezekiel 14:9 (KJV) Study how one lying spirit deceived king Ahab’s 400 prophets, and they thought they had delivered a true prophecy from the Lord (1 Kings 22). If you want to play games with people’s lives, to include serving another “king” instead of Jesus, the Lord will hand you over so that you as a deceiver will get deceived. Many ministers invite prophets to their church with the expressed intent for the prophets to give out personal prophecies to attendees. Unfortunately, the prophecies do not have to be true Words of the Lord meant to provide exhortation, edification and comfort, but rather, to work people into a frenzy as a way of raising funds. Prophets, you are in error if you are making guarantees to prophecy to everyone in attendance. Even if the Lord gives you a prophecy for everyone, it does not mean He is commanding you to release it. You are committing an arguably more serious error if you have prophetic lines where you prophesy to people based on the money they have to contribute to be in a certain line. It does not take much to start receiving information that is divination (from impure spirits) instead of divine (from God) when money is a motivator. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).
The previous comment about prophetic lines brings me to the issue of a prophet who starts off doing the right thing but begins loving money, like Balaam, about whom it is written:
“…Beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: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 2:14-15 (KJV)
“…But what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.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 10-11 (KJV)
Prophesying for money puts one at risk for changing from being a prophet to becoming a diviner, like the soothsayer in Acts 16:16-18. Do not let any internal or external pressure cause you to become a fortuneteller, or one who prophesies deceits, in an effort to raise funds or followers. The gifts and calling of the Lord are without repentance (Romans 11:29), but do not prostitute your gifts or allow others to prostitute your gifts. Do not become a prophet for hire.
Now, don’t get me wrong because it acceptable for a prophet to accept “gifts” for delivering a prophecy under some circumstances, but woe unto the prophet who refuses to deliver the Word of the Lord unless he or she is compensated. Joseph and Daniel were handsomely rewarded for delivering prophecies to kings (Genesis 41:39-45, Daniel 2:48). But neither made it a requirement for the kings to give them anything. They simply let the kings know the revelation they were about to receive was made possible for the Lord, for His glory, and then they gave the Word of the Lord. Sadly, many people use the following Words from the Lord as an excuse to not contribute to a minister’s ministry: ‘Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.’ ~ Matthew 10:8 (KJV) But they conveniently exclude that the Lord continued by saying, ‘Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.’ ~ Matthew 10:9-10 (KJV) Which means, those who receive from a minister but do not contribute to the ministry in any way is basically saying the workman (minister) is not worthy of receiving anything in return. The minister may have paid $500 to make the trip for the Lord to use him or her to heal someone, but many people only consider that the healing was free. In addition, “For the scripture saith, ‘thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.’ And, ‘The labourer is worthy of his reward.’” ~ 1 Timothy 5:18 (KJV) Many people walk away from a ministry session feeling spiritually full while leaving the minister feeling empty, like an ox that has labored without receiving even some water in return to quench its thirst. Consequently, while some people are con artists that start ministries as a way to fleece others, others resort to those manipulative ways so they can survive. Even though the Lord will judge both groups of ministers for their deeds, do not think He will hold you guiltless in the case of the latter. There is a price to pay for being a stumbling block that contributes to or leads others into sin (Proverbs 28:10, 1 Corinthians 8:9, Romans 14:13, Revelation 2:20, etc.).
Isn’t it amazing how people will have no reservations, with the exception of the cost per hour, to pay a mental health professional to counsel or medicate their demons but will have a major issue supporting a minister who casts the demons out? I have spoken out against the misapplication of Scriptures, particularly Malachi 3:8-12, which is oftentimes used to manipulate people into financially supporting ministries. While it is sometimes based on greedy clergy, it is also attributable to stingy laity. When Jesus said, ‘…freely ye have received, freely give’, what have you freely given in return for what the Lord has used ministers to bless you with? Too many people interpret that to mean they should freely receive without giving. Of the 10 lepers Jesus healed, it was the 1 who returned to thank the Lord who was made whole (Luke 17:19). If you can call your pastor for him to counsel you on the phone, have you ever considered adding some funds to the collection plate to help him pay his phone bill?
