SUBMISSION vs. CONTROL
Praise God here we are again. I want to continue here on our series on growing in the prophetic. Tonight really, I’ve not shared what I need to share tonight in its fullness and I doubt that anybody could share it in one sitting but I think what we have to get into tonight is actually very important, of utmost importance to the body of Christ, but specifically I’m going to relate it to the prophetic and growing in the prophetic. Everything that God does has an antithesis , has the opposite in the spirit, in the enemy’s camp. What God would do with love, the devil would do with lust. The way I see it is that the opposite of the spirit of prophecy which is the testimony of Jesus is that spirit of control. Whereas we are not to quench the Spirit, but yet still even without quenching the Spirit things should be done decently and in order, but the opposite of that is to try to keep things decently and in order by control, by holding them down, by keeping them hemmed in, using a lasso so to speak as you would control a horse or something.
Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 12 that his strength was made perfect in weakness. His strength, his human strength was made perfect in realizing how weak he was in the flesh and then relying upon the Lord. He said, for when I am weak then I am strong. Those things are the types of things that Paul wrote so often and the Word of God is so full of that just confused the natural mind because the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. Neither can the carnal Christian because his mind is after the things of the world. So the Spirit speaking to us can take that, my strength is found perfect in weakness. For when I am weak then I am strong. Now take that and turn it around, my strength comes from weakness. What is that talking about? We have to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and then what will He do? Raise you up. Raise you up is the place of strength. Humbling yourself down is a place of weakness or meekness, isn’t it? Yes. Get as low as possible.
In the Kingdom of God, he who wants to be first, must be last. He who wants to be greatest, must be least. He who is greatest has the most authority in that sense. The way to receive the most authority is to become the greatest servant. We have to not confuse meekness for weakness. What the world does many times, if you are a meek person, if you come in humbly, then they confuse that as weakness and decide, like I like to say, “The way the world spells “meek” is “doormat.” Then they begin to walk on you, right? Sometimes I like to joke and say, “You can find out whether or not you are a bridge or a wedge, depending upon whether people walk on you or if they hammer on you.” So depending upon what you are today, but the thing is we’re not doormats, but many times we do have to turn the other cheek. That’s a choice we make and even though we may have the strength to take a certain action, we choose not to and submit ourselves, right? And this shows our strength. If you are confident in your strength then you don’t have to exercise it every time just because you can. When you have somebody say, “Well, I have my rights.” Well you may have your rights, but if you’re so sure of them, then you can submit those and retain those for the good of the whole. For the good of the many. Meekness, which is the fruit of humility, will always lead to strength in our lives and in our actions.
The heart of the prophetic is to be totally reliant upon God and not upon our own abilities or our own reasoning. Once again we see the importance of not having the fear of man, but to be relying upon the fear of God. I’ll tell you, we all need to grow in our strength of relying totally on the things of God that we are more concerned about what God thinks than what man thinks. There again we come to the word balance. Because there are those that feel that they are so reliant upon God that we don’t care what men think, that there is no fear of man, there is no respect of man. That’s not love. So the place is not in either extreme. We can feel that we are so submitted that we only listen to man because we would not want to offend. So therefore we never hear God or obey God. Isn’t that way over here? But yet what over on the other side you have the other extreme where “I don’t care what you think. I’m going to speak the Word of God. You’re going to hear it whether you like it or not and this may be your church but I’m going to speak it anyway.” Well, here come the police. We have to rely upon God. We have to have such a respect for God and yet a love for people that we balance everything that we do understanding that if we will walk in love we won’t do things unseemly , we won’t do things that are unkind. We’ll take whatever God gives us and it will be as easy to be entreated as it can be. And yet we’ll many times have to stand up and do things that we don’t want to do and yet we’ll do them anyway knowing that God’s Kingdom will advance even if our’s decreases some.
Psalm 34:18 says, The Lord is near to those that have a broken heart and save such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 51:17 says, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, these O God you will not despise. The Lord will not despise those of us that are broken for the things that God has broken over. If we take, as Paul said, “Our bodies are living sacrifices” that we should die daily as Jesus said. Take up our cross daily, but in taking that burden, where do we take it? We take it to the Lord who is our burden bearer. You see once again a balance. We lift it up. We take it to the burden bearer and give it to Him and He lifts it off of us. We’re not intended to keep it, but we are intended to take it every day and every day to die. As Paul said, “I die daily” that every day we take up that cross so that we may walk in His ways, so that we may do His will.
Deuteronomy 8:2 says, 2 “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, (Why?) to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. The reason that we allow ourselves to be broken , the reason we allow ourselves to continually convince ourselves that there is no good thing within us, even though your mind is always trying to tell you how great you are and tell you how many things you have that other people don’t have and boy wouldn’t it be nice if they did? The reason you allow yourself to go through this is you are showing God your heart. He is testing you so that He can see your heart. He can see what’s in you. This is why it takes some discernment to really see this balance between control and prophetic is because so many times you can’t tell with your senses. Because sometimes what is not controlling is not controlling seems controlling and sometimes what seems like so caring is the spirit of control. To attempt to hem you and to hold you back and so we need to walk by the Spirit , we need to have the eyes that Samuel had when he heard the voice of the Lord saying, “I’ve rejected all of these. There is another son. I don’t look at things the way you do, but I look on the things of the heart” and that’s why he found the other son of Jesse, David. To see on the heart we have to be able to discern those. We personally will increase as we do submit to the Lord, as we are broken, as we realize it’s not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord that we receive from Him the things that we need in order to understand so that we can judge and we also are not exercising undue control, but we are speaking words in love and in life and in power so that we may impart life to others. That the words would be Spirit and they would be life and they would be life changing, then. When we through our senses think that we know what a person needs and we attempt to exercise that through words to them, that can get over into witchcraft or into control. You see? Witchcraft basically is exercising spiritual control through words whereas sorcery is exercising spiritual control through objects, amulets and things like that.
You see that in the record of Elijah and Jezebel. You see the thesis and the antithesis of the prophet and the prophetess, but see I don’t want you to take that too far because prophetesses of God are just as powerful as Elijah. In other words there is the right spirit and the wrong spirit, the point we are trying to get at and I’m not going to talk about that anymore tonight because I see many times that is a true analogy, you’ve got the prophet and you have the witch, basically. You’ve got the spirit that is to release the people from bondage and those that want to put the people into bondage. But I don’t want to go into that too much tonight because too many times we have to dig ourselves out of a hole because we start thinking this is a woman thing and a man thing. Okay? It’s not. Alright? There are reasons why that is called a Jezebel spirit. There are reasons why God chose to use that as an analogy, but tonight I’m not going to talk about those details. What I want to talk about is this control versus prophetic. Okay? You could even see it in terms of control versus releasing God in the world, releasing God in your life, releasing God in your church versus control of men.
