Prison Ministry

When the apostles were imprisoned for doing the work of the Lord, “…they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, ‘Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.’

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.’

When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.” ~ Acts 5:27-33 (KJV)

There is nothing new under the sun. There are still ungodly “ministers” who are fighting against ministers of Christ, and when confronted with the truth, they choose to get offended and want to retaliate instead of humbling themselves before the Lord and repenting.

Sadly, while some current ministers of Christ are being persecuted for representing Jesus, like the “apostles of the Lamb”, other ministers are being prosecuted for misrepresenting Him. There are pros and cons when a professing minister of Christ gets arrested, and possibly imprisoned, for ungodly offences. It may not look good and oftentimes brings discredit upon the entire “five-fold” ministry gifts. Yet, the Lord will not allow people to tarnish His name (Isaiah 48:10-11). Recent ministerial arrests and convictions include fraud, stalking (which includes phone harassment and/or cyberstalking), income tax evasion, rape/molestation, etc.

Jesus’s description of a prison ministry mentioned visitation instead of incarceration (Matthew 25:31-46). In closing, “…the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” ~ 1 Peter 4:17-18 (KJV)

 

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

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Authority  

A person’s authority is not determined by how loudly or charismatically he or she communicates; many people have a lot of charisma but little to no authority. Authority causes others to obediently take action. Have you ever seen a parent yelling at a child who refuses to comply, while another parent simply gives the child a certain look that arrests the child’s errant behavior? In addition, please keep the following in mind:

  • “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” ~ Matthew 7:28-29 (KJV)

 

  • “The centurion answered and said, Lord, ‘I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the Word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, ‘Go’, and he goeth; and to another, ‘Come’, and he cometh; and to my servant, ‘Do this’, and he doeth it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’” ~ Matthew 8:8-10 (KJV)

 

  • “And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, ‘Let us pass over unto the other side.’ And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, ‘Master, carest Thou not that we perish?’ And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, ‘Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’” ~ Mark 4:35-41 (KJV)

 

  • Also, devils have power, which is a part of why we need the authority of and from Jesus. It is written, “Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” ~ Luke 9:1-2 (KJV)

 

You don’t need to shout when you have a person’s attention and respect. By the way, have you ever noticed how many male animals are more flamboyantly arrayed than their female counterparts, yet they have to put themselves on display in order to get the female animal’s attention? Power may be spectacular but authority is effective.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

 

 

Pilfering Prophets   

‘Therefore, behold, I AM against the prophets’, saith the Lord, ‘that steal My Words every one from his neighbour.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:30 (KJV)

There is a difference between stealing a prophecy from someone and being inspired to prophesy based on being in contact with him or her. Prior to being king, Saul crossed paths with a company of prophets and began prophesying, which made people wonder if Saul was also among the prophets (1 Samuel 10:10-12). A similar thing happened when Saul sent three sets of messengers to pursue David, all of whom prophesied when they came in contact with the prophets. King Saul later personally ventured out and began prophesying (again) when he came across those prophets (1 Samuel 19:18-24). A part of me saying that is, if you are a prophet/seer, or, you are prophetic, be very careful whom you come in contact with, and those who come in contact with you. One lying spirit misled king Ahab’s 400 prophets (1 Kings 22:21-23).

There are times when one person is prophesying and it is like one Word lights a fire that causes another to start prophesying in a similar manner. But that is not stealing a Word. The apostle Paul wrote:

“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 (KJV)

Again, there are times when a person is observing while others are prophesying and the individual will get the unction (from the Holy Spirit) to prophesy also. Conversely, you may be a prophet, and others are prophesying, and even though you may be in right standing with the Lord, He may not have anything to say to or through you, or share anything with you for you to disclose, which means you should remain quiet. You can be the one to judge the prophecies that are going forth in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:29-33.

Sadly, there are prophets, to include false prophets, who the Lord is not communicating with so they steal other people’s prophecies to seem relevant, and in right standing with the Lord. I generally cringe when I hear people claiming to release a prophetic word for the month, seemingly every month. Assuming the Lord has been giving them a “word for the month”, every month, what happens if after their followers have been receiving those words every month, and have come to expect those words, a time comes when the Lord does not give those messengers a word for the month? I can tell you that both of my professional Facebook pages have things scheduled to automatically post almost every day for the next six months. And that was after I moved up six months of posts to go for about every 30 minutes instead of every day. I wiped the slate clean so to speak and did not plan on posting anything else unless the Lord specifically directed me to. I did not go on strike, but I wanted to ensure I had not been flying on autopilot so to speak. The Lord told me something all right that sent me back to work J. The point is I don’t put myself in a position where I have to produce anything to appease anyone but the Lord. I actually work hard to keep quiet but I cannot escape getting inspired.