Jesus preached the gospel but He needed funds too, especially since He gave up His secular job to enter into fulltime ministry. Do not assume that everyone in fulltime ministry is in it for the money. Many ministers have given up more lucrative jobs to serve the Lord and also you; they dropped their fishing nets to become fishers of people. The following serves as an example of how those Jesus helped supported Him in return:
“And it came to pass afterward, that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance.” ~ Luke 8:1-3 (KJV)
I hope you didn’t think this was going to be a one-sided discourse aimed at the shepherds, especially the wolves in shepherd’s clothing.
Yet, bear with me because there is more. There are times when a prophet will deliver a message from the Lord where even a hungry prophet should not expect to receive an offer to have a piece of bread. For example, when Nathan rebuked king David (2 Samuel 12) or Isaiah told king Hezekiah to get his house in order because he was going to die (Isaiah 38:1). But there are times when a prophet will receive an offering because of the recipient’s desire, yet the prophet should refuse the “gift”. King Jeroboam offered the Judean prophet a reward but he declined based on the instructions from the Lord (1 Kings 13). Elisha also demonstrated discretion regarding when to accept or decline gifts from others. The Shunammite lady was very kind to the prophet (2 Kings 4). She fed him whenever he passed through her village, with no expectation of anything in return. She even went as far as to ask her husband to build guest quarters to accommodate the prophet whenever he passed through. The prophet accepted her offers, but then he later did something spectacular for her when prophesied that her lack of a child would come to an end within a year. She gave birth to a son, which basically meant the prophet did not take advantage of her but gave her more than she gave to him. It speaks highly of the Shunammite lady’s character to selflessly support Elisha’s ministry, and the Lord rewarded her for it. Again, like Jesus said, ‘He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.’ ~ Matthew 10:40-41 (KJV)
Elisha’s gratitude to the lady also speaks highly of his character. Many prophets want to be served instead to serve. Even though the lady served Elisha, he sought ways to be a blessing instead of a burden to her. Too many prophets are fleecing people, thereby leaving them in a financial bind, and straining and even shattering their relationship with the Lord. There is also another story of Elisha’s character. By the way, if you have read other things I have written about prophetic ministry, to include the book “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant”, you may have noticed the one thing I tend to emphasize is a prophet’s character. A gifted prophet with bad character is a disaster in the making. Now back to Elisha. While he accepted things from the Shunammite lady, things were different with Naaman, the captain of the Syrian army who had leprosy. After the captain followed the prophet’s instructions to dip in the Jordan seven times and was cured of his leprosy, the gracious captain tried to give him gifts but Elisha refused. One of the hallmarks of a prophet is a person who leads others to God and that is exactly what Elisha did. That is evident when Naaman said, ‘Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.’ ~ 2 Kings 5:15 (KJV) Many people have misrepresented God by leading others to believe the Lord wants their money more than their hearts. Prophets, stop manipulating people into “sowing a seed” before the Lord will do something for them. By the way, the Bible never refers to money as a seed. However, Jesus said, ‘The seed is the Word of God.’ ~ Luke 8:11 (KJV) Prophets need to focus more on sowing that seed, the Word of God, as opposed to receiving financial rewards, like Balaam.