The intention of the control might be good, but the control is still wrong. Right? Right. Amen. Well, we need to guard our hearts to protect our hearts with all diligence. Control is a heart issue. That’s why we have to know our own hearts. We have to go back to the Lord so He will show us our hearts. Just when you think you have it is when He’s going to require more humility out of you , just when you think you’ve convinced Him you made it, He’s going to show you something else, isn’t He? Because we’re still going to be in the process until the Lord comes, aren’t we? There’s always going to be something we can do. Amen. It keeps us from getting bored.
It’s been said that there’s no gift more in need of pastoring than that of the prophetic. But the word pastor is the word poimen which means to feed. Everyone needs to be fed, not just prophetic people. Everyone needs to be fed. We all need to be led to proper pasture, but, so I’d like to rephrase that and say, “If we would say there is probably no gift that’s in more need of mentoring than the prophetic” I think we’d have it. Many times when we say pastoring that might be what we mean, biblically that’s not what it means, but if we were to say there’s probably no gift that’s in more need of mentoring, I would say we would probably be pretty close to the truth. That we do need, that’s why you see the sons of the prophets. Because of that need for it to be hone to be protected. Because the devil is so much after it because if he can switch it or turn it, it is very powerful for him. If we can hone it and submit it to the Lord, and yet not control it by our own spirits, it is very powerful because it is a testimony of Jesus being released in this world and the devil can’t stand against it. There’s a fine line between lets say encouragement and control. There is a fine line lets say between motivation and manipulation. But generally after it has been used on you, you can tell which one it is, can’t you? “You know I’m starting to think that maybe that wasn’t just motivational techniques. I was being forced into something that I really didn’t feel like I should have been in.” See. That manipulation is a form of control. Flattery can be a form of control that we need to watch out for, that we need to stay above.
Psalm 105 says, (17) He sent a man before them; Joseph; who was sold as a slave. (18) They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. (19) Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him. We are all going to be tested. We’re all going to see God’s will in our lives put before us and then we’re going to be tested to see if we really want that. If we are really willing to pay the price to receive that. Are you willing to go after it? Are you willing to do what God requires of you to attain the promises that He has given to you? You see God had given visions to Joseph. Those were promises that these things would come to pass, but Joseph tried to go about those things his way. The enemy came in, didn’t he? And some things happened and years later Joseph said, “That which was meant for evil God meant for good.” Many times in your life that which the enemy meant for evil God intends it for good but you’re the one and by your reaction you make the decision on what the outcome is going to be. It can go either way, but you make the decision on the outcome.
It’s like I’ve heard before that God’s always voting for you and the devil is always voting against you. But you decide the election. I just thought of another one, another Frances Frangipane quote. He said he woke up one day and he realized finally for the first time that both God and the devil wanted him dead, but just for different reasons. We do need to reckon the old man dead.
Proverbs 16:19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud. You know with authority comes the potential for pride and the more authority comes the more potential for pride. With success comes the potential for pride, doesn’t it? And the more success, the more potential for pride. Pride always goes before destruction, doesn’t it? Pride brings confusion to others. It doesn’t release the power of God in His Kingdom and it takes away your reward even though you may minister good gifts, your pride keeps you from receiving the rewards. You become a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Humility is your key.
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. You want honor in the Kingdom of God? It comes from the lowly place. Men receive honor many times, even in the Kingdom of God will receive honor even if there is pride there , even if there are things there that aren’t of the Kingdom many times they will receive the honor, but it doesn’t slip past the angels and it doesn’t slip past God. That humility He looks for, and many times there are men and women I believe on this earth that we’re going to be surprised when the rewards are handed out. How many great men and women of God were totally unnoticed but only by a few people in the body of Christ? Because greatness has nothing to do with getting your picture on a magazine or a book. Greatness has nothing to do with those kinds of things of the world. It may include that, but it doesn’t have to. Ananias is going to be getting a full reward, I believe, if he stayed faithful. He’s going to share in everything that Paul ever did because he was the one that went and spoke the word to Paul. But who is Ananias? He is only mentioned for a short time in the book of Acts, but there are many Ananias’ that were the fulcrum to bringing in the Paul’s and the apostles and the great preachers of time. There had to be somebody that came in there that did that little thing that didn’t seem like much, but yet in the Kingdom of God, it was very, very important, but they humbled themselves in order to release that in the Kingdom of God. You need to understand that also. Don’t strive for the honor that the world gives, even in the Kingdom of God. Strive to be humble because God’s watching and He rewards. He’s the one who keeps track of what you do when nobody’s looking.
Years ago I used to always wait until after the offering and then sneak in the back and put my offering in because the Bible says, “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” I didn’t want anybody to know I was giving. Years later I was always thankful nobody caught me back there, because I never thought of it at the time when I was young but if they had they would have never believed I was putting money in. But I was taking that so literally, but my heart was that way. I didn’t want to dare let anybody else see me giving. I wanted only God to know. I can’t say the fruit has been bad for me though. Thank God I wasn’t caught but the point is that the heart of going to the extreme so that men wouldn’t notice what you are doing, but God would notice. To be humble before men. Now that could be a pride thing also, but do you see my point? That we would not want to be seen of men and have our reward now. But we want it in eternity.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones. He dwells with those that are humble and He dwells with those that have a broken and contrite spirit. That’s not a bad place to be. Not bad company to keep, is it? To figure the King of the Universe would want to hang out with boasters and hear some great stories. Nope. He wants to hear about how He’s blessing you. He wants to hear about the greatness of what His Son did. He wants to see His Son in you. When He sees Christ form in you, when we start seeing Christ form in the Church, we’ll know that we’re invited in to hang out with the Lord. He is the high and lofty One because He’s the servant of all.
I’ve said this before but I want to quote this again: humility is a balance between pride and doubt. It is the place of knowing without Him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things. Do you see that balance? You can’t do anything but by Him working in you, you can walk on water, you can part the water, you can stop the storm, you can speak the word that can change the city, you can speak the word that would change a life, you can speak the word that would bring physical healing to a body, you can speak the word that would bring somebody back from death unto life, both physically or spiritually.
There’s no confirmation available where we have control because we have to trust in the Lord. When you have a word for somebody you have to step out on that limb and give it not knowing what it means and then you may or may not find out later because they may not tell you, but if it was from the Lord it is going to minister to them and there will be confirmation, right? Just like the example of Larry where he gave that word about, he said, “the Lord would say bring forth the child and the child will be healed.” He didn’t know there was a couple here that had brought their child to be ministered to that night. But that might have been the word that gave them the faith that when we ministered the faith was high enough that God could heal that little girl and she received that healing. But to say, “Here she is…” So we have to do something. So we set up something that when they get here we have this little party or something that , and we do something out of what might be intended for good, but it is through human control. What happens? Nothing. No healing. God’s not in it. We’re all smiling and we’re all happy. Isn’t that wonderful? We could put it in our book and the poor little girl dies or something. But by dying to ourselves and speaking a word that we know not even, it was better that it came from somebody that knew not. That’s why God chose Larry. If I’d have said it, it might have still come from the Spirit of the Lord, but it wouldn’t have spoken and raised that faith level. That’s why we’re a body.