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

Tragically, prophets have been caught pilfering information from others, to include people who are not prophets of the Lord. There have also been cases where a prophet released a prophecy that did not come to pass, and then the prophet revealed, or claimed, he or she received the prophecy from someone else instead of directly from the Lord. Yet, the prophet declared the message as if it came directly to him or her from the Lord. It is an awful practice to repeat something you did not hear directly from the Lord. Can you imagine Jeremiah repeating one of Hananiah’s false prophecies as if he had heard it directly from the Lord? Actually, I cannot even begin to imagine that because the Lord gave Jeremiah more than enough to say and write, some of which is in the Book of Jeremiah, which includes prophesying judgment against the false prophet Hananiah (Jeremiah 28). Another important lesson we can learn from Micaiah is to not go along with what other prophets have to say (1 Kings 22). It is better to say nothing at all and be right, or declare the Word of the Lord (from the Lord), than to parrot a message from an errant or false prophet and go down in flames with that prophet. And I do mean in flames because false prophets will get sent to the lake of fire for lying and practicing witchcraft (Matthew 7:21-23, Revelation 21:8).

A prophet of the Lord does not have to steal Words from his or her neighbor. The prophet knows how to be quiet when necessary, even for long periods of time. But in many prophetic ministries today, that becomes challenging for prophets who are on the preaching and/or prophesying circuit where there is pressure to produce (perform), even when the fruits are not necessarily from the Lord. A prophet’s ability to remain silent, even for prolonged periods, is in part because prophets do more than prophesy, or at least they should. I close this exhortation with the following reminder of some of the seemingly unheralded, yet very important functions of being a prophet:

“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” ~ Luke 2:36-37 (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.”

 

 

  The Threshold 

Do not get so accustomed to pushing the limits that you stop respecting healthy boundaries. There is a threshold between trying to conquer a perceived challenge and ignoring a potentially life-saving warning. Many people’s persistence prevents them from hearing “the voice of reason”, the warning that they are about to cross the line and go too far. Sadly, some refuse to listen to the obvious voice that lets them know they went too far, hence the pain and embarrassment they are now suffering.

Roaring Lion (1 Peter 5-8)

The pain one suffers after an intense workout is different from the intense pain one suffers as a result of an injury. In addition, muscle soreness recovers much faster than a torn muscle for example. It is also easier to continue exercising with sore muscles. Working through the soreness will help with recovery. Conversely, an injury may require a cessation of physical activity, especially with the affected region(s), in order to heal properly. Improper healing is a more serious injury waiting to happen. It is similar to entering into a relationship too soon after leaving a toxic one. Also, not resting an injured area may result in a more serious injury or delayed healing. That is reminiscent of forcing a relationship to work but making it worse instead, or, revisiting things that continue to break your heart.

There is an idiom in Jamaica that states, “Trouble nuh set like rain.” Which means, unlike the obvious rainclouds that indicate a coming rainstorm, the onset of trouble is oftentimes seemingly without warning. However, the Lord has many ways of warning us of pending disaster, but many people fail to listen or perceive His warnings. We have to be more like “…the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.” ~ 1 Chronicles 12:32 (KJV) Or, at least be like the other children of Israel, who did not have that gift, but were wise enough to heed the counsel of the children of Issachar.

Do not get caught in a situation like when Jesus said, ‘When it is evening, ye say, ‘It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering.’ O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?’ ~ Matthew 16:2-3 (KJV) Learn to discern the sign of the times, to include when you need to separate yourself from those who refuse to listen about their coming judgment. You do not want to be a part of the collateral damage.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

 

I won’t leave you hanging so to speak. So here are some helpful hints to let you know that hell is about to be unleashed in your life, or the life of another:

  • You are living in sin. Whenever you violate the Lord’s Commandments, you give the devil access into your life. Many people erroneously think this only applies to the Ten Commandments. However, it also applies to other things, such as forgiving others like how the Heavenly Father forgives us (Matthew 6:14-15). Remember, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” ~ Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV) Many people are giving place to the devil by holding on to their anger, and even worse, by plotting and/or seeking revenge against the transgressor. Seeking or taking revenge is for the wicked, in part because the Lord will not defend them; they will reap what they have sown. The righteous can rest assured because the Lord said, ‘To Me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ ~ Deuteronomy 32:35 (KJV) The Lord will prosecute the wicked who persecute the righteous.