Too many prophets, and other ministers, manipulate people by misusing the account of what happened when the widow at Zarephath supported the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17). They stress how the lady was about to make her last meal for her and her son and then wait to starve to death. However, because she shared her meal with Elijah, the Lord performed a miracle and sustained all three of them for many days. In addition, when the lady’s son later died from an illness, the Lord used Elijah to resurrect him. Sadly, people who expect a miracle as a result of hearing ministers use this Scripture to fleece them seldom receive the miracle they expect. What most people receive is the angst of witnessing their hard-earned resources miraculously going from them to the deceptive/errant minister. As previously stated, prophecy of old was inspired by the Holy Spirit not people’s will. Operating from the soul (mind, will, emotions) is indicative of witchcraft, which is rebellion against God by trying to impose your will to cause others to do things against their will. The reason why those miracles happened was because both Elijah and the widow were adhering to the following instructions from the Lord: ‘Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.’ ~ 1 Kings 17:9 (KJV) As you can see, Elijah and the widow had both received instructions from the Lord. By the time Elijah showed up, the Lord had already instructed her to support him, she simply had to recognize him when he appeared. If the Lord directs you to support a minister or ministry, I recommend that you obey the Lord. And please, do not follow the manipulative teaching that you must give to your local church first. Some people have received more direction from a five-minute encounter with a prophet than five years in a church, yet they will support their pastor more than that prophet.
While some ministers and ministries require more financial support than others, there are more ways to provide support than via finances. Again, one of the factors that contribute to some prophets going astray is the lack of support. I admire how when David was on the run from king Saul, the prophet (seer) Gad gave David some advice that saved his life (1 Samuel 22:1-5). Years later, when David took over as king, he had Gad among his company of prophets. Unless he was fasting, Gad (and the other prophets in David’s court) did not have to worry about having a place to stay or food to eat. Nevertheless, even though he was in David’s court, Gad was the Lord’s prophet as evidenced when the Lord used him to rebuke and proclaim judgment against David (1 Chronicles 21). Sometimes prophets have to refuse things so they do not compromise themselves and end up becoming a person’s prophet, like those who served Ahab and Jezebel, as opposed to being the Lord’s prophet.
Sadly, the Lord uses the prophets to bless others who do not even consider how they can help the prophets in return, yet they have no problems returning to seek the prophet for “a word”. When Saul and his servant went to look for his father’s donkeys, they decided to inquire of Samuel to see if the Lord would reveal the location of the missing donkeys. Please note how they did not want to enquire of Samuel without a form of offering to show honor to the prophet (seer):
“And he said unto him, ‘Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.’
Then said Saul to his servant, ‘But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?’
And the servant answered Saul again, and said, ‘Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.’” ~ 1 Samuel 9:6-8 (KJV)
Please note how they described Samuel as an honorable man, more on that shortly. They did not have a lot of money, but they wanted to at least offer Samuel something to show that they valued him and his services. But when they inquired of Samuel, he did not take their money. In fact, he had food waiting on them and he threw a feast in honor of Saul, who was about to become Israel’s first king. Whereas many people walk away from prophets with more than they bargained for, meaning they lost a great deal, Saul left Samuel’s house with more than he could have hoped for. Both prophets and the congregation have to be on guard against selfishness and greed. Some prophets started off doing the right things but lack of support contributed to them resorting to doing unsavory things.
As promised, let us briefly examine what made Samuel an honorable man, beside what you have already seen. You may have noticed that Saul’s servant called Samuel a ‘man of God’. You may have heard me say it before but I am going to say it again. That term is used too loosely in today’s world. Being a Christian does not mean a person is automatically a man or woman of God. The term in the Bible is used to describe those who are in right standing with the Lord. For example, the angel of the Lord who appeared to Samson’s mother (in the form of a man) to announce Samson’s birth was called a man of God (Judges 13:6). In addition, the Bible mentions two prophets in 1 Kings 13, but the term man of God is used to describe the righteous Judean prophet as opposed to the lying Bethelite prophet. By the way, the latter was bold enough give a false prophecy in the name of the Lord (1 Kings 13:18). Men and women of God, do not tell lies in the name of the Lord, especially in an effort to manipulate others. The Bethelite gave a “soulish prophecy” (a form of witchcraft) by using his title for personal gain. Prophets, do not use your title or position to manipulate others because you will have to give an account to the Lord on the day of your judgment. With that being said, here is a great example of why Samuel was indeed an honorable man:
‘Behold, here I am: witness against me before theLord, and before His anointed: whose ox have I taken? Or whose ass have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? And I will restore it you.’