Let me read you this: Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you False and deceptive visions; They have not uncovered your iniquity, To bring back your captives, But have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions. You know right now we have a phenomena , I just call it the “900 number” phenomena, but you have all these, I don’t know how many billions of dollars a year go into the prophecies and the prophetic phone hotlines. Do you know why that is? It’s because people want a good word, even if it’s a false word. They are willing to pay for a good word, even if it’s a false good word. It is because the church has not given the true words which always lead to the strength of God and even if they have to lead us through some entanglements or show us some dirt. They lead us to light. I know myself I get tempted with, “I don’t want to speak that.” Right? And the church is so confused on the issue of the difference between the gifts of prophecy which is to be edification, exhortation, and comfort and the gift-ministry which is to speak the word of God which is a testimony of Jesus and I know that John if he only had edification and comfort, he never would have written Revelations. There are some, depending upon whether you are Sardis or Thyatira or what you were, which church you were, you might not like it. If you were from Philadelphia or Smyrna, okay that’s not so bad. There’s no reproof in there. But do you see what I’m saying? He’s writing by the Spirit of Prophecy what Jesus told him to say and some of those words are pretty strong. You could see the Spirit of the Lord, you could see his heart how he always ended it with encouragement saying, “Hey look, if you’ll do this even though you’re here, if you’ll do this, I’ll do this.” Because that’s his heart and that’s always the heart through prophecy is that when He speaks a word like when we saw with Jonah. Jonah said in forty days you guys are dust. He didn’t say unless you repent. They said, “Perhaps if we change God will relent” and He did because that’s His nature. Right? There’s always that prophetic nature of God that supercedes any word you or I would speak. Nevertheless we have to be willing to speak it, in love but the way it’s told to us.
The other side of that is you see a problem and you decide you’re going to step into it with your mind and that’s control. You may do it because you want to help somebody and you may have good intentions, you might see they’re going down the wrong way, but what you can’t see is what the Lord will do if you’ll just speak His word and if He only gives it to you for between you and Him then you take it to Him in prayer. You pray that prayer prophetically, but you pray it in love because the whole system here is not just depending upon whether you get noticed or not. You see? You have got to release it in love if He is going to be able to trust you with His secrets.
A false prophetic word often has its root in the desire to exercise control over the lives of others. Matthew 7 (15) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.(16) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? (17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Now I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this because most prophetic people already have had such rejection that they always wonder if they’re not the guy that’s the wolf and they are always wondering if they are the one that’s the false prophet. “Oh, Lord, is there any good fruit?” The fact that you’re asking that means that you are on the right track. The false prophets never ask that because they’re so convinced they’re right. They don’t care nor do they take time to look for the fruit. The fact that you’re interested in knowing and interested in doing it right shows that you are on the way to good fruit, so continue on. But we will know them by the fruit. It takes time sometimes for that fruit. That’s why sometimes it takes a little while for the spirit of control to manifest itself. Now the Lord can reveal it to you instantly, but your spirit will show it to you in time if you are being controlled by it. Because what’s going to happen is time after time it is exercised on you, your spirit is starting to get a little bit sicker every time. Now wait a minute this doesn’t seem right, this doesn’t seem right, then you go, “Well, I don’t want to think evil, you know after all that person you know has been to seminary or that person has done some great thing that you haven’t done.” No. Listen to your spirit.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Now I say that, I don’t want to over abuse this false prophet thing, my own personal belief is that no Christian can truly be a false prophet, even if you were to give a false prophecy. I believe false prophets are exactly that, there is no truth in them, okay? They are prophesying from a wrong spirit, not just confused, okay? Now, I’m not saying Christians can’t prophecy from an evil spirit or hear from an evil spirit and bring that word, that’s not what I’m saying, but to truly be a false prophet I think is more because those guys have a judgment that no Christian has to look forward to. Even if we were to repent, even if we were to at the judgment seat have a few things burned off, we still, Paul said will go into eternal life even if we have to go through the flames, he said. Preferably we don’t want that, but the worst is that we would go through the flame and still enter in. Okay, so I don’t want to abuse that because too many times we have non-prophetic people bringing judgment on those that are attempting to bring with love, words from the Lord and more often than not what I see is a true word misinterpreted or misunderstood and then a heavy hand of control brought down on that person. I see it happening, not from false prophets, but I see it happening with true prophets and sons of the prophets. Those with prophetic ministries and prophetic hearts, that’s what I see.
Jesus said, “I will send you apostles and prophets and some of them you will persecute and some of them you will stone.” He didn’t say, “I’ll send you false prophets and those you’re going to stone.” I see more examples, as a matter of fact I only see examples really of the true prophets being stoned. Jesus said that at Jerusalem, Jerusalem, right? The prophets you’ve persecuted. You’ve killed the prophets, not the false prophets, He was happy about that. It was the true prophets that they killed. Why? Because they brought a true word and the people didn’t want to hear it.
We need to be led by the love of God and our rewards have to be laid up in heaven or we won’t have the faith to go forward in love and strength to bring a word in due season. You know we have seen too often the example of the Elijah. “I have the spirit of Elijah.” I was talking to Rick Joyner one time and he said, “You know I have met more Elijah’s in my life and if I ever meet another one…” I don’t know if all the Elijah’s have heard him say that, but now I keep running into people with the spirit of Jeremiah. I’m not saying they don’t have that call to the nations, my point is that if they do they’d better be getting some intercessors, because it was not a happy road for Jeremiah, you see? You don’t want that. They always tell me, “I have a call to the nations.” That’s alright. I’m glad. But the way from here to there is pretty bad, it’s not really fun.
That’s why I think it’s so important especially today as we understand the body of Christ made up of many members, none of you are called to be an Elijah, I don’t think. None of you are called to be a Jeremiah , alone. Even if you have that call on your life, you are called to be with a company. You are called to be with the body. To have support. To be able to submit one to another, you see. To submit a word. To receive counsel. There’s counsel where there are many witnesses. That’s why we need to have fellow laborers. That’s why we need to have our co-workers. That company of believers that we know, that we can come to, that we can be open with and not be afraid that if they don’t know the answer they won’t be afraid to tell you they don’t know the answer, but rather than exercise some sort of religious or political control over you or denominational or scriptural interpretation that may be out of somebody’s mind instead of true Scripture. You see? That’s why there’s strength in diversity when we come in love, we’ll counterbalance the things that we think are right, but aren’t.