 

  • “These six things doth theLord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” ~ Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV) As a result, if a person has been slandering you, his or her judgment draws nigh.

 

  • Trying to ruin another person’s life to take him or her away from his or her God-ordained destiny, such as using any form of witchcraft. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV) Many people are seeking prayer and/or sympathy for the fruits of their evil deeds.

Harvest_1

  • There are certain things, where even if the Lord does not give me specifics about their judgment, people who engage in such things inevitably bring calamity upon themselves, their cohorts, and their families. Sodom and Gomorrah were not cities with adults only. But rather, what the adults did had a negative impact on the children who were on path to grow up to be like their parents. Prolonged sin usually results in hardened iniquity. If you believe that was only an Old Testament example, take a look at Revelation 2:18-23.

 

  • “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” ~ Proverbs 16:18 (KJV) “But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:6-7 (KJV) Many people will not listen to the voice of reason, oftentimes the Holy Spirit of the Lord, which is why they pay the price. The Lord used Daniel to warn king Nebuchadnezzar about his pride, but the king chose to learn the hard way instead (Daniel 4).
Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

It is easy to see the calamity hanging over some people’s head like a storm cloud. Similarly to how the water from the ground evaporates, condenses into a cloud, and then precipitates as rain, we reap what we sow. As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” Many people are crying in the outpouring they were told was coming, but they kept going across the threshold the Lord had emplaced for their safety. But with choices are consequences, especially for those who try to mock God. Sadly, some people have not yet figured out that their lives are not what it could be, simply because they keep sowing seeds of discord and they are reaping what they keep sowing. A part of why some have not figured out why calamity keeps striking is because the consequences of our actions are not always immediate. I won’t go into details, but I recall committing a sin and the Lord’s judgment overtook me two years later. I paid dearly but I learned greatly. I can attest that God is not mocked and He will avenge; He will not let anyone tarnish His name (Isaiah 48:11). Woe unto those who think they have gotten away with anything!

‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.’ ~ Revelation 18:4-6 (KJV)

 

On Trial A Test of My Faith_1

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

 

 

 

Oncology

Sometimes (or possibly more frequent than that), the messages I am inspired to communicate may seem like an attack on the body of Christ. Well, that is correct, but only to an extent. Cancer, which is oftentimes referred as an overgrowth of cells, is an attack on the body that requires aggressive and immediate remediation (counterattack) in order to save body parts and the victim’s life. I cannot imagine anyone going to an oncologist who recommends waiting to see how bad the cancer gets before taking action. Cancer’s goal is to kill and it won’t go away simply because you ignore it. Similarly, there is no need to passively wait to see how bad things are going to get when a “cancer” strikes the body of Christ. Like Jesus said, ‘…from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.’ ~ Matthew 11:12 (KJV) Do not tolerate the cancers in the body of Christ. Jesus certainly did not hold back when addressing the cancerous Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes who were running the synagogues and temple (e.g. Matthew 23). Well, neither do I when it comes to the cancerous wolves in sheep and shepherd’s clothing in the body of Christ. I do not attack the body of Christ, only the things that are attacking it. One of the cancers in the body of Christ is pride, especially among leaders, some of who were not called or commissioned by the Lord. Have you ever noticed that David never tried playing his harp for Goliath? Instead, David placed a rock in his sling and took immediate action against the man who cursed him by his gods (1 Samuel 17:43). Some physical battles are actually the manifestation of a spiritual battle that is about to come to an end.

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

Jesus is coming back to separate the congregation; He will take the “sheep” to heaven and send the “goats” to hell (Matthew 25:31-46). There are many churches that are full of “goats”; the larger the congregation is the easier it is for the goats to blend in. Like cells, when you put them under the microscope you will be able to tell. You can tell a lot about a congregation based on the shepherd. It is written: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” ~ James 4:4 (KJV) Adultery also refers to those who serve other gods. When the leader of a church is well liked by secular society, in part because of his or her unwillingness to speak out against sin and what can get people sent to hell, that is a major red flag. It is very troubling when people who are living in sin do not even feel convicted to be around some Christians, to include ministers. Some professing Christians claim that Jesus would support homosexuality, even though God calls it an abomination, something He hates (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1, etc.). Do not get confused; Jesus did not condemn the lady who had been caught committing adultery, in part because it was not the day of her judgment. Jesus did not condemn her on that day but it did not mean He condoned her sinful actions. He was more focused on addressing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. However, the Lord gave her the chance to repent and told her to stop sinning (John 8:1-11). Let me stop before I really get started about Christians who are afraid to call out sin, to include in and from the pulpit, especially when the Holy Spirit is leading them to do so. But then again, it is hard for a person to cast out a devil he or she is in bed with.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

