Three Dangerous Positions For A Believer

39575351_sThe Bible is to be taken in it’s entirety as the inspired Word of God. There is nothing in Sacred Scripture that is not necessary for the believer to know and do. However, these days it seems that many believers are selective in their approach to the Bible, choosing to follow only those areas of particular interest and seeming benefit to one’s temporal life. With this thought in mind, we should remember the wisdom of Proverbs 11:1 KJV,

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.”

To be in balance as a believer we must accept all the teaching of Scripture, not just the part that teaches us privilege but also responsibility. We must also understand that God’s Word brings us comfort and assurance but also warnings and judgement. How have we become so  one sided in our beliefs and lifestyle? I believe it is fruit of the teaching we hear that is a result of the church leaders being shaped by the congregation instead of the church leaders shaping the congregation according to the complete teaching of Scripture. Paul warns us not to be “conformed to this world” or “shaped by it’s culture.” Yet many believers are shaped by the culture around them and then expect the teaching of the church to support their beliefs or they will leave and find a place that does. Sadly, there are those church leaders that preach and teach only what people want to hear, thus they allow the congregation to shape them as leaders. Paul warned us again to beware of this scenario when people would want their “ears tickled” with popular teaching that is way out of balance with the whole Word of God. With these thoughts in mind, I want to share a bit of warning to believers from Scripture that reveal three positions Christians must avoid in their journey with Christ. As a Pastor, these things may not make us popular, but as one man said, “I would rather have people hate me for telling the truth, than to have them love me for telling them lies.”

DRIFTING

Hebrews 2:1-4 “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

We are told to “pay attention” to the Word of God so that we would not “drift away” from the truth. The term implies that those who are not fully anchored to the Word of God will, like a ship at sea, drift and get lost in the darkness. Believers are admonished to be intentional in their moorings to Scripture, checking up on themselves to make sure we are holding fast to our confession of faith in Christ and living the life of a true follower who is always seeking to please God through obedience and service to His Kingdom. Those who “drift” from commitment to the Local Church and it’s balanced teachings are in danger of losing direction in life and ending up in shipwreck. Mature sons and daughters of Father God are always seeking to do those things that please Him. John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” This verse suggests to us that Christ himself was aware of the temptation to “drift” and was “always” keeping himself anchored to the will and Word of God.

SIFTING

Luke 22:31-32 “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Here Jesus reveals to Peter what is happening in his life and what the outcome will be. He tells Peter that there is a spiritual warfare over his destiny and that Satan is trying to separate him from Jesus, who is his spiritual father and mentor. This sifting is taken from the analogy of the Threshing Floor where the wheat was separated from the chaff prior to grinding for making bread. Every spiritual son and daughter will be sifted by the enemy. Satan is always trying to disconnect us from the sources that God has connected us to for our preparation and possession of blessing. It happens in many ways as Satan uses his subtle schemes to derail us and destroy our destiny. Peter was listening to the voice of the adversary who was attempting to bring about his betrayal of Jesus, the spirit of Absalom is at work today as then. Some will betray their leaders through offense, others who are not willing to sacrifice themselves for God’s will, find an excuse to fault their leaders and move on. However the enemy does it, his aim is to “divide and conquer.” Peter’s apostolic destiny would have ended right then and there if Jesus had not been aware of the warfare and done the necessary intercession to free his disciple and bring restoration to his calling. You can read the whole story of Peter and see how the prophetic Word came to pass as Jesus spoke it, “When you are converted (return to your calling) go and strengthen your brethren.” For sure, those who have almost lost it all due to spiritual warfare are able to help those who are under attack to recognize and resist the devil.

1 Peter 5:8-10 “Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[b] the God of all grace, who called us[c] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

LIFTING

1 Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

‘God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.’