I always like to say that I believe false doctrines. Do you think that is kind of strange? Let me add this. If I knew which ones they were, I’d stop believing them. But I know because I’ve been a Christian for so many years that I have believed things that I thought were true that I later found out weren’t. You know what? I maybe humble enough or maybe I’m deceived, but I think I probably still have a few. I just don’t know what they are. Maybe you can help me find out and then I could stop believing those things and change and come into a knowledge of Christ because He knows the Scriptures. Right? Not you and not I, neither of us knows it all. Our trouble comes from when we think we know the Scriptures. I believe that the Scriptures are perfect, but I don’t believe anymore that my knowledge of the Scriptures is perfect.
It’s funny , it’s like they say when you are a freshman in college you think you know it all. When you’re a sophomore you’re not so sure anymore, but you’re pretty sure you will soon. When you’re a junior you’re really starting to wonder. When you’re a senior you realize you don’t know anything. See when I was younger in the word and began to really study the Scriptures, I thought I really knew it all. Now I’m more like Paul where he said, “I’m not sure if I’ve attained anything. But there’s one thing I know. I need to forget what’s behind and press on to what’s ahead.” I’m getting more like that. The more I learn, the less I know. The more I really know, I need the Lord and to rely on Him. Praise God for that anyway. We do begin to rely on Him more as we get older and we should. We really should.
Let me give you an example of why we need so much to have a balance between submission and the fear of man and the fear of God which is the beginning of all knowledge. We need to be able to submit one to another yet we need to be able to stand when we are convinced, okay? Knowing that if you decide to stand and you’re standing against public opinion or against counsel, then you’re responsible for standing in that place. You have to be like Daniel that if you’re sure you’re standing for the Lord then also be sure that He’ll protect you, but it’s your decision. Ultimately we bear our own burdens in that sense.
Now, I want to give you an example and this also ties in which why we have more than one ministry in the church. Here a few months ago, when we were out of town a number of us ministering and I’d been ministering that night and prophesying and I prophesied then afterwards over our group and over those of us that had traveled out of town. There was a real word that was for the person but it also affected this group here. It had to do with the spirit of control. This gave me information which I didn’t understand but at the same time I took very serious. I’d been working with this and praying into this and making decisions by this. So therefore I have been watching closely. Like Jesus used to do with His disciples, I’ve been listening to hear the murmuring and to hear what was going on so I could be watching out for you as a shepherd, to be watching out over the things of God to be sure it was going in the direction because He’d warned me for a reason. I knew we were undergoing a test and I also knew the potential consequences because this was revealed, but I also knew it was revealed for a reason. Why? So we could adjust and prepare so we could be prophetic and not pathetic. So we could have good results. I realized just a short time ago that I was being tested because here I was in a dangerous situation and didn’t realize it. Because here I am the one speaking the word, giving the prophetic word and yet as the elder/director here I have to administer. Right? I have to administer. What are we going to do? What is the potential there for abuse and for control if I’m the one that got the word and I’m the one that administrates the word? That’s a dangerous position and it never dawned on me that I had been going through a test also to try my heart. Thank God I passed it. Because I got through it and then the Lord showed me that. I’ll tell you what, the fear of the Lord came on me very strongly. I didn’t realize where I was and how precarious it could have been if I’d have made a decision out of my flesh. Thank God He gave me the time to just go slow enough until He would reveal things but it really wasn’t fast enough for me. I would have liked things to move faster, but the thing is I had to submit. I could only go with the information He gave and at the speed that He gave and pray for more time or more room or more information. When it dawned on me that here I was in this position I was the one being tested also. Probably greater than anyone. You see why there is so much potential for abuse in the Christian church? Because we have relied upon one ministry to try to function in all five. To try to function in setting the direction and also administering how we’re going to get there? Therefore the potential is so great to try to control, to bring to pass that vision quicker or bring it back in a way that person feels should be the way we should get there. Is it any wonder that many times men and women of God do give in to that because they’re put into a position because of our wrong doctrines and our wrong practical application of administration in the body of Christ and government in the body of Christ that they succumb to the temptation. Maybe for good reason, maybe not, but many times I believe it is for good intentions, for the good of the people, but it’s still wrong.
Last I checked Jesus is the head of the Church and He’s the only one called a pastor. He is “the” Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, it says. Not “a” Shepherd. Nobody else is called “the” Shepherd. Nobody else is called “the” Pastor in the Bible, but Jesus. Last I checked He is still supposed to be our Head. When we take His authority from Him and usurp it over His people, we have now moved into a realm which He despises, which is control over His people. We have to release. Hey, if I have to release my own control over my own life, I also have to be willing to release you all, right? I have to give you up daily to the Lord. Have a church some time and have the Lord tell you to give it up. That’ll test you.
Luke 8:35 says, Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were (very happy and very blessed because Jesus had done for them what they had never been able to do for themselves. They came and found the guy who had legion and…you know he’d always been very mean and terrorized the neighborhood and they never could have Halloween trick or treat because he was always out there messing with them. No they were) afraid. Here was this man delivered, clothed and in his right mind sitting at Jesus’ feet being instructed and the townspeople come out and they are afraid of Jesus. They had been afraid of the man, they just had a spirit of fear and they were going to use in on somebody. They were afraid and they asked Jesus to leave. The man wanted to go with Jesus. I can’t blame him. Jesus says, “No. No. I want you to go back and tell all your friends what has happened to you.” I always asked the question, how many friends do you think the guy had? From what I could tell they were all dead because he hung out there in the tombs, but Jesus said, “You go back and tell all your friends about what happened, okay?” I mean Jesus just didn’t follow the rule books, He never went to seminary. You don’t take a guy who a couple hours before is terrorizing people, full of the spirit of murder, rips chains in pieces and he’s not a very nice guy and you turn him into your one-man evangelism team and you sic him on the town. I’m telling you , Jesus didn’t follow the rule books. I like that though. You’d think Jesus would want to exercise some control over this guy to keep him delivered you know for his own good, I mean after all somebody that was that demonically messed up needs some discipline in his life, doesn’t he? So we’d better help him out. Anyway and take him through a fourteen step plan and …. How to Stay Out of the Tombs, I love Jesus and how He does that. No you go back and tell your friends and He leaves him. There’s this one-man evangelistic team. Wow. I wonder if He gave him any tracts?
Sometimes people are afraid of good results because they didn’t come the way they expected or because they don’t understand the results. Because you have such a spirit of doubt or unbelief so many times, or apathy even and so when something great happens they go, “It can’t be.” It’s like the pharisees. One second they are saying, “Jesus saved other people why couldn’t He come here and heal Lazarus before he died? If He could have gotten here a little bit sooner….” “Look how He loved him like He is weeping. Oh isn’t that nice.” Then He says, “Lazarus come forth” and Lazarus comes hopping out and He says, “Loose him.” So what do the pharisees do? Then they start looking for ways to kill Lazarus and Jesus. I mean they’re not nice guys because they weren’t expecting the results and when they came and they came in such a way they didn’t like it. So now, you have to think. If you’re a pharisee you can’t be too bright because if He raised him once He could sure raise him again, couldn’t He? Anyway, deal with the natural mind. You don’t understand it. But they don’t understand it. So we sometimes fear the things we don’t understand and we fear even good things that come in ways we’re not expecting or good things that we never expected would come. Sometimes people are under such doubt and condemnation that when you do give them something good, they can’t receive it. You know they can’t accept it because of whatever reason. There has to be a preparation before there can be a planting.