 

Some ministers have even gone as far as to publicly declare that Christians and Muslims serve the same god, thereby misleading their congregations. I won’t go too in depth, but among many things, the Bible states: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.” ~ 1 John 5:1 (KJV) On the contrary, according to the quran: “No son did allah beget, nor is there any god along with him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to allah! (he is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to him!” ~ Surah 23:91 But lest not forget, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” ~ 1 John 2:22-23 (KJV)

Again, adultery also refers to serving other gods. Christians, especially leaders, need to get out of bed with other gods and repent before they have their encounter with Christ. Until then, keep in mind that the Lord will judge you for what you do and also what you tolerate (Revelation 2:18-23). “…The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” ~ 1 Peter 4:17-18 (KJV)

Remove the cancerous cells from your life (marriage, church, etc.) before they remove you.

God, The Love of My Life (2)

Bondage In Church   

It is a form of witchcraft (via control, manipulation, and/or intimidation) for a minister to tell congregants that they will backslide if they leave his or her ministry. It is even worse if the minister says people will be cursed for leaving his or her ministry. In the case of the latter, the minister is actually releasing a curse on those who leave the ministry. Intercessors, please, do not fall for the devil’s trick to “pray someone back into the ministry”. Your church is not the key to a person’s salvation, Christ is! Keep in mind that Jesus said, ‘I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.’ ~ John 14:6 (KJV)

A minister who puts people under bondage is insecure and errant at best, but may actually be a messenger of satan, a wolf in shepherd’s clothing. Please note the following regarding how the Good Shepherd, Jesus, reacted when people left His ministry:

“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. 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 6:66-69 (KJV)

The apostles stayed on their own free will based on what they saw in the Lord. Jesus does not force people to stay with Him, and neither should any professing minister of Christ. Also, the Lord never spoke an ill word against those who left; He simply let them go.

It is a shame what many professing ministers of Christ are doing in secret, and sometimes even boldly in public. As a Christian, “…Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness [to include from the pulpit], 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.” ~ Ephesians 5:11-13 (KJV) Do not stay in anyone’s ministry because of fear, obligation, or guilt “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) In addition, be leery of any minster who offers you a “leadership” position in his or her ministry at around the time you were thinking of leaving. Sometimes that is a way of keeping you in bondage based on obligation.

On a final few notes for those ministers, “…O ye shepherds, hear the Word of the Lord; 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 34:9-10 (KJV) The Lord had 7,000 men in reserve to replace Elijah, and He has others to replace you if you do not repent. And just in case you want to go there, despite king Saul’s best efforts, he could not kill David, the one the Lord had anointed to replace him.

“Setting the captives free.”

RITW Cover
“Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant” is your guide to separating the prophetic from the pathetic.

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

 

 

Discernment (Three Voices)  

The three “voices” in your life come from God, the soul (which is comprised of the mind, will, and emotions), and devils. It is very important for you to discern the source of the voice that is trying to influence you; there is only one voice that is always correct. After all, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” ~ Proverbs 16:25 (KJV)

Sometimes those voices are communicated via human messengers, who may not be aware of the source of their speech, and you have to discern for them. Imagine Peter’s shock when he thought he was doing a good thing by rebuking Jesus. “But he [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) You may have to do the same thing to others when a devil tries to use them to speak into your life. Conversely, oftentimes, people think of how the following Scripture applies to others without realizing they have to apply it to themselves also: “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) Everyone needs to test the spirit behind the voice that is trying to influence their life. The following is aimed at helping you identify which one of those three voices is trying to influence you.