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Pride is part of our inheritance from Adam in the sinful nature we are born with. The tendency to exalt ourselves must be dealt with by learning to wait upon the Lord under the guiding hand of eldership within the Local Church. There is such safety in spiritual covering, that is why the Lord set up the Local Church with apostolic government. As we grow in Christ, we may not yet see ourselves accurately, or discern the timing of the Lord. Pride is a “false estimation of ourselves” while humility is a “correct estimation of ourselves.” Pride causes one to overestimate themselves in terms of their spiritual maturity and readiness for leadership responsibility in the plan of God. Pride creates blind spots that usually derive from our spiritual gifts and anointing (just like Lucifer), we then see ourselves as “more than we really are.” Lucifer so overestimated himself that he actually thought he could rule the Universe better than Almighty God. This self exultation brought about his loss of position in God’s eternal plan. Satan desires to lead every believer down the path he choose for himself, that is why we must follow the instructions Peter left for us in this Epistle. When we have been poisoned with pride we may feel that we know better than the seasoned leadership God placed in our lives, and may no longer follow their advice in a spirit of humility. We can only be lifted up by God when we have refused to lift ourselves. Jesus was tempted to exalt himself when Satan suggested that he jump from the pinnacle of the temple and be rescued by angels. Pride causes one to think they don’t have to live by the same rules and standards as others, that they are somehow above it. When pride is operating in a person they will think they don’t have to walk the same path of qualification as others do in order to be promoted in God’s plan. Jesus knew that the laws of gravity applied to him as well, even if he was the Son of God. He refused to bite the bait of self exultation.

These three areas of particular danger for believers need to be understood and implemented to guarantee our fruitfulness in God’s Kingdom plan. We can overcome these attacks of Satan that come from within and without only with a “broken and contrite spirit.” Apostolic teaching is not complete without making these truths known to God’s sons and daughters.

Dr. John Polis

Advertisements

Developing The Faith Of A Champion

19287057 - hand holding a winner s medal, success in competitions

“And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:32

Young David went to face the “champion of the Philistines”. As the unofficial champion of Almighty God, he had a champion faith which enabled him to take out his adversary.

You and I will need that kind of champion faith in these last days as well. This is be- cause Jesus said in Luke 21:26 “…men’s hearts will fail them for fear of those things they see coming on the earth…”

Think about David as he looked at all of Saul’s army hiding in the trenches, shivering with fear because of Goliath’s roar of blasphemy. He wasn’t overcome because everyone else was, but on the contrary, their cowardice made him angry and more determined to destroy the enemy whom he knew was already a defeated foe.

“And all men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.” “And David spake to the men that stood by him saying,’ What shall be done to the man that kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?’” I Samuel 17:24, 26

David had one thing on his mind and that was the fact that this was not just his enemy, but Goliath was defying Almighty God and therefore in deep trouble. David knew that God would need someone to use executing vengeance upon His enemy, so he stepped up to the plate and said it might as well be me.

Praise the Lord! We should remember that our enemies are God’s enemies because we have a covenant with God. He will defeat them by using one of us as HIS CHAMPION, just like He did with Jesus when He walked this earth.

Jesus was God’s Champion, who through the Holy Ghost, defeated every enemy he faced which was threatening the future of the people of God (Acts 10:38).

You can defeat that which stands in opposition to God’s plan for your life! 

What are some of the steps we can learn from David that will help us develop this championship faith as well? What made David different from all the rest of his contemporaries that brought him to his great destiny in God?

First we should know that David was a youth, a mere boy of about 15 years. This tells me that David didn’t wait until he was an adult to get to know God. David was not a time waster when it came to his spiritual life.

During those early years while herding his father’s sheep, he developed qualities that enabled him to step up to the plate when his opportunity for advancement came.

Many people are unprepared for the day of opportunity because they have wasted so much time after becoming a believer. Instead of pressing in while a spiritual youth through prayer, fasting, and study of God’s Word, many have allowed the cares of life and an unbiblical value system to rob them of time needed for preparing themselves for God’s plan in the future.

God is preparing you for the day of battle, because the day of battle is also the day of advancement! Don’t forget that after this battle (David vs. Goliath) A NOBODY BECAME A SOMEBODY.

Did you ever wonder why you have had the seemingly tough training during your formative years as a Christian? This could be the reason; Satan will be there to defy you when it is time for promotion. You will not get to your destiny without defeating the Goliath that stands in your way. You will need Championship faith in that hour.

What four qualities did David develop that enabled him to win his big battle and breakthrough to destiny?

  1. He was faithful in his father’s house.
  2. He had a tender heart of worship.
  3. He understood covenant concepts.
  4. He understood faith principles.