Matthew 18 says, (19) “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (20) For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Okay, two or three gathered in My name there am I in the midst of them. It doesn’t say, “Two or three gathered in My name and if one of them gives permission to the other two.” You know I was talking to Ferris Cox last week when he was here about just some of these things and he made a great statement to me. He says, “You know the Kingdom of God is not based upon permission, but it is based upon agreement.” I thought, “What a great statement.” You see the world is based upon permission. Oh, no, I’m not saying that you don’t need to go and submit one to another. What I am saying is that you need to go submit one to another so that we can come into agreement on what it is the Lord wants and then you carry it out. Remember even Jonathan said to his armorbearer, “Hey what do you say we go forward? Because it doesn’t matter to God if He saves by many or by few.” What did his armorbearer say? “No I’m not going up there. There’s a bunch more of them than there is of us.” No he didn’t. He said, “Whatever you do, whatever is in your heart — go ahead and do it. I’m with you.” What happened then? God woke up and said, “There’s two of those guys who want to do something. Well praise the Lord. Let’s go start shaking the earth.” And that’s exactly what He did. I mean these guys took off from the camp, remember, Jonathan and his armorbearer took off from the camp. They get all the way up there. They’re already within spitting distance of the Philistines and the Philistines are above them. That’s not good military tactics, I’m telling you that right now. When the British rolled their cannons over Fort Ticonderoga back in the Revolutionary War, the Americans in Fort Ticonderoga gave up without a shot because why? Because the guns were bearing down on them. They knew the end result so they said, “Why die when we’re going to die anyway so let’s just surrender.”
So, here was Jonathan’s armorbearer going up against the big guns. They get up there and he goes, “Well,” When we get there Jonathan says, “Well, if they say to us ‘Come on up’ then we’ll know it’s the Lord. But if they don’t then we’ll know it’s not the Lord.” It’s a little bit late now don’t you think. At least you can run good down hill anyway that’s good. So anyway, you know the story. God delivered them into their hand and the whole thing went great until what happened? Saul wakes up and says, “Oh what’s happening up there? Oh look the Philistines are killing one another. We’d better get in on this deal.” So they go up there and the rest of the Israelites get in there and it is a great thing.
Well, Jon’s getting tired by the afternoon because he’s been whipping up on the Philistines. That takes a lot of energy so he’s looking for something to eat. He finds a little bit of honey, doesn’t he? But here’s ol’ Saul. He hasn’t done much good for anybody for a long time so he decides to just make a rule for the sake of making rules because he’s king and after all kings make rules for the sake of making rules to show their importance, right? So he makes the rule that nobody can eat anything today or they die. So here’s Jonathan who has gone forward because he gets sick and tired of sitting under the tree, he’s gone forward by the Spirit of the Lord, the Lord acts, there was agreement between the two of them and he gets a little hungry and he eats and so then they find out, “Oh, Jonathan has eaten.” So Saul says, “We’re going to have kill you Jon.” Jon says, “Okay. Kill me.” I mean Jon had a spirit that was humble. He was willing. He said, “Alight I broke the rule. I didn’t even know it existed.” Well, you know what they tell you. Ignorance of the law. It’s no excuse when you break it, right? So here’s Jon and he’d be dead that day except for the people intervening and said, “Listen Bub, to the king. The only reason we had a victory is because of Jon. You’re not going to touch him.” The king, being the great man of God that he was and the man of valor said, “Wait a minute” no he didn’t. He said, “Oh, okay guys.” Because remember Saul was so interested in keeping his control that really the people controlled him. That’s the reason that Samuel was sent by God to take away the kingdom from Saul was because he said, “Well, the people made me do it.” Instead of listening to God.
This is the lesson: The thing which you try to control will be that which controls you. That which you decide to exercise control over is that which is going to become your controlling agent. It’s going to become your god so to speak. If you are trying to control your congregation, it’s going to become that which controls you. If you’re trying to control God and what He is allowed or not allowed to speak through you, then that’s going to be what controls you. You won’t be able to release the true Word of God. But rather than you receive from Him and do it according to the things we’ve learned here. Submit these things to the Lord, go back and have the confirmation but not the control but the confirmation, then you can walk forth in faith with the fear of the Lord and see the power of God released and the people of God turned to Him for they’ll hear His word.
Amos 3:3 says, Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? See the power that comes in agreement , the power that comes together as we come together in agreement, not in permission, but in agreement one to another. The body of Christ needs to come back around to stop living and working like the world does. You know in the world, at least in our nation, we have more freedom of speech so to speak in a political rally than we do in the church. We are so afraid that there might be something evil released that we don’t let the good release. Why don’t we train up people so they can understand and discern so that they by reason of use are able to discern both good and evil so they can receive the meat. So we can hear the words of God. “Well, the people aren’t ready for that yet.” “Well, why aren’t they, Pastor?” “Why aren’t they, Elder?” You see?
We’re supposed to grow up in all things unto Him who is the Head even Christ Jesus. That we be no longer children tossed to and fro by the slight of man and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive. You see you cannot control an adult as easy as you can a child. And when you only understand control then you have to have children. It’s time we grew up. We need to even understand this in terms of leadership in the body and in terms of those that would bring the prophetic word and some are both, like I just gave an example of myself. We need to just get rid of this control spirit out of the church totally, okay? There isn’t one section of the church that has it and you can’t find it somewhere else. The devil has snuck in. It’s time we controlled him right out the door. See, exercise some control on him. It’s called your heel, his head. Okay, that’s the kind of control you need to exercise. That’s the kind of control you’re allowed to exercise. Okay? In the church and out, right? It says we can do that. We can even bruise our heel, I’m sure it’ll get healed. The God of peace will shortly crush him under your feet. Right? Amen. It’s time. He needs to be herded.
Ezekiel 22:28 says, Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, “Thus says the Lord God,” when the Lord had not spoken. I’ve gotten words occasionally, “Thus saith the Lord” mostly in writing because I think they are afraid to say it to my face because deep down they must know it’s not true. “Thus saith the Lord…you need to do this: You need to pray and fast for six days because you’ve done this…and the Lord wants you to repent…” They are prophesying false visions and untrue words which don’t bring good fruit. The Lord hasn’t sent them. They are trying to exercise control.