 

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

The “voice” of the Lord aligns with His written Words in the Bible. However, the Words must be contextually correct and geared towards leading away from sin and towards a closer relationship with the Lord (Revelation 19:10). Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they will only follow Him (John 10:27). Note that He said His voice as opposed to His Words. Keep in mind that the devil used the written Words of God in an attempt to lead Jesus into sin (Luke 4:1-13). The voice of God leads us out or away from sin, and behavior that reflects negatively on the Lord. It is tragic when people get deceived into sinful behavior and they use the Word of God to justify their sins. When the lady was caught committing adultery, the Pharisees tried to use the Words of God to get her killed, while trying to tempt Jesus in the process. [The Pharisees were holy men yet their actions were reminiscent of the devil (Luke 4:1-13).] But the Lord found a way of escape for her that did not violate His written Words (Exodus 33:19). However, the Lord told her that He did not condemn her, but she should go and sin no more (John 8:1-11). He did not tell her to go stay with her lover because He is gracious. If you find yourself using Scriptures to justify living in sin, you need to seek counsel from people who have a close relationship with the Lord. The Pharisees knew the Law but they did not know God, or His Son [God in the flesh]. You do not need counsel from people who know the Scriptures but do not know God or they may misapply the Scriptures to your situation. Many things went into Jesus decisions to release the adulteress, such as how the Pharisees violated Deuteronomy 6:16, and misapplied the Law stated in Leviticus 20:10.

Just like how Jesus rebuked the devil who inspired Peter’s words, you need to rebuke devils too. However, there are times when people rebuke a devil but the source of evil actually came from a person’s mind. David was a king and I have no doubt that devils were around him trying to lead him into sin. For as the Lord said, ‘…smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…’ ~ Zechariah 13:7 (KJV) The devils know that principle, which is a part of why it is so important to pray for leaders, in the church and the secular world, even if you may not like or agree with them personally or professionally. Just take a look at the evil kings of Israel who led the people deeper into sin. Now, for as much as devils tried to influence David, I don’t think we can put too much blame on the devils once David walked out on the roof of his house and saw the beautiful Bathsheba taking a bath.

God, The Love of My Life (2)

The devil is entitled to set his bait but you don’t have to take it. The Lord told Cain that sin was at his door but he must rule over it (Genesis 4:7). Also keep the following in mind:

  • “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)

 

  • “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7 (KJV)

 

  • It is hard to tempt a person with something he or she has no desire for.

One of the reasons David did not need demonic assistance for what happened next was that he already had many wives and concubines at that point, which was symbolic of his desire for women. For single people who struggle with sexual temptation, do not assume that being married is going to make the temptation any less. Being married is probably going to make it worse, and that is when the devil will most likely send his best assets to target you and your marriage. Like the Lord said, sin is crouching at your door but you must rule over it. When you get married, sexual sin may begin knocking on the door of your life more fervently. When David asked his servants about the woman, one of them said it was Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife (2 Samuel 11:3). The Lord had just given David a way of escape. But rather than having his servants going to get one of his wives or concubines to satisfy any urges he may have had, David had them bring Bathsheba to him. Before David was king, he felt convicted for cutting off a piece of king Saul’s robe. Saul was a wicked man who was trying to kill David, but he would not harm the king because he was the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24). But as the king, David did not have the same conviction to stop from going too far with Bathsheba. David would have been more justified in killing Saul than defiling Bathsheba.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

Similarly to how there are three voices, there are three portals of sin, which are: “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” ~ 1 John 2:16 (KJV) David apparently succumbed to all three and it started when he fixed his eyes on Bathsheba. Many people stumble at that point because their lust activates the voice of their soul (the mind, will, and emotions). Keep in mind that the Lord said, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ ~ Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) Just look at how David’s son Amnon claimed he was basically madly in love with Tamar, and how quickly that emotion changed to hate once he exerted his will on her (2 Samuel 13). It also did not help that Amnon fed the lust of his flesh by taking a messenger of satan’s advice when he listen to Jonadab. Amnon listened to the wrong voice and it cost him his life. Undoubtedly, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

When it comes to “voices”, the Lord said the following, which also applies to those who are not prophets:

  • ‘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)

 

  • ‘How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:26 (KJV)

That reminds me, the three voices are also the three sources of dreams and visions. Sometimes people are utterly convinced that a dream or vision was from the Lord when it was actually the deceit of their own heart manifesting in a visual way.