Faithful In The Father’s House

David was tending his father’s sheep. He learned to be faithful in the house of his father.

Submission and obedience are implied in this message. We see David being faithful to duty at this time in his life. He was obeying the assignment his father had given him; to watch the sheep and to take lunch to his brothers on the battle front.

It is important that believers learn to be faithful to duties in the local church right away and develop the ability to stay under authority and do a good job while there.

Many people downplay this important part of preparation and roam about looking for opportunity that never comes.

A Tender Heart Of Worship

He was called the “sweet singer of Israel” because he developed intimacy with God while tending the sheep. He learned to draw near to God through praise and worship allowing his heart to become tender to God. This tenderheartedness is what caused him to be so grieved when he sinned, and to immediately seek restoration with the Lord.

Many today have no grief over their sin, but continue in hardheartedness and denial of their wrongdoing. A tenderhearted worshipper cannot stay out of fellowship with God for long, but will repent and seek God’s presence.

Covenant Concepts

David also learned the key of covenant relationship while a youth. He understood that Goliath was an uncircumcised Philistine.

Circumcision was the entrance to covenant in Israel. No uncircumcised person could partake of the covenant blessings of God promised to the people. God is cutting away the flesh that hinders us from entering covenant with others that have been placed in our lives for further maturity and impartation.

Have you allowed circumcision in your life at the hand of a skilled workman who takes the sword of the spirit delicately to those areas that need cut away?

He Understood Faith Principles

Lastly, David learned to speak the Word in faith when he faced the enemy. He said, “The Lord delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, and HE WILL DELIVER ME out of the hand of this Philistine.”“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him. And there was no sword in the hand of David.” I Sam. 17:37, 50 But there was a SWORD IN HIS MOUTH!

When we have learned these four indispensable traits, we will be ready to both defeat our adversary and move into promotion.

Dr. John Polis

Apostolic Succession

40746212_sGod never intended for the Church to lose what it had been given in the beginning. The same revelation, power, and authority that Jesus shared with the first disciples was intended to be passed to future disciples in every generation. Possibly, if God’s intent had been carried out, we would already be in the New Heaven and New Earth the bible speaks of.

The Good News is that we can pick things up again and implement the strategy that Jesus used in order to retain what we have been given since the Reformation began in the 1500’s. We can keep the restoration move of God going and bring it to its conclusion in the Return of the Lord following the final harvest of the Earth by understanding some keys found in the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand in John 6:11-13. There are amazing truths found here.

RECEIVE

The first thing a successor must do is learn to receive from the one God is using to build and instruct them. V. 11 ”And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples..” The word “distributed” means “to deliver over as to a successor.” When I looked up this word a whole new insight developed from this passage. Jesus was revealing a pattern to us for future generations of ministry sons and daughters who would carry on the message and mission without losing anything. We must take what has already been given through the Spirit to our spiritual parents and as we use it, it will “multiply.” When I am training another generation, I require them to read the books I have written, get my revelation and use it until God multiplies it with a revelation of their own to compliment and add too with even more depth. This is the pattern, we don’t start with our own revelation and preach only what “God has spoken to me.” Humility will cause a protégé to take what is being given from the mentor, knowing it is “already blessed.”

RELEASE

The disciples took from the hand of Jesus and distributed it to the multitude. V. 11 “…He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down…” A successor will release the revelation to even greater numbers than the one who was giving to them. God intends that ministry will multiply. Jesus gave to the twelve, they gave it to thousands. A miracle takes place when successors are faithful with what they have been given. “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). I am thinking of a young man I know very well who took over his father’s ministry when the father passed. The young man was a protégé of his father; full of the revelation he gleaned from his dad. As he began to distribute that which was already blessed, God multiplied it to feed another generation. The church grew from 200 to 20,000 in weekly attendance. As we release what we have received, multiplication occurs supernaturally in quantity and quality.

RETAIN

True successors will not only Receive and Release the blessed bread of the Word they have been given, but they will also see that nothing is lost in the process. Retaining not only what they were given, but what was multiplied as they released to others. The revelation continues to grow and people are “filled with the knowledge of God’s will” (Colossians 1:9-11).