Perhaps this has happened to you. Your senses need to be discerning. They need to be tempered so you can be polished through use so that you can discern both good and evil. Because this walk that we’re called to walk is a balance of doctrine and practical application that we might walk worthy of the calling that we are called to. That balanced walk that we would submit to the Lord and yet not submit to any darkness. That we might submit to people who are walking in darkness, knowing that they’re not the enemies and thereby take control over the enemy that had control of them. That you might submit yourself in service to those that are walking in darkness that you might be able to see their eyes spiritually healed and opened so that they can see the god of this world who has blinded them so that he no longer would be their god and they could be released from the kingdom of darkness into light.
The testimony of Jesus needs to be released. The testimony of Jesus is needed daily. Do you want to see evangelism? Jesus at the well of Samaria. What does He say to that woman? He doesn’t say, “Oh you need to believe on Me.” He doesn’t say, “Don’t you believe in the Messiah?” What does He say? He gave a word of knowledge: “Go get your husband.” She says, “I don’t have one.” He says, “You’re right. You had six and the guy you’re living with right now isn’t one of them.” She runs back and tells the whole town, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did.” He didn’t, but it seemed like that to her. What did He say to her that was evangelistic? Nothing that I could see. It was just prophetic. But what were the results? Very evangelistic, right? Because He brought a word. It was just like Paul said, “If you bring a true word they will fall down on their face and they will say, ‘God is in you of a truth’ because God will reveal the secrets of their heart.” But the purpose is good. The purpose is released to set the captives free, isn’t it? To set her free. To set that town free.
Not the untempered mortar, not the false visions, we need true mortar. We need that which will truly bind us together. The testimony of Jesus will truly bind the body of Christ, the living stone, together. Control spirit will try to harness. The prophet spirit will assist. Sometimes it is a fine line between one and the other. I have seen some pretty dastardly things done on both sides of the prophetic and the leadership that are non-prophetic, okay? Certainly they can be both, but I have seen men of God walk in the prophetic lay hands and prophesy words that were nothing but hooks. Now there may have been truth in there, but there was always one thing that came from their soul and hooked that person, you see, for their own gain and moving into that spirit of control opens them up to all of the judgment, I really believe that Balaam received, which isn’t really good.
Likewise, to try to keep the word from being released too often is done by those in leadership because they don’t want another leader. Just like Herod killed many to try to keep one from rising up in the leadership, we are still killing many in the body, so to speak, to keep that same one from having rulership over his own church. Because we’ve set ourselves up as kings. Do you see the two sides? They’re both evil. They’re both wrong. Right in the middle is where the Lord dwells. As far away from both of those things as they can get.
You know I had a fellow ask me recently, “Lloyd, so many times I’m talking to people and they say, ‘Lloyd, he’s way out there. He’s way ahead of us.'” Sometimes they mean it in a nice way and sometimes they don’t. He says, “What do they mean though when they say, “You’re way out there ahead of everybody?'” I have heard that myself many times and I never take it badly, but at that point when he asked me what I thought that meant, I though, “Oh, what does it mean?” Here’s what I saw. I saw a vision of a hurricane and there was the eye of the storm and I was just right in the middle of the storm. I wasn’t way out there. I was way in here. It just seemed out there to those that were out there. You see, because that seemed normal. But if we would get in the heart of God we’re not way out there. We’ll seem way out there to those that are out there because they think that is normal. But that’s not normal. The peace of God is normal. The protection of God is normal. The storms will come but there’s an eye we can get in. There’s a protected place. There’s the shadow of the Almighty. Maybe that’s way out there, but it’s in His heart. That’s the place of balance. If this extreme is control and that extreme is lack of control, then some place in the middle is God’s heart where the peace of God is released and the people of God are protected. Wow. Praise God. Why can’t we have that?
With the same measure that we give out it is going to be measured back to us. If we give with a heart of giving just because we want to bless, just because we want to release God in that person’s life, it’s going to come back to us in that same way. It’s with the same measure that you meet, it will be measured to you. That’s talking about not just now, we hear a lot about now, but I want my rewards in heaven. You have an account in heaven and it’s being added up every day you either lay up or you don’t lay up and when you release them up in heaven those things moth and rust don’t corrupt. Right? And the measure that you give out is the measure that He uses. When I come to somebody and I say, “Man, I need to forgive them,” I forgive them quick. You know why? Because I want to be forgiven quick. You see it’s the same measure. God is letting you set your own standards for your own trial. That’s a pretty good deal, I think. I like to forgive. I don’t like to have reasons to forgive. I mean I wish they wouldn’t do things, but they do, so do I. Praise God. Well, Jesus said, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for His sake, will save it.” There are those that lose their lives for prideful purposes maybe thinking they did it for God, but they didn’t. But “for His sake, in His will” they will find it. Daily you need to be like Paul and die daily. Daily you need to take up your cross and bear it, like Jesus said.
Control has its root in envy and covetousness , it comes out of insecurity and lack of trust. What is lack of trust? But it’s not fearing God, it’s not trusting in the Lord. To have that control spirit shows that we are not living a life that is laid upon Him, like John that laid his head upon His breast. In our own lives, even, to try to keep control when we need to release it to the Lord because He knows best. It’s like that poem, if I’d have thought about it I would have brought it tonight, but I didn’t know it would fit. The one about the broken toys. He brought his broken toys to God for Him to mend them and after a time he snatched them back and he said, “Why were you so slow?” And the Lord said, “Because my child you never did let go.” We need to let go and let God.
If we speak in the tongues of men and of angels but we don’t do it in charity, we don’t do it in the love of God then we are nothing. Matthew 5:19 says,”Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so… Okay, to break a commandment, we all do that, but to teach it to somebody else, teach them how to do that, teach them as doctrine, to say, “This is the way, not that way.” To say, “This is the way church is supposed to be,” when it’s just the opposite of what the Bible clearly says because we’ve always done it that way. But over here is what the Bible clearly says we are allowed to do.
That reminds me of a story. This woman, they were checking for some cookbook or something and she had this recipe for this ham and she cooked this ham so nicely and everything and she was showing them how to do it and she cut off the end of the ham and she did this thing with the ham and cooked it and it was great. They asked her, “Why do you cut off the end of the ham?” And she said, “Well, that’s what my mother taught me. That’s the way she always did it.” So they went and found the mother and they asked why she always cut off the end of the ham. She said, “Well, because that’s what my mother showed me to do.” So they went to the grandmother, the little old grandmother and they asked her, “This recipe I guess originally came from you?” She says, “Yeah.” We want to know why do you cut off the end of the ham? She says, “Because it wouldn’t fit in my roaster otherwise.” You see it may have made sense at one time but it doesn’t today, but we keep doing it, why? Because three generations ago it was good enough for them, it should be good enough for us, right?
What would they do in heaven? That’s what I want to know. What would Jesus do right now? If Jesus set up “church” right now in this town and I went to join it, I’m sure I’d have to change a few things. I just know I would, but you know what? Some day He is coming and He’s setting up church down here and I am going to go to that church and I’d like to not to have to unlearn so much. Okay? So I’d like to learn some of it now so I can be a little bit more prepared. Right? Wouldn’t you? Amen. We have bigger ovens than they use to have. Well whoever does these things, breaks these commandments, and teaches others to do so, so shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does them and teaches them, he shall be great in the kingdom of heaven. If we’ll do what He says and teach others we’re going to be great. There’s the one side, but the other side is if we do it wrong and then worse than just doing it wrong, teach others that this is the way it’s supposed to be.