Minister to the People
Minister to the People

When the voice aligns with Scripture but feeds the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and/or the pride of life, it is a sign that it is most likely not of God. Again, this is a part of the reason why it is vitally important to have a relationship with the Lord. Many false prophets give prophecies about how great the Lord is allegedly going to make a person, in part to feed the recipient’s pride. Sure, the Lord gave Joseph two dreams regarding how his family would one day bow down to him (Genesis 37). But, because the dreams (prophecies) were from the Lord, He took Joseph through a 13-year humbling process before Joseph got in position for them to bow down to him, and then he had to wait about 7 more years before it happened. If a person is full of pride upon receiving a prophecy but does not begin to go through a humbling process before the alleged appointed time, there should be a high index of suspicion that the prophecy was not from the Lord. There are so many Scriptures that address the fact that the Lord humbles the proud and exalts the humble. For example, ‘…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ ~ James 4:6 (KJV) The voice of the Lord is going to drive a person towards humility. Look at the incredible ways in which the Lord used Moses, even the Lord said to him, ‘See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.’ ~ Exodus 7:1 (KJV) But we see why the Lord could say that about Moses, and entrust him with so much power. It is written: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” ~ Numbers 12:3 (KJV) Pride has a way of blocking one’s ability to receive the things from the Lord. People tend to shut God’s voice down and listen to things that feed the soul, which makes them more prone to listening to the carnal voices from the soul or a devil.

It is a bad sign when a person refuses to listen to wise counsel, especially because it contradicts his or her desires. After all, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” ~ Proverbs 11:14 (KJV) People perished because the following kings failed to listen to wise counsel, and as you will soon see, there is a difference between counsel and wise (Godly) counsel. Lest not forget, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” ~ Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)

  • When satan inspired David, a king and prophet, to conduct a census of Israel, his general, Joab, gave David wise advice to not trespass against the Lord. But the king overruled his general’s advice and incurred the Lord’s wrath. Sadly, 70,000 people perished because David would not listen to Joab’s wise counsel (1 Chronicles 21).

 

  • The prophet Micaiah warned king Ahab to not go to battle at Ramothgilead lest he die. However, the king imprisoned the prophet and ignored his wise (Godly) counsel. Subsequently, the king died a slow and painful death (1 Kings 22).

 

  • Rehoboam succeeded his father Solomon as Israel’s king. The king had a tough decision to make when his people petitioned him to lighten the yokes king Solomon had imposed on them. Rehoboam consulted with the old men, who had served with the wise king Solomon, and they recommended that he grant the people’s requests in order to retain their loyalty. But then the king sought the counsel of the young men whom he had grown up with. They appealed to the king’s pride by recommending that he make things more difficult for the people to make it known that he was “better” than Solomon. King Rehoboam followed the advice of his friends and ended up losing the 10 northern tribes of Israel to Jeroboam, and one of his men was killed. Rehoboam remained king of Judah to the south while Jeroboam reigned over Israel (1 Kings 12).

We are instructed to “…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.” ~ Ephesians 5:11-13 (KJV) Yes, it is a shame to speak about what some Christians, to include ministers, are doing or thinking about doing in “secret” on this very day. The Lord gave David time to repent of his transgressions against Bathsheba and her deceased husband Uriah. But since David did not, his rebuke and subsequent judgment were made public. No one is going to discredit the Lord and continue doing so for too long. The devil is a deceiver, but as previously mentioned, he is not the only source of deception. The late Arthur Fletcher of the UNCF is credited with coining the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Sadly, many Christians are wasting their minds on sinful things, sometimes cloaked under the Lord’s name. When a person does something that he or she alleges is from the Lord, but has to take measures to cover his or her tracks to avoid detection or in order to gain access, those are indicators that deception (evil) is involved. Too many Christians are using their minds to accomplish evil as opposed to glorifying God. Please stop using Scriptures or the Lord’s name to justify sinful actions.

 

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

Another sign that deception is indicated is when a person tries to obtain an allegedly Godly objective by inducing a spirit of fear. That is witchcraft because it involves imposing one person’s will on another individual. It gets even worse when such witchcraft, based on a spirit of fear, is made to look like succumbing to it will be pleasing to the Lord. Fear of that type is not the reverential fear of the Lord. Sadly, it has to do with control by supplanting a person’s will, which is not pleasing to the Lord, “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) Fear is one of the reasons why some people are seduced into cults but find it hard to leave when they discover the dark truth.

One of the many aspects of inducing the spirit of fear is how people are afraid to speak out against errant religious leaders, to include the wolves in shepherd’s clothing. For example, congregants are often told [from the pulpit] to not touch the Lord’s anointed, as if they aren’t anointed too. In addition, some of the so-called “Lord’s anointed” are not anointed at all, or at least not by the Lord. Also, lest not forget that King Saul was the Lord’s anointed but the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him and an evil spirit began troubling (influencing) him (1 Samuel 16:14). We are even told of Saul prophesying under the unction of an evil spirit, after which he demonstrated the fruit of that spirit by trying to kill David (1 Samuel 18:10-11). Some Christians are doing the same thing. They are listening to the wrong voice, sometimes errantly professing that they are hearing from the Lord, even when the fruits clearly contradict that assertion. [See Galatians 5:19-23 to compare and contrast the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Holy Spirit.] Many of those deceived individuals are trying to silence those who are truly hearing from the Lord and communicating His messages.