I am seeing that some things God released to the Church during the Charismatic Renewal of the 70’s and 80’s are in danger of being lost, many believers have gaps in their spiritual education regarding some truths that were revealed before they got into the present move of God. A true successor will go back through the revelations of every wave and continue teaching the “whole counsel of God” in order to bring The Church to maturity in Christ (Colossians 1:25-29). Jesus told the disciples to “Gather up the fragments that remain, that NOTHING BE LOST” (John 6:12). Let us, who are in the Apostolic Reformation today do the same! As we train our sons and daughters to be successors, let us follow the pattern Jesus used, teaching them to

Receive, Release and Retain the precious truths of God’s Eternal Word.

Dr. John Polis

Give Me My Mountain

3323371_sFor those who have been waiting a seemingly long time to possess your prophetic destiny, here are six characteristics of someone who didn’t leave the earth before obtaining what was promised. By following the steps of Joshua and Caleb, we can see fulfillment of the Word of God even if we have to wait till we are 80 years old.

  1. “They searched out the land” Numbers 13:2. We must be able to see the good things in our future before we can obtain them. A great man of God once said, “If you can see the invisible, you can do the impossible.”  As we meditate on the Word of God and pray in the spirit, we are “searching out the land” of our lives to see what lies in store for us in God’s plan. Holy Spirit in us enables us to see future events before they happen.
  2. “Rulers among them” Numbers 13:2. These men had the quality of faithfulness, they were mature and responsible men who had proven character before the Lord. Those who are entrusted with great responsibility have been trustworthy with smaller responsibilities in the Kingdom of God. Before becoming elders in the Body of Christ, we must first use the office of a deacon well, learning how to become servants.
  3. “A spirit of faith” Numbers 13:30. Faith is in two places according to Romans 10:8-10, “in the heart and in the mouth.” Paul said that Christians have this same spirit of faith in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “speaking with the mouth what we believe in the heart.” Caleb said what he believed, “Let us go up at once for we are well able to possess it.”  You can’t speak one thing and possess another as Jesus said, “He shall have whatsoever he saith.” Mark 11:23 KJV
  4. “Not easily influenced by others” Numbers 13:31-32. Staying free from contamination of evil reports is necessary to stay in faith and possess the promises of God. When a majority is saying “it’s not possible”, pointing out all the obstacles that must be overcome, the spirit of faith will overcome and remain unmoved for as long as it takes. Paul said, “for We walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV
  5. “Faith and Patience” Numbers 14:37-38. The Word says that Joshua and Caleb lived stillafter all the “doubters who spoke an evil report before the Lord” had died. Paul said those who have the “diligence of faith and patience” will possess the promises, Hebrews 6:11-12. Patience is the ability to stay in faith as long as it takes.
  6. “Knew when to move” Joshua 14:12. “Now therefore, give me this mountain.” The time comes when the Lord is ready to manifest His glory in the fulfillment of His promises, we must stay ready in faith so that we are able to move with Him.

The Lord has put these wonderful examples of faith in His Word, the Word of Faith, so that we may follow in the steps of faith and live out God’s plan to the fullest; only leaving this life when His full will has been accomplished. As Paul said, “I am now ready to be offered up” 2 Timothy 4:6. He knew he had seen the fulfillment of what had been spoken to him by the Spirit of God.

Dr. John Polis

Identifying Prophetic People

10518391_sApostles and Prophets must work together to establish the Church and prepare it for the mission of establishing God’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. I once heard that “apostles will take you deep in the Word” and “prophets will take you high in the Spirit.” According to Jesus, we need both the Word and Spirit to be complete in Christ (John 4:24), so these two gifts must work in tandem for the success of God’s work. When prophets are being trained for release, there are eight characteristics that should be evident in their lives.