What did He say about John the Baptist? Greater man has not been born of woman than John the Baptist, nevertheless he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Well He just told you right here who is least. Who’s going to be least in the kingdom of heaven? Those that have wrong doctrines and teach them that way when they ought to know better, but they still get in, don’t they? They might go through the fire like Paul said in 1Corinthians 3, but they are still going to get in, Praise the Lord. It’s a pretty good deal we have, right? But, I’m going to tell you something. I’d rather not be least. I want to make myself least now so then I’m not branded with an “L” on my forehead, okay. I don’t mind it on my belt, but not on my forehead. Least in the kingdom of heaven. We start putting our traditions and our ideas, even though our intentions might be good, if we put those ahead of God and we teach them to others, Jesus kind of had a word to the Pharisees about that. What they do to the next generation, it makes them ten-fold the child of hell than they were themselves.
Like I said, “I don’t believe that a Christian that’s saved can truly be a false prophet. Neither do I believe a Christian truly could be a false shepherd.” But we can sometimes have the attributes. A false apostle? Well, Paul warned the church to watch out for false apostles, didn’t He? Why? Because he knew they were going to be coming and then Jesus told the church in Ephesus and Revelation he says, “You guys tried those that said they were apostles and they were liars,” right? And he commended them for that so obviously there are some false apostles out there trying to sneak in. It goes for any of them.
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another… That’s the word “submit”, it’s hupotasso in both those words. One they translated “submit” and the other they translated as “submissive” but it’s the same word. In the King James it says “subject” one to another. This is the way I understand true Godly submission in the body of Christ not me over you, but if I’m older than you in the Spirit then you want to submit to me and if you’re older in another area then I ought to do what? Submit to you because it says to submit one to another, doesn’t it?
I see the Kingdom of God like a net , what a strange way to look at the Kingdom of God, but that’s what Jesus said it’s supposed to look like so when we start talking about covering we think of it in terms of the world and we have this tower of Babel with some guy over here covering some other guy that covering a bunch of other people and we have this pyramid coming on down, right? Well the way I look at it in the Bible is I see the angels covering God and they’re sure not greater than God. What are they doing? They are reflecting His glory. What are we supposed to do as a covering? We are supposed to reflect His glory. When I’m covering you, maybe I should be the glory of the Lord which is your rear guard to be a servant to you. That’s the kind of covering we could use, isn’t it? To cover for one another.
You see in the army, “I’ll cover for you, brother. Get out there.” You say, “No you go. I’ll cover you.” But submit one to another. We should cover for one another. It’s not that which one of you is so Godly you have this spiritual aura that can cover a body of believers. You may in some area, but then somebody needs to in another area. Why? Because we’re a body. There’s one Head. You see and you have an anointing and I have an anointing and in the area where God’s given you one, then pour it out. Let it flow. Let us all receive it and then we’ll each do the same, won’t we? We’ll all get covered by one another. See I’m not saying that there’s not order. There are those set in the church to rule. But it’s not a gift. Rulership is not a gift. If you are called to rule, then you’ll use whatever gift you may or may not have. Do it well, please. And do it in love. But it’s not a gift and just like you see with Saul and with others, it can be taken, where your gifts are not ever taken, even if you abuse them. Gifts and calling of God are without repentance, aren’t they?
1 Peter 5, (6) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…. You remember that example: apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, teacher , right? …humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (the five-fold ministers that are called to serve you, right?), humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (and that means the same for anybody, just like you saw earlier tonight. I called up the men here that have evangelistic calls on this life, right? Why? Because I need that. I need to submit, have I walked in that? You bet I have. One of the greatest blessings I have ever received in my life is when people confuse me with an evangelist, because I’m not one. But I can do evangelism. But I need to be under that part of the hand and I need to be associated with that. I need to humble myself under that ….under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.. (7) casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. You see we come to the temple, we cast all our cares upon Him when we go into His temple with praise and thanksgiving.
Every day we need to pick up our cross. What do we do with it? We cast it upon Him and we go in with praise and thanksgiving. It’s got to be a process that we go through every day so our prayers are not hindered and so He can exalt us. If you are humble, even in your prayer life, you may pray with all the gusto you have and you need to pray with the authority that God has given you because He has given it to you for a reason, and the things that you bind on earth are bound in heaven and the things that you loose on earth are loosed in heaven. But you know what? I always like to point out that we need to pray like Jesus prayed. He did it like this, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thy will be done.” I call that God’s “line-item veto.” That means you pray with all you have and you do everything you can , you put everything in to it, but just in case something came out of your flesh, when you say, “Not my will, but Your will” then He gets to cross out that one thing instead of having to throw out your whole prayer. You see? Amen. That’s submitting to God. That’s getting rid of the control and also getting rid of the fear that you might be controlling. Let Him have that line-item veto. Let Him cross out that one thing if it’s there instead of the whole thing. Sometimes we don’t get our prayers answered because we throw too much junk in there and He says, “I have to throw this whole thing out. Too much pork-barrel in here.” You see? But we submit it to God. We have to get into it knowing that He’s working in it, He’s a God that works in both the will and to do His good pleasure. Through Him we can do all things. We have to have that attitude and then we have to still know we have this treasure in earthen vessels and submit it to Him and allow Him to cross off those things that aren’t from His Spirit because we all have a human filter that the spirit of prophecy flow through.
Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. They do have to give an account. We in leadership and you when you act on behalf of the Lord, you will give an account for that. One reason there is so much abuse is because we have so little fear of God. We do not believe that God is just and He will really call us in account for the things that we do. You might go as a servant of God and you might do things on His behalf, but if He has not sent you, and if you’re doing it in a fleshly way, He will not receive it. Even though somebody may receive something good out of it because God is good and God loves and He’ll walk with that person because He loves them, but unless He can bring you into alignment before the judgment you’re going to hear about it. But better to hear about it now, right? To submit unto the Lord now because it says He gave the Holy Spirit which came as tongues of fire, like as a fire, and so there is a time now where we can be cleansed by the Holy Spirit which is like fire which hurts a lot less than “the” fire which is going to come. Amen. Then we have to pass through that thing. That’s going to hurt. You think it hurts now when you have to repent? When you have to confess your sins before men? Well, try it before the whole body of Christ when they have these good minds and perfect thoughts and they’re thinking, “Well, Bernie sure was bad, wasn’t he?” No. I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I know it’s going to be better to repent now. Just believe me. This is the Word of the Lord, “It’s better to handle it now, okay?” He gave the Holy Spirit for a reason, like as a fire hurts a lot less than fire. Okay. Sorry Bernie. I repent, too, Bernie for picking on you. You just happened to be in my line of vision. Poor guy. I’ll just tell you , it wasn’t prophecy, okay?