 

Repent
People will recognize you by your fruit. ‘Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.’ ~ Matthew 3:8 (NIV)

When it comes to religious leaders, the apostle Paul wrote, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:19-20 (KJV) Initially, we are told to not receive unsubstantiated allegations against an elder, which basically means not to receive gossip or slander. But that does not mean a young parishioner who was secretly abused by a priest should not report it, especially since evidence can be gathered in some cases to support the person’s claim. Subsequently, we are told to publicly rebuke those who sin so others may fear. Sadly, throughout history, many abusive elders were simply reassigned without admonishment, so they left a trail of destruction wherever they went. The same apostle who wrote that letter to Timothy publicly rebuked Peter, a senior apostle in terms of having been a Christian and being commissioned as an apostle much longer than Paul (Galatians 2). Yet, Paul publicly exposed Peter’s hypocrisy, which included leading other Jewish believers from fellowshipping with the Gentile believers. Not only is that an example of publicly rebuking an errant elder, it also demonstrates that actual or perceived seniority does not always equate to greater righteousness. Again, back to the example of Saul and David, it was David, the junior of the two who was being led by the Spirit of God and was the more righteous. Saul was serving as king but the Lord had rejected him and accepted David (1 Samuel 13-16). The Lord may have anointed many of today’s religious leaders but some have since been rejected. One of who failed to publicly rebuke someone who basically called him a fourth member of the Godhead. Eve made the same mistake when the devil told her that eating the “forbidden fruit” would make her and Adam like gods (Genesis 3:1-7).

In addition to everything presented thus far, when it comes to discerning the source of the influencing voice, you can also to draw from the following:

“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 (KJV)

Without going too in depth, a part of judging prophecy is discerning which voice is influencing a person. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives a Word of knowledge regarding such matters, or you can tell via the gift of discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12). You can see how the prophet Jeremiah judged Hananiah’s prophecy. The prophecy sounded plausible so Jeremiah initially said ‘Amen’. But Jeremiah followed up with a few things to help others judge the prophecy, and to give Hananiah a chance to repent. One of those statements include, ‘…when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.’ ~ Jeremiah 28:9 (KJV) It may take the fullness of time to determine if something had truly come from the Lord, which is one of several reasons to record what people declare in the name of the Lord in accordance with Habakkuk 2:2-3. Another way to discern which spirit a person is of is based on when he or she is questioned or even challenged on their words. It becomes more blatantly obvious if what was stated in the name of the Lord does not come to pass. But, the Lord did not allow people to wait to see if Hananiah had truly spoken on His behalf. Jeremiah had left the house of the Lord when God sent him back to confront Hananiah:

“Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; ‘Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.’ So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.” ~ Jeremiah 28:15-17 (KJV)

The pride of life may have plagued Hananiah, even to the point where he did not repent when he had the chance. He wanted to be noticed or he would have kept quiet. He had no reverence for the Lord to make proclamations in His name, even though the Lord had not spoken to him, sent him, or commanded him to speak. Misusing the Lord’s name carries serious penalties, to include being labeled as a lying or false prophet. The Lord addressed the consequences of that when He said, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.’ ~ Exodus 20:7 (KJV) In addition, what happened to Hananiah may have been only the beginning of his torments, for as Jesus said:

‘Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

Hananiah prophesied in the Lord’s name, yet he was a worker of iniquity. He may have fooled some people along the way but he could not fool God. He hid some things in the dark for a while but the Lord exposed him in the light. Hananiah wanted notoriety and he got it, but as a Biblical example and a warning to errant and false prophets. One of the ways to help discern which spirit a person is of, which is a part of why the spirits of the prophets is subject to the prophets, is to get to know the Lord’s voice for yourself. When you are used to hearing from the Lord for yourself, the voice of another you will NOT follow.