And they said [to Samuel], ‘Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.’
And he said unto them, ‘TheLordis witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand.’ And they answered, ‘He is witness.’” ~ 1 Samuel 12:3-5 (KJV)
Prophets, if you are in error, repent before it is too late. Note how Samuel was willing to make restitutions if peradventure he had defrauded or oppressed anyone. Christ is a Savior and a Redeemer. Do not fleece the flock, which is His flock (John 10, 21). If someone is going to support your ministry, let it be because the Lord inspired him or her to support you. If the Lord directed others to support you and they failed, that is between them and the Lord. Never forget, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV) Stop compelling people to give, especially their money. In addition, if you have been misusing the Lord’s name, especially to fleece the Good Shepherd’s flock, hear now the Word of the Lord, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of theLordthy God in vain; for theLordwill not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.’ ~ Exodus 20:7 (KJV) You cannot change the past to undo previous mistakes, but you are in control of what you do from this point forward. Take the time to maintain, or if necessary, repair your integrity. A prophet is not simply one who communicates for the Lord, he or she also has to represent the Lord with his or her character. Be like Job and maintain your integrity, despite the fiery trials of life and your ministry (Job 1-2). Many ministries are dying because of lack of support, and quite frankly, some of those ministries need to die because of how the ministers have dishonored the Lord. “‘For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in My house have I found their wickedness’, saith the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 23:11 (KJV) Do not be a profane prophet.
In closing, being a prophet is not a position for one to take lightly. Keep in mind that Jesus said, ‘…that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ ~ Luke 12:47-48 (KJV) In addition, “Then the Lord said unto me, ‘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. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in My name, and I sent them not, yet they say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.’” ~ Jeremiah 14:14-15 (KJV) Don’t play games with the Lord or His beloved and faithful children.
P.S. The Lord gave me the opportunity to give a sneak peek of this post on the following Blog Talk Radio program that aired on June 15, 2017: https://youtu.be/-lI8hIX7uJ4
Typically, parents want what is best for their children. However, despite their wisdom, they should never try to lord over their children’s lives, particularly when it means usurping the Lord’s will for that child (to include adult offspring). Many parents have ruined their children’s lives by preventing them from fulfilling their Godly calling because of their selfish desires. The following provide Scriptural examples of how parents either helped or hurt their children:
• Bethuel had plans for his daughter Rebekah, but that changed when Abraham’s servant showed up and wanted to take her back to marry Isaac. When Bethuel realized the sudden turn of events was from the Lord, he immediately consented but wanted to spend ten more days saying goodbye to his daughter. Yet, even in that time in history, Rebekah’s family consulted with her and accepted her decision to leave immediately. It is amazing that her family consulted with their daughter to at least get her opinion, and then they respected it. In addition, they did not resort to manipulation (witchcraft) in an effort to get her to stay and delay her destiny (Genesis 24).
• Laban made his daughter Leah’s life very bitter by deceiving Jacob into marrying her. As a result, Leah ended up in a plural marriage with a man who hated her. And to add insult to injury, Leah got a front row seat to witness her husband loving another woman, all because of her father’s selfish interference (Genesis 29).
• A concubine ran away from her husband and went to her father’s house. When her husband went to get her, her father kept delaying their departure. The husband had had enough after five days so he took his concubine and left. Sadly, the delayed departure resulted in the woman getting abused and killed at the hands of others. In addition, the event sparked a war between the Israelites and the Benjaminites, which resulted in 40,000 Israelites getting killed (Judges 19-20).