But they watch out for your souls. That’s good. We need those that will watch out for our souls. We need those that will cover us in battle, right? We need to watch out for them. Right? Too many pastors dying of sheep-bite. But there is an account going to be given. Even so we need to exercise forgiveness even to those that have hurt us and even to those that have exercised control because we’ve all done it ourselves and we need to be forgiven, also. We might even make a mistake and slip into it with good intentions. We need to have forgiveness. Forgiveness is a great weapon that’s used against the enemy and we need it tremendously in the body of Christ. By humility you’ll be able to release a great forgiveness and a great release. You know our leaders really need our prayers because we are in such a time of transition. The book of Acts when Paul was dealing with the church in Corinth and he wrote the letters to the Corinthian church and he was trying to keep that church together because there was division. We are up against a greater work in these days because we don’t have one church in function. We can’t write a letter to a city and say, “Hey you guys keep it together.” We have to write a letter to nine-hundred churches in this city and say, “Would you guys please get it together.” You see? I mean E Pluribus Unum. We have to get one out of many now. Where he was just trying to keep one together that he birthed, you see? And it grew and they started to divide and he just had to try to keep it together through the love of God and through the spirit of prophecy and the grace of God and the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. But we haven’t even got that. We have to get it together before we can keep it together. It’s a greater work. So we need at least as much love, if not greater love. Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends and Jesus said that and then He said, “I no longer call you servants, but I call you friends” and then you know what He did? He went out and laid down His life for those friends. We need to do the same thing. He did that for Judas. We need to do that for one another. We need to be able to lay down our lives even to those that might try to exercise control. Even if they do it for bad reasons, some of them do it for good reasons, right? We do it sometimes for good intentions, we need to kill that thing. Get rid of the flesh. Die to ourselves. Sin no more. “Don’t be wise in your own opinions,” it says in Romans 12. Verse 18 says, “If possible we need to live peaceably with all men.” There does come a time, because I’m not perfect, there comes a time with people that I have tried to help and I’ve worked with, I’ve even poured out my life for them, when it comes to my knowledge that I can no longer live peaceably, I’m going to lose my peace forever if I have to hang there anymore, so I need to separate myself, I’m only human and so are you. But rather than sin, I need to separate, but I’ll still bless them and so will you. But we need to be able above all to live peaceably as much as is within you, okay? Vengeance is the Lord’s.
In verse 20 it says, “Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Now because we have kind of a vengeful spirit sometimes we see this poor guy getting burned up with our kindness. Just kill him with kindness. That’s not what it’s talking about. You have to understand the Bible is an Eastern book. In those towns they would have a central fireplace and then you’d have your hearth either in your home or right outside of your door and in the morning somebody would go down from each household and get some coals from that fire and pick them up and bring them back to the house to start their fire because they didn’t have matches. Many times they would take a pot or a piece of a pot and put those coals on that and then they put them on a cloth on top of their head. You’ve seen how in the East they carry things on their head. They’d carry those coals of fire in that pot on their head and they’d get warm as they went from the top down the warmth would come, just like the love of God would warm us and take us out of the cold. That’s what Paul is saying, “If we’ll be kind even to those that are our enemies, that we’ll warm them up.” We’re going to bless them. To heap coals of fire is a blessing, not a curse. Not to burn them up, but to keep giving them the blessings, to give them the peace. We need to understand that too, because perhaps you’ve been hurt. Perhaps you were not understood when the Word of the Lord came to you or through you. Perhaps you were beaten down, perhaps you were even spoken against, perhaps you were called a false prophet and you know you weren’t. Perhaps you gave it perfectly , perhaps you didn’t. Perhaps you are in leadership and someone has come to you and tried to tell you that you’d better listen because “I’ve got the Word of the Lord.” And you’ve got the oversight of the people and you’ve got the care of the church. You’re looking out for the people and you don’t want them to receive something that they would have to deal with that’s not correct. So you’ve got to be kind back to those and realize you have to raise up those so we can have all five, so we have a mighty hand to submit under. So that we can in a true spirit of humility submit ourselves to one another by living for one another, by loving one another, by really allowing ourselves to die to ourselves so that we can live for Jesus Christ. So that He may once again be the Head of the Church and that we may once again hear His testimony out of His people spoken forth out of the mouths of babes will come perfect praise.
So I’d just like to end by exhorting us , the spirit of prophecy should obviously be used with all the fruit of the spirit involved. We should always walk in love whether you are received or you are rejected. It’s more important to have you obey and to walk in love is to obey. Always to walk in love is submitting yourself to the will of the Lord because if we love Him we will keep His commandments and He said that they, those in the world will know that you are My disciples, not because of your words, but because of your love one towards another and what we need in the body of Christ most of all is love. Out of that love will come faith. Out of that love will come prophecy. Out of that love will come the grace of God that He will be able to build His tabernacle on. Out of that love will come that prophetic mortar that will hold together those stones. Out of that love will come that plumb line that we can build upon so that we can draw the line in judgment and line up the plumb in righteousness.
So Father I just bless Your people. I thank You Lord for the grace that You have given unto us and that we each have a measure of faith. Lord, we might grow on that measure and that we might see it grow and expand that we might be able to minister to others. Lord that we would pour ourselves out before you that we would humble ourselves before You that You would forgive us even right now for those things, those times that we have tried to control, that we have tried to exercise our will over another. Lord, even if it were for good intentions that we were trying to exercise our will over another rather than to release your will. Father, we repent right now and we ask your forgiveness so that we could come with a contrite spirit, that we could come with a humble heart. Lord that You might energize us that we might be able to bless You by doing good unto Your people. And Lord that we might rise up a nation of priests. Lord that we might see a holy nation of prophets and Lord that we would see Your grace as a nation of kings. Lord that we would rule in this earth with Your blessings with all the authority that You have that You delegate unto us that we would show ourselves worthy. That we would take our one talent and we’d turn it into ten, Lord. That we’d take our ten talents and turn it into a hundred, Lord by wisely investing in Your Word, by wisely investing in obedience unto You and Your Kingdom. Lord because we know we all have an account in heaven and that as we go forth in love towards the brethren that we go forth in love one towards another, allowing Your Words to come out of us that they would be words of Spirit and they would be Words of Truth and they be Words of Life. That Your Body would be edified and grown up that we would be able to adjust and prepare for the things which You are about to do so that we’d be strong and we’d grow up into all things unto the Head. That we be a perfect man prepared to receive our Lord Jesus Christ. That daily we could be prepared to receive You. In Jesus’ Name I pray and thank you. Amen.
© Lloyd C. Phillips, Director
The Fellow Laborers’ International Network (FLInt Net)
P.O. Box 113 Missoula, MT 59806