God gave each one of us a spirit. Our spirit is the inner most part of who we are. It is within our spirit that we worship the things we value the most. It is because of our spirit that we are alive right now. Genesis 2:7 tells us, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (KJV)
The moment our spirit leaves us, our flesh dies. On the cross we see that Jesus died the moment he gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50). Make no mistake about it, the story of Babel teaches us that the human spirit is indeed powerful. God knows that when we make up our minds to do something, nothing can stop us but God himself; good, bad or ugly. That’s why God needed to stop the Babel Project himself.
I want to make the point that we can accomplish much without the Spirit of God. Yes, we can! Have you taken a closer look at the many millionaires, highly educated and “successful” people out there who do not acknowledge God in anything they do? Furthermore, some even deny the very existence of God. So, having property, money, fancy houses, fancy cars, big buildings, fancy clothing, etc. are not evidence that God is there. Actually, throughout the Old Testament we see that the most powerful and rich nations were always ungodly. The Psalmist in Psalm 73:3 complained about this by stating, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (KJV)
Beloved, you don’t need the Holy Ghost to have material prosperity. Your own human spirit is enough for that. Sadly, I see many churches who want a piece of the pie of prosperity and are willing to do whatever it takes to do so. The problem is that to accomplish that goal they are compromising by 1) removing the activity of the Holy Ghost and, 2) adapting a form of godliness while diminishing the importance of the manifestation of the true signs of the power of God. These two compromises are accomplished by:
- An insensitive approach to the move of the Holy Ghost during our services. Very little mention of the Holy Spirit.
- An entertainment-like, stand-up-comedian-like and TV-Like atmosphere during the service.
- Time-limits during the service.
- Short messages, not too heavy on sin, doctrine or theology.
- Messages focus on the growth and prosperity of the church. Sometimes is almost like they want to keep people excited about the church, but in a carnal way, with activities and programs.
- Horizontal messages with very little teachings about the character of God.
- No transparency from ministers. You would think they are perfect!
- No divine interruptions; services are the same!
- A hyper focus on evangelism, with a water down gospel, while exclusively ignoring the Apostolic and Prophetic office.
- Love to get validation from political figures, successful businessmen and Hollywood.
We have learned from the more traditional denominations that by ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit, you can gain credibility in the world, look more dignifying, sophisticated and, actually experience a great deal of prosperity. That is, big buildings, prestigious schools, colleges, titles and, great wealth.
I am amazed to see even Pentecostal churches adapting this approach. You can sit in a Pentecostal service and never know they are Pentecostals because nobody is speaking in tongues, there is no preaching on deliverance, no casting out demons and no physical healings. All of those things are considered outdated and offensive; nevertheless, the Bible tells us in Mark 16:17-19,
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)
I am even more amazed to see what some of our women are wearing in our services. Even from the pulpit we see women with tied jeans, with leggings and in general, very seducing clothing. It seems like we went from the extreme of legalism to liberalism. We have now become experts in quenching the Holy Ghost and have “grown so much” that we now despise prophesy; we are now replacing the Holy Spirit for the human spirit. We still focus on Pastor-Teachers, and we have some good ones out there with good hearts. We also welcome evangelism as that gives us church growth, but there is no room for the apostles and no room for the prophet.
The disorder we see today is because of the lack of apostleship in the church. When you read through the apostle’s letters in the New Testament you can’t ignore that the apostles were constantly dealing with sin in the church and protecting the church from false teachings. But we have become so politically correct that we are afraid of offending people with the truth. Never mind that it is the truth that can make us free (John 8:32). When we lack the manifestation of the prophetic office, we also hurt the church badly as the prophet comes to edify the church. In First Corinthians 14:4 the Apostle Paul stated, “Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” (NIV)
The prophet brings edification to the church by strengthening, encouraging and comforting the saints (1 Corinthians 14:3). These three blessings are missing when the prophet is not allowed to use his gifts. That is why Paul tells us, “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.” (I Corinthians 14:4-5) The argument I am trying to make here is sealed with the words of Paul in First Thessalonians 5:19-20 “Quench not the Spirit. “Despise not prophesyings.” (KJV)
In conclusion, I am not speaking against the full expression of the pastoral gift or the evangelist or the teacher. I am passionately standing against the omission of the apostolic and the prophetic office and the quenching of the Holy Ghost. By divorcing the apostolic and prophetic office and, most importantly, by quenching the Holy Ghost, we are wasting our time and we are doing things by our own spirit and not by the Holy Spirit. How dare we do such a thing?
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 (KJV)