• Shaphat and his wife probably had plans for Elisha to take over the family’s farm. However, when Elijah showed up to fulfill the Lord’s command to anoint Elisha as a prophet, Shaphat did not hold on to his son. In fact, Elisha kissed his parents goodbye. In addition, Elisha killed the yoke of oxen he had been using to plow the field when Elijah showed up to change his life. Elisha killing the yoke of oxen was symbolic of him closing the door on his past, to include his parents, because his calling involved doing incredible works in the name of the Lord instead (1 Kings 19:16-21). It was more important for Elisha to do his Heavenly Father’s will as opposed to his earthly father’s will, which for many professing Christian parents today is unacceptable. Prophetically, Elisha’s obedience to God’s will is symbolic of when Jesus said to His disciples, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.’ ~ John 4:34 (KJV)
• Hannah, who had been barren, petitioned the Lord for a son, whom she promised to give to the Lord as soon as she weaned him. The Lord granted her petition and blessed her with a son named Samuel. Hannah could have held onto the child, but she took Samuel to the temple to serve the Lord as soon as she weaned him, just as she had promised the Lord. The Lord rewarded her faithfulness by blessing her with five more children. Samuel grew up and became a prophet and the last judge over Israel (1 Samuel 1-7). If you asked the Lord for a child, and made a vow to commit that child to serving the Lord, the Lord has done His part but have you done yours? By the way, Hannah, who had been barren, could have held on to Samuel and he probably would have been her only child. However, because Hannah did not interfere with Samuel’s destiny, the Lord blessed her with five more children. If you only knew what interfering with your child’s destiny is costing you.
I know parents usually have wisdom, and they can help guide their offspring on the right path, but parents have to learn how and when to let go and trust the Lord. By the way, this applies to an offspring’s chosen profession, and spouse. Sometimes parents do not like the person the Lord has ordained as their offspring’s spouse… Sadly, many parents claim to have let their offspring go, yet are praying to the Lord for Him to make their offspring’s ventures to fail so he or she will return and do what the parents want that offspring to do. That is a form of witchcraft and parents will have to give an account to the Lord for it. When the man with two sons fulfilled the younger son’s request to give him his inheritance, the father complied. The young man moved out and squandered his inheritance, without his father having to pray witchcraft prayers to force his son back home. Yes, the young man hit rock bottom and decided to return to his father’s home, and his father was happy that he returned (Luke 15:11-32). Yet, that father strikes me as the type of man who would have been happy for his son if he had never returned because he was successfully fulfilling his calling in life. One of the things the father demonstrated is that his love for his son was unwavering; the son did not have to do his father’s will to earn or retain his father’s love. Sadly, many young people are afraid to pursue what the Lord has placed in their heart to do because they know their parents would basically disown them.
If you have been praying for a loved one to fail, stop! Again, that is a form of witchcraft (manipulation). You may think you are praying to the Lord when in fact you are giving devils access to your offspring to fulfill your desires. That is equivalent to dedicating your infant to a devil and the child grows up wondering why he or she has been suffering throughout life, to include failed ventures. Devils enjoy stopping people from reaching their God-ordained destiny. If a devil stopped you from reaching your God-ordained destiny, do not allow or be the reason why the same happens to your child. Please keep that in mind before you even think about praying against your offspring for your will instead of God’s will to be done. In addition, Jesus said, ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’ ~ Matthew 5:43-44 (KJV) How do you think the Lord will respond to you for basically cursing someone you profess to love since He directed you to bless your enemies? Many parents who have been petitioning the Lord in an effort to control their children’s destiny are in trouble with the Lord themselves. Woe unto those parents who did not fulfill their calling from the Lord, so the Lord blessed them with a child who would do the Lord’s will, but the parents are trying to block that also.
