The Missing Ingredients


I grew up in Puerto Rico where we love rice and beans. The best rice and beans I have ever eaten was the one that my grandmother, Genoveva Mercado cooked. My dear grandmother died some years ago and to this day I don’t know how she was able to make white rice and pinto beans taste so good. I am able to cook, but I am, without a doubt, missing one or many ingredients.

That is how I feel about many of the churches I have attended through the years; they are good, good people, good Word, good preaching and teaching, but there is something missing!  First Corinthians 14:3

 

“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”

 

            I believe that free flow of prophesy is one of those missing ingredients. Let’s look at a key word in this verse:

1.    Edification: from the Greek word “Oikodomeo” meaning: “to build a house; to build; well built.”

Many people in the Body of Christ are walking around depressed with very little confidence in God and in the abilities God has given them. Through the years they have been told what they can and cannot do and it has now become their own reality. Many have parents that constantly speak curses over their lives, others engage in terrible relationships where they were told horrible things about themselves, and still others grew up without the personality, the charisma and all of those things the world seeks for. So, they walk around as literal losers; as destroyed houses in need of rebuilding. They have, or are, experienced the hurricanes and tornados of life that have totally destroyed their dreams and purpose. This is where the prophet comes to build up in the Lord and remind God’s people what the Word says about them! Glory to Jesus!

2. Exhortation: from the Greek word Paráklēsis meaning: “a calling to one’s side; to beseech. The act of exhortation, encouragement, comfort. All of Scripture is actually a paráklēsis, an exhortation, admonition or encouragement for the purpose of strengthening and establishing the believer in the faith.” (Vine’s Exp)

Have you ever tried-out for a team? You went to practice and went through the hard training hoping to make the team. Week after week you heard the names of the ones being cut, but then finally, you heard your name called out as one who made it. What an amazing feeling that is! When exhorting someone, we are encouraging that person who perhaps is distant from their call and destiny in God. This is not a passive call, we are earnestly calling or even begging someone to return to God, to walk in His ways and to pursue his/her calling. It is the cry of the coach at halftime as the team is losing; it is the boxing-trainer getting in our faces with only a few rounds to go as we find ourselves tired and ready to give up; it is Wallace in the Mel Gibson movie “Braveheart” telling his army: “They can take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom!” It is Balboa in “Rocky 5” getting a beating on a street in Philadelphia by a young boxer and finding himself almost knocked-out. Nothing was able to give him that adrenaline, that juice and that inspiration to get up, but when he remembered his old coach, Mickey saying “Get up you….”  Beloved, this is indeed a passionate call, not just a normal quiet call, but it is almost like it forces us to raise our voices to be heard as our brothers and sisters find themselves so far away from their purpose in God.

3. Comfort: from the Greek word Paramuthía meaning “to console. Exhortation, encouragement. In the NT, consolation, comfort (1 Cor. 14:3). Paramuthía expresses a greater degree of tenderness, at least by word of mouth, than paráklēsis ([3874], comfort, encouragement) which carries a more general sense of helpfulness and comfort.” (Complete Word Study Dictionary NT)

To be a prophet, you don’t have to be loud; even as I see the loud sound of the trumpet as we exhort. When the prophet comforts, he/she is actually very tender. This is when the prophet places his/her arms around you and speaks softly into your destiny. This is when the prophets actually cries with you and helps you carry your burden. Your heart is already broken; you can’t hold back the tears and you feel the infections and pains of your heart and emotions being healed with every word spoken into your life.

My dear brothers and sisters, this is the missing ingredient; we must restore the office of the prophet in the church; we must release edification, exhortation and comfort into the lives of so many that find themselves at the end of the road consumed with the lies of the devil. May the Lord help us to be built up in HIM. May the Lord call us straight into our destiny and may we all be comforted; not for ourselves, but for the glory of God and for the many that are waiting for our full manifestation in Christ Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Confront the False Prophet and/or Teachers


false-prophet

The prophetic movement has been affected by the infiltration of false prophets and teachers who have caused a great deal of damage in local churches, since the beginning of the church. No doubt, no argument about this. However, the alternative is not to eliminate the Prophetic flow.