  1. Understanding timing. Jesus operated as Prophet and was keenly aware of God’s timing in His life. John 13:1 ESV states, “Now before the feast of Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Prophetic people can wait on God to move before they move, a very key element of a prophetic lifestyle.
  2. Understand that revelation is progressive. Hebrews 6:1 KJV, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God…” Prophetic people will build the Word of God into their livesline upon line and precept upon precept” (Isaiah 28:10 KJV) because they are aware that God operates in a systematic way, and they are not jumping ahead of where the Spirit is trying to instruct them at the time.
  3. Understand Divine restraint. Paul told the Corinthians that the spirit of the prophets was subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians14:32 KJV). Prophetic people will learn to restrain the urge to manifest their gift until it can be done, “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV).
  4. Stay on fire for God. Jeremiah said the the Word of God was like a fire shut up in his bones. (Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV). Staying on fire is a matter of keeping the Word of God alive in our hearts. Prophetic people don’t just live by the anointing upon them but by the revelation within them.
  5. High regard for the written Word of God. “Knowing this FIRST, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-20 KJV). Prophetic people learn to live by the written Word of God, not exclusively by the prophetic utterances that come forth because they may change, being conditional upon man’s cooperation, but the written Word of God never changes.
  6. Spontaneous and flexible. Jesus said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth…” (John 3:8 KJV) meaning God changes directions in our lives at times without prior warning. We have to learn to be flexible as prophetic people and make adjustments to our course when it is unexpected. Some people who had a prophetic word have become stagnated because God changed plans and they were unwilling to let go of what was no longer God’s will.
  7. Sharp and discerning. The Word of God is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 KJV). The more of God’s Word is abiding in your heart, the more prophetic you will become, and all the more discerning. Prophetic people are able to make righteous judgments in situations due to the clarity of their discerning. Jesus didn’t entrust himself to certain individuals, “because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25 KJV).
  8. Praisers. “..and it shall come to pass, when thou art come hither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets, coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tablet, and a pipe, and a harp, before them, and they shall prophesy” (1 Samuel 10:5 KJV). Prophetic people have learned to break into high places of Spirit through praising God and have made a lifestyle of praising God. Prophetic people can maintain the atmosphere of open heavens due to the high praises of God.

When training people to live in a prophetic anointing, these eight characteristics should be encouraged by leadership.

The Kingly Anointing

30085725_sIn 1997 I wrote a book entitled He Cutteth Out Rivers, describing the difference between the Prophetic, Priestly, and Kingly anointings, and how believers can flow at all levels.  Since that time, God has been speaking specifically about the Kingly Anointing that has been released upon the Church and with greater detail regarding characteristics of this particular anointing.

OUR POSITION AS KINGS

First of all, we should understand that all believers already have the status of a “king” according to Revelation 1:5-6, which says, “Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us Kings and Priests unto God and His Father…”.  Jesus is called the “King of kings and Lord of lords” in 1 Timothy 6:15.  The “other” kings and lords mentioned in this verse happen to be those who are “in Christ” and already have the positional status mentioned.  We must now learn how to actually live out this positional truth in our everyday lives by renewing our minds to the Word and acting accordingly in thought, word and deed.  Glory to God! We are who He says we are, we have what He says we have, and we can do what He says we can do!

OUR FUNCTION AS KINGS

Current apostolic revelation emphasizes kingdom government concepts, which are the truths that Jesus will run the universe by for eternity.  We are just in the “training for reigning” and “schooling for ruling.”  Part of our training and schooling includes the nature and role of kings in the kingdom of God.  The truths regarding the nature and role of prophets and priests have been restored to us in recent moves of God, and now is the time for kings to understand their function and biblical role in the restoration of the church.

Apostle Paul told us in Romans 5:17 that everyone who receives the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness “shall REIGN IN LIFE by one, Jesus Christ.”  It is kings who reign by exercising dominion in all realms of life and ruling with character, wisdom, power and wealth.  There is a kingly anointing that has been released upon the restoration church, and we are seeing apostolic leaders raised up with a generational blessing upon their lives because they have become sons and daughters of the house, having learned to serve those with an Elijah anointing upon their lives.  It is time for these “sons and daughters” to partake of the next level of anointing that God is pouring out upon us by receiving the revelation being given and following those who are walking in it.

THE KINGLY EXAMPLE

The Gospel of Matthew is written mainly to the Jews to prove that Jesus was indeed the awaited Messiah who fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming King.  This gospel portrays a King teaching others how to be kings.  “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He that is born KING OF THE JEWS? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.’ ” (Matthew 2:1-2).  Jesus shows us in this gospel how to live and reign in this life as a king in the kingdom of God.  He totally ruled over the kingdom of darkness through apostolic power and authority.  He also established rule in the hearts of men by love and servant-leadership that would make any sacrifice for their welfare.  He won the confidence of those he served by his kingly character, wisdom, and power.  He demonstrated the unlimited resources available to a king ruling under the authority of Omnipotence.