Let me stop before I really get started. However, before I go, we will all have to give an account to the Lord for our individual actions, and that include those who obeyed their parents instead of God. If your parents won’t willingly let you go, like Hannah, so you can fulfill the Lord’s purpose for your life, you may have to simply kiss them goodbye, like Elisha, in order to fulfill your Godly purpose. If your parents decide to pray against you doing the Lord’s will, they will have to answer to the Lord. Again, we will all have to give an account of ourselves to the Lord, and He said, ‘Yet say ye, ‘Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father?’ When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all My statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.’ ~ Ezekiel 18:19-20 (KJV)
P.S. Obey God! You may be in a bit of a quandary because you want to do the Lord’s will for your life but your parents are opposing it. And, after all, Jesus said we should honor our parents. But the Lord also said, ‘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.’ ~ Matthew 10:34-38 (KJV)
I know you have a responsibility to maintain order in the church the Lord entrusted you with. However, before you (publicly) chastise someone for showing up to church late, ensure the Holy Spirit is directing your actions, lest you chastise someone the Holy Spirit may have had stop to help a homeless person on the way to church. While it would be great for everyone to show up to every service before it begins, you may never know what a person went through just to show up at church. In addition, keep the following “Parable of the Vineyard Workers” from the Lord in mind:
‘For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,and said unto them; ‘Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.’ And they went their way.
Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, ‘Why stand ye here all the day idle?’ They say unto him, ‘Because no man hath hired us.’ He saith unto them, ‘Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.’
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, ‘Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.’
And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, ‘These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, and said, ‘Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?’
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.’ ~ Matthew 20:1-16 (KJV)
Sometimes the most important thing is that a person shows up instead of when he or she showed up. Please keep in mind that Christ was crucified between two malefactors and He did not condemn the repentant one for being late. Instead, when “…he said unto Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.’” ~ Luke 23:42-43 (KJV)
By the way, one of the worst things a pastor can do is beat down a person an already beaten down person the Lord sent to his church for him to pick up. “Church hurt” is not always because a member of the laity is overly sensitive. As a result, ‘Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!’ saith theLord.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:1 (KJV) In addition, the Lord dedicated an entire chapter of the Bible, Ezekiel 34, to address what it called “Heavy Shepherding (Pastoring)”. ‘Thus saith the Lord God; ‘Behold, I AM against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.’ ~ Ezekiel 34:10 (KJV)
Oftentimes, people view a prophet as simply one who prophesies, either via foretelling (Jeremiah 28:15-17) or forthtelling (John 1:29-34). However, one of the overlooked hallmarks of a prophet’s ministry is intercession. You may already know I have some Scriptures to back up that claim, but I have some administrative notes to present before getting there.
Intercession does not make a person a prophet, and neither does prophesying (1 Samuel 10:1-13, 19:18-24), especially in light of the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-29 as the apostle Peter stated in Acts 2 (see verses 1-21).
Now, regarding the matter of prophetic intercession, which is symbolic of and based on a prophet’s relationship with the Lord, here are some supporting Scriptures:
The first time the Lord used the word “prophet” to describe a person was when king Abimelech of Gerar had taken Abraham’s wife into his harem. The Lord conveyed this powerful statement to the king: ‘Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.’ ~ Genesis 20:7 (KJV) In addition, lest not forget how when the Lord told Abraham of His pending judgment against Sodom, Abraham did not go to the city to prophesy against it, as was the case with Jonah and Nineveh (Jonah 3). Instead, Abraham interceded for the city. Abraham basically bargained with the Lord for Him to not destroy the city if He could find 50 righteous people in it. However, that number was way too high so Abraham continued appealing to the Lord until he got the number down to 10. The number was still too high to save the wicked city, but at least Abraham, the prophet, interceded (Genesis 18:20-33).