Duplicity

Another helpful tip in determining which spirit a voice is of is to look for evidence of a snake. Snakes hiss when confronted; confront a false prophet and see what happens, to include how they try to slither away from taking accountability for missing the mark. Snakes have a forked tongue, so from the same mouth may come smooth seductive words followed by the voice of a devil. Some snakes have fangs that inject venom, which is what happens when a person lies, it spreads poison. Other snakes are constrictors (with teeth) and they want to squeeze the life out of your relationship with Christ. Whether the snake is venomous or nonvenomous, it twists the truth to meet its objective. Snakes set traps by lying in wait, sometimes along trails that lead to watering holes. So when a person is on track to seek the living waters of Christ, the snake tries to prevent the person from getting to Jesus. And finally, I think, do not overlook the undeniable sign when you see the shed skin of a snake. No matter how many times a snake sheds it skin, it is still a snake, but each time it becomes an even bigger snake without ever improving its character.

Listening to the wrong voice for too long may cause the Lord to hand a person over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). A person who refuses to heed wise counsel and listen to the truth may develop a disdain for the truth. So, “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (KJV) Do not ignore the signs when a person who claims to be speaking on the Lord’s behalf is delusional. For “…the [Holy] Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV) Moreover, ensure you are listening to the right voice. Do not let pride get in the way of your repentance if either your soul or a devil (seducing spirit) leads you astray. Arguably, the only thing worse than getting deceived is remaining in the deception when you know the truth. I sincerely doubt it was the first time Hananiah had told lies in the name of the Lord, but it certainly became his last. It is very important to know the voices in your life, both when you are alone and when others are communicating to you. Please, try the spirits because not every spirit is of God. Do not allow the “yes” you have contrived in your deceitful heart prevent you from hearing the “no” the Lord is communicating to you.

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

 

 

Fully Equipped

It is great to have a pastor who will protect you from the wiles of the enemy. However, does that pastor equip you to discern and defeat the enemy?

Just in case you are wondering why you need to defeat the enemy, since he is “a defeated foe”, maybe your life is somehow free of any form of demonic resistance. But let’s assume that it is, I invite you to refer to Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 2:11, 10:3-5; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-19.

One of the best ways to defeat the enemy is by fulfilling your calling from the Lord. A pastor’s “protection” is sometimes what prevents people from fulfilling their Godly calling. By the way, not every calling involves starting a church. The Lord may have called you to preach without calling you to be a pastor. In addition, He may have called you to preach but not in your church or any church building… Many people know their place in the church building, to include where they sit, but they don’t know where they stand in the kingdom of God. Would you be completely lost without your shepherd (pastor) or do you know how to find the Good Shepherd (Christ Jesus)? Can you lead someone to Christ or do you only know how to lead people to your church? What do you do when you know what the Lord has called you to do but no one in your church either knows your calling or wants to acknowledge it?

Please keep the following in mind:

  • ‘Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…’ ~ Zechariah 13:7 (KJV) Consequently, pray for ministers, especially those who are effective against the kingdom of darkness because they endure a tremendous level of spiritual warfare.

 

  • “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (KJV)

 

  • “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” ~ Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV)

Are you prepared to do what the Lord has called you to do, and are you doing it?

So, while those who watch out for you will have to give an account to the Lord for you (Hebrews 13:17), everyone will have to give an account of him or herself to the Lord (Romans 14:12). Keep “The Parable of the Talents” in mind, with specific emphasis on the master’s rebuke and disposition of the servant who hid his talent without putting it to good use (Matthew 25:14:31). Again, are you doing what the Lord has called you to do? In fact, do you know what the Lord has called you to do and where He wants you to be? If you don’t, I strongly suggest that you ask Him.

Minister to the People
Minister to the People

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

 

 

“I Decree and Declare…” 

Many so-called prophecies fail to come to pass because of errant teaching from ministers who are obviously clueless about what prophecy truly is, or, they are intentionally deceitful. Instead of “prophesying” from the soul, lest not forget, “…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. Take a look at the prophet Ezekiel’s actions in the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37); he only spoke as directed by the Lord.

Many people have been led into practicing witchcraft by proclaiming things and expecting the Lord to react like a genie to fulfill their commands. Ministers need to stop giving motivational speeches that are thinly veiled as prophecies. The Lord clearly said, 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)

People continue to “decree and declare” yet have not figured out why they have not gotten anywhere. The Lord is only required to fulfill His Words. Sadly, ministers will continue with the antics because people tolerate them. For as the Lord said,A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?’ ~ Jeremiah 5:30-31 (KJV)

Additional References: Jeremiah 28:15-17, 29:30-32; Ezekiel 13; “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant”

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.”

 

 

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