A POOR KING?

According to tradition, “poor Jesus” was born in a stable to “poor parents” who were turned into the night when they showed up at the door at the inn “begging for lodging.”  According to the truth or the Gospel, Joseph went to the hotel to “rent lodging” because he could afford it, but the hotel was fully booked for the night, so they went to the stable because Mary was about to deliver the Christ.  Shortly after the birth of Jesus, wise men arrived and “opening their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11).  There is a principle demonstrated here whereby one always entered the presence of a King bearing gifts in honor and respect.  This not only occurred at Jesus’ birth, but also during His life and ministry (see Luke 8:1-3).  Jesus walked in the wealth of a king while on the earth and never had shortage.  Have you ever seen a poor king?

It is the kingly anointing that is attracting wealth these days.  We should not be after the “loot” but after the “root.”  We must develop the character and wisdom of kings, and then the power and wealth will follow.  The message of the Kingly anointing is for those who are ready for maturity as saints.  We can see from the Old Testament that the kings who ruled without character and wisdom failed and led people to destruction, but those who ruled with Christ-like qualities had long and successful reigns that glorified God and blessed people.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS KINGS

I believe the kingly anointing is for the apostolic church which has embraced responsibility for the advance of the Kingdom in this present age.  It is obvious from the past behavior of many Christians that a person can experience prophetic anointing and minister to God as priests at the altar while still living fleshly, self-centered lives.  However, the kingly anointing will flow through character and wisdom produced in the lives of those who have decided to “wholly follow the Lord” in all the restoration truths given to us up until now in the Church.  The kingly anointing was given to His disciples (those who “left all to follow Him”).  We are the people who live in this tremendous time of restoration of all things, so let’s determine to “be all” and have all” that God provided and desires for our lives, so that we can demonstrate the authority and power of the Kingdom of God in this present age.

Developing the Faith of a Champion

18747682_sYoung David went to face the champion of the Philistines.  As the “unofficial champion” of Almighty God, he had a “champion faith” which enabled him to take out his adversary.  You and I will need that kind of “champion faith” in these last days as well, because Jesus said in Luke 21:26 that “men’s hearts will be failing them for fear” as they look upon their adversaries.  Think about David as he looked at all of Saul’s army hiding in the trenches, shivering with fear because of Goliath’s roar of blasphemy.  He wasn’t overcome because everyone else was, but on the contrary, their cowardice made him angry and more determined to destroy the enemy whom he knew was already a defeated foe.  “And all men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid….And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel?” (I Samuel 17:24, 26).  David had one thing on his mind, and that was the fact that this was not just his enemy, but Goliath was defying Almighty God and therefore in deep trouble.  David knew that God would need someone to use executing vengeance upon His enemy, so he stepped up to the plate and said it might as well be me.

Praise the Lord.  We should remember that our enemies are God’s enemies because we have a covenant with God.  He will defeat them by using one of us as His Champion, just like He did with Jesus when he walked this earth.  Jesus was God’s Champion, who through the Holy Ghost defeated every enemy he faced that was threatening the future of the people of God (see Acts 10:38).

YOU CAN DEFEAT THAT WHICH STANDS IN OPPOSITION TO GOD’S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE!

What are some of the steps we can learn from David that will help us develop this championship faith as well?  What made David different from all the rest of his contemporaries that brought him to his great destiny in God? First we should note that David was a “youth,” a mere boy of about 15 years.  This tells me that David didn’t wait until he was an adult to get to know God.  David was not a “time waster” when it came to his spiritual life.  During those early years while herding his father’s sheep, he developed qualities that enabled him to “step up to the plate” when his opportunity for advancement came.

Many people are unprepared for the day of opportunity because they have wasted so much time after becoming a believer.  Instead of pressing in while a “spiritual youth” through prayer, fasting, and study of God’s word, many have allowed the cares of life and an unbiblical value system to rob them of time needed for preparing themselves for God’s plan in the future.  God is preparing you for the day of battle, because the day of battle is also the day of advancement.  Don’t forget that after this battle (David & Goliath), a nobody became a somebody!