When Moses, a prophet, had left the Israelite camp to commune with the Lord on Mount Sinai, the Israelites reverted to idolatry by building a golden calf to worship, something that incurred the Lord’s wrath… Before I present the events that unfolded, notice that Moses was communing with the Lord. It is hard to be a prophet without spending time with the Lord. A prophet has to recognize the Lord’s “voice” (the various ways in which He communicates), but the Lord also has to know the prophet’s voice (Matthew 7:21-23). A prophet needs to be humble, as was the case with Moses (Numbers 12:3), but a prophet also needs to be selfless. What you are about to see is how Moses turned down an incredible opportunity to make his name even greater by placing others above himself. Like Jesus said, ‘But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.’ ~ Matthew 23:11-12 (KJV) Moses served the people he led in the following situation, among many others:
“And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.’ [How many people, to include prophets, would want the Lord to destroy the people in order to exalt themselves, to make their name great?] And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, ‘Lord, why doth Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people, which Thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptiansspeak, and say, ‘For mischief did He bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Thy servants, to whom thou swarest by Thine own self, and saidst unto them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.’ And the Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people.” ~ Exodus 32:9-14 (KJV)
For the sake of “brevity”, I won’t fully explore it, but did you notice how Moses told the Lord not to do something? That kind of talk comes from having a relationship with Him, one in which familiarity with the Lord is tempered with reverence because He is God. In addition, the Lord’s destruction of the Israelites was a thought instead of a decision. How many prophets, and others who prophesy, have received a thought from the Lord and ended up looking bad because they treated it like a decision by proclaiming it to others? Sometimes intercession is praying for others but it may also mean seeking the Lord for clarification.
Elijah prophesied that there would be no rain or dew until he gave the Word (1 Kings 17:1). His prophecy resulted in a 3.5-year drought that ended when he heard the sound of rain with his “spiritual ears” (1 Kings 18:41). Well, not exactly. The sound of rain prompted the prophet to intercede to the Lord, seven times, until a small cloud formed and other clouds followed to bring the thunderstorm that ended the drought (1 Kings 18:41-45). Sometimes the fulfillment of a prophecy requires intercession in addition to making a proclamation. By the way, some people’s lives are in a bit of a drought because the Lord’s appointed messenger has not delivered the message yet (1 Kings 17, Daniel 10, etc.).
I could have skipped everything I presented so far by simply presenting the following, which is what the Lord used to inspire me to craft this message. However, it is not always a good thing to base a premise on one Scripture. [Too many false doctrines are based on taking a Scripture out of context.] Jeremiah is called “The Weeping Prophet” because of how he lamented over a rebellious Israel (to include Judah). It was Jeremiah who gave the following powerful insight about discerning a prophet of the Lord, especially one He sent: ‘…when the Word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that theLordhath truly sent him.’ ~ Jeremiah 28:9 (KJV) Moreover, Jeremiah provided another potent commentary that formed the core of this teaching. ‘But if they be prophets, and if the Word of theLordbe with them, let them now make intercession to theLordof hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of theLord, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.’ ~ Jeremiah 27:18 (KJV) If they are prophets, let them intercede to the Lord… By the way, that answers a part of the question regarding what prophets do when they are not prophesying.
Despite everything I was inspired to present about prophetic intercession, let me warn you in this epilogue to not play games with the Lord. He is God, and there may come a time when He will not listen to a prophet’s intercession because the time for His judgment has come, and rightfully so. The Lord used Jeremiah to deliver several messages with the following theme: ‘Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.’ ~ Jeremiah 7:25-26 (KJV) As a result, do not think it strange if or when the time comes when the Lord refuses to listen to intercession, as was the case when He gave Jeremiah the following instructions:
‘Therefore praynot thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.’ ~ Jeremiah 7:16 (KJV)
‘Therefore praynot thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto Me for their trouble.’ ~ Jeremiah 11:14 (KJV)
“Then said the Lordunto me, ‘Pray not for this people for their good.’” ~ Jeremiah 14:11 (KJV)
Also, lest not forget what happened after the Lord had had enough of Saul’s prideful antics and rejected him as king over Israel. Even though Samuel the Seer had delivered the prophecy to Saul that the Lord had rejected him, the prophet still lamented over the Lord’s judgment (1 Samuel 15). However, the Lord’s decision was final “And the Lord said unto Samuel, ‘How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.’” ~ 1 Samuel 16:1 (KJV)
Please, resist the temptation to intercede for someone or others that the Lord is trying to correct, in part because the correction now will or may prevent something worse in the future. Again, I am not here to make empty (unscriptural) claims because it is written, “…deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV) Keep the story of the prodigal son in mind (Luke 15:11-32). Just imagine if you can, how rebellious he would have been if the father had kept him at home instead of allowing him to experience hard times. Hitting rock bottom caused the son to yearn for, appreciate, and steward his blessings at home. I can testify, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.” ~ Psalm 119:71 (KJV) Many people discover or rediscover the Rock (Jesus), when they hit rock bottom.