     The consequences of eliminating the expression of the Prophetic gift are devastating to the Body; we are then left with more man-made religions, agendas of man and little bulletin letters given to every person walking into the church with the order of the Sunday Morning Service. No excitement, no surprises and no opportunity for God to create and recreate in our mix. The preacher already knows what he/she is going to preach days before the service; there is not even an expectation of God changing his or her message.

     In my life as minister and, I am sure many probably will agree with me, my best sermons were the ones God gave me right as I was getting ready to preach. I came prepare to speak about a topic, but God wanted something else; it is then that we become true vessels for His glory. Not that we have to be irresponsible and not be prepared, however we must always be humble and wiling for the Lord to do and say whatever He wants to do and say through us. He is God, we are nothing without HIM. We must stop disrespecting the Holy Spirit with our Seminary arrogance.

     False teachers and false prophets are easily recognizable because they have a very clear and aggressive destructive agenda; they carry the spirit of the anti-Christ. As we study the Apostle’s letters they were constantly dealing with these false prophets and teachers. We must also learn to deal with them properly. The first thing that I want to point out is that we must make sure that this person is not just making an innocent Biblical mistake. Making a Biblical mistake does not make you a false teacher. We pray and hope that this person develops the heart of a disciple and that he/she be able to see the truth as shown in Scriptures. One of the purposes of Scripture is to correct; Second Timothy 3:16 tells us:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”

     Beloved, I know that in today’s world we are told to be tolerant, to be polite and to be open-minded, but when it comes down to the infiltration of these false doctrines we are encourage to be aggressive. The Apostles gave us the example by mentioning these false Teachers by name; they also gave us the names of individuals that moved away from the truth. Why then, are we so cowardly when it comes down to confrontation? We like to talk about sexual sin, but being a cower is not a sin that should be ignored; Revelation 21:8 tells us:

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

     We must boldly allow the prophetic gift to flow among our congregation; it is not an option, it is a must. The Apostle Paul tells is in First Corinthians 14:1-5

1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 

4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[c] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.” 

     The reason we have so many people lacking strength, discourage and in great pain is because we have cut off the prophetic. Many feel very comfortable wit the idea of controlling everything; it is easier for them and after all…well! The church is increasing in numbers, so it must be God blessing us! Beloved, the reality is that we can’t survive without the flow of this great gift!

So, how can we properly deal with the infiltration of false prophets and teachers?

  1. Prepare your flock to the prophetic movement by establishing how crucial it is to God’s people, the risk and how to deal with them. You must communicate that the enemy comes to corrupt every good thing, but that the solution is not to get rid of something that is of God, but to be able to keep the Biblical approach and integrity on the matter.

  2. Prepare the people by letting them know the reality of false Prophets and Teachers in the church.

  3. Establish clearly how the leaders intent to deal with them.

  4. Confront and correct even if it has to be done openly. We can’t allow false doctrines to even be entertained in the heart of your flock.

  5. Apply the sit down, be quite and get out policy.

  6. Let prophecies go through the process of confirmation. Somebody may say something off the wall; an event, a situation to come, etc. Do not disregard what was said, but if the person gives a time frame; make sure that he/she is held accountable after the time frame is up. If a person prophesizes that the church will be paid off in two months and two months are here and the church is not paid off, that person must be confronted about that prophecy.

  7. Let the Word be established by two or three witnesses. Prophets are not long rangers. If a prophecy is given to an individual about a possible relocation or something personal, etc. take the Word in, but no matter how good of a person the person that spoke into your life is, let those words be confirmed by two or three mature Christians that are not aware of the situation at hand. Second Corinthians 13:1 tells us:

 “…Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 

     The only thing needed to apply these very simple steps is boldness. Remember, Jesus was compassionate with the lost, but brutal wit he Pharisees. The Pharisees represented man-made religion which is probably the most dangerous spirit on this earth as they justify their evil by the wrong application of God’s Word. This spirit is so evil that it was the actual spirit behind the assassination of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same spirit that comes today to destroy God’s people.

     As a voice crying out in the desert, as one that sometimes feel as if I leave in an island all by himself, as someone that knows the end-result of doing things without the counsel of the Lord and as someone who has experience the horrible consequences of my own evil doing I cry out: Let the prophetic gift flow!