On a final few notes, when you intercede, you are asking the Lord’s for His will to be done instead of a person’s will. Many people have inadvertently prayed “witchcraft” prayers, sometimes as a result of wanting to hold on to something that the Lord wants them to let go of… For example, sometimes letting someone spend 30 days in jail will prevent him or her from later spending 30 years in prison, crying over an estranged spouse is better than someone crying over your casket because forcing things to work became explosive… You may recall how the people pressed Samuel to put a king over them, which was against the Lord’s will. After Samuel inquired of the Lord, he warned the Israelites of the repercussions of their request, but they still wanted a king (1 Samuel 8). Many people suffered because the Lord gave the people exactly what they wanted… The Lord’s overarching will is for all to come to repentance, which is why He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to atone for our sins so we may live (John 3:15-16). Sometimes it is necessary to go through the fiery trials of life to come to repentance, to accept Christ and follow His commands. I close with the following reminder: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” ~ 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
God does not change (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8). As a result, the Lord still warns us of things to come (John 16:13), to include the enemy’s snares, just like He did with Ahijah and king Jeroboam’s deceptive wife (1 Kings 14), and the wise men and Joseph about king Herod’s plans to kill Jesus shortly after His birth (Matthew 2). It does not matter if the warning comes via an ominous feeling about a person or situation (1 Corinthians 12:10c), a dream or vision (Numbers 12:6), the Lord speaks in your ear (1 Samuel 9:1-17), etc., please heed the Lord’s warning. Sometimes all you get is one warning, and you may not have a lot of time to react.
Moreover, please keep in mind that a warning from the Lord is not always a revelation about what will happen. On the contrary, it may be something that could happen. Either way, a warning from the Lord is an invitation from Him to pray and ask Him to stop the events from unfolding. It is worthy to note that some warnings from the Lord are not always as clear as the cited examples, despite the potentially major impacts on your life. The Lord warned the pharaoh of a famine that would impact nations, yet He spoke to him in two parables of the night that required an interpretation (Genesis 41). For example, the Lord may show you a snake trying to get in your bed, without revealing whom the snake represents. While you may ask Him whom the snake represents, it is best to ask Him to keep all “snakes” out of your house so they can’t even get close to your bed. There are some battles where it is best to keep out of the enemy’s striking distance. You never want to ignore or otherwise mishandle a warning from the Lord. When the Lord told Joseph about Herod’s plans to kill Jesus, Joseph followed His instructions immediately upon waking that night by fleeing to Egypt with his family (Matthew 2:13-23).
Every revelation from the Lord, particularly the ones that are shrouded in mystery, is an invitation to have a deeper relationship with God, to pursue Him. This is evident in Daniel’s response to when the Lord revealed to him what His dream to king Nebuchadnezzar meant:
“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, ‘Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him. I thank Thee, and praise Thee, O thou God of my fathers, Who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of Thee: for Thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.’” ~ Daniel 2:19-23 (KJV)
Praise the Lord for taking the time to warn us… Every revelation is an invitation to spend time with the Lord.
P.S. The following video may help you decipher what the Lord may be using animals in your dreams to warn you about: https://youtu.be/1-ED2ccwIuU. The Lord communicates in parables, which may include dreams about animals to demonstrate the condition of a person’s heart, and the devil’s plans. Please heed His warnings. “And being warned of God in a dream…” ~ Matthew 2:12