Did you ever wonder why you have had the seemingly “tough training” during your formative years as a Christian?  This could be the reason – satan will be there to “defy you” when it your time for promotion.  You will not get to your destiny without defeating the Goliath that stands in your way; therefore, you will need “championship faith” in that hour.

What are the four qualities David developed that enabled him to win his “big battle” and breakthrough to destiny?

  1. He was faithful in his father’s house.
  2. He had a tender heart of worship.
  3. He understood covenant concepts.
  4. He understood faith principles.

David was “tending his father’s sheep.” He learned to be “faithful in the house of a father.”  Submission and obedience are implied in this message.  We see David being faithful to duty at this time in his life, obeying the assignment his father had given him:  to watch the sheep and to take lunch to his brothers on the battle front.  It is important that believers learn to be faithful to duties in the local church right away and develop the ability to stay under authority and do a good job while there.  Many people downplay this important part of preparation and roam about looking for opportunity that never comes.  David was called “the sweet singer of Israel” because he developed intimacy with God while tending the sheep.  He learned to draw near to God through praise and worship, allowing his heart to become tender to God.  This tenderheartedness is what caused him to be so grieved when he sinned, and to immediately seek restoration with the Lord.  Many today have no grief over their sins, but continue in hardheartedness and denial of their wrongdoing.  A tenderhearted worshipper cannot stay out of fellowship with God for long, but will repent and seek God’s presence.

David also learned the key of “covenant relationship” while a youth.  He understood that Goliath was an “uncircumcised Philistine.”  Circumcision was the entrance to covenant in Israel.  No uncircumcised person could partake of the covenant blessings of God promised to the people.  God is cutting away the flesh that hinders us from entering covenant with others that have been placed in our lives for further maturity and impartation.  Have you allowed circumcision in your life at the hand of a “skilled workman” who takes the “sword of the spirit” delicately to those areas that need cut away?

Lastly, David learned to “speak the word” in faith when he faced the enemy.  He said, “The Lord delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, and HE WILL DELIVER ME OUT OF THE HAND OF THIS PHILISTINE….So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him.  AND THERE WAS NO SWORD IN THE HAND OF DAVID.” (I Samuel 17:37, 50, emphasis mine).  But there was a SWORD IN HIS MOUTH.

When we have learned these four indispensable traits, we will be ready to both defeat our adversary and move into promotion.

Overcoming the Independent Spirit

25459205_s It is not a new revelation that we have a fatherless generation in our world presently, with all the attending consequences of dysfunction, independence, anger and hopelessness.  God called it a curse in Malachi 4:5-6: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

A number of years ago, God began to change the hearts of religious leaders into spiritual fathers, who say to their disciples “come follow me” (Mathew 4:19).  They were seeking a genuine relationship of love where sons and daughters are blessed with the generational inheritance of a double portion (Deuteronomy 21:17).

After this change occurred and fathers were in a place to receive sons into relationship, God began to “turn the hearts of the children” with men and women seeking out their spiritual fathers and mothers.  These followers whose hearts have been delivered from the orphan spirit also have a cry in their hearts which says, like Elisha, “I will not leave thee” (2 Kings 4:4).

When Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, the elder prophet responded, “you have asked a hard thing.”  What difficulty was he referring to?  It certainly would not be hard for God to give Elisha the blessing, and it wouldn’t be hard for Elijah to lay hands upon him either.  So what was the problem?  It was going to be hard for Elisha to become the son he wanted to be.

When Elisha asked for the double portion, he was referring to the generational inheritance that belongs to a firstborn son (Deuteronomy 21:17).  In effect, he was actually asking Elijah to become his spiritual father.

Many would-be sons and daughters have identified the need for an “Elijah” in their life.  They have asked for relationship as well, not fully realizing the process that would qualify them for the inheritance and right to be called a son or a daughter.

Those who have grown up without a natural father in their life have many of the results mentioned above.  I personally know the struggle of growing up with a breadwinner and not a dad.  After getting saved and called to ministry, I sought for a father through every spiritual leader in my life and found only those who had not been fathered themselves.  This kind of a person was incapable of being a father to me.  I often encountered the abuse of a “Saul” type of religious leader, or the rejection of an insecure one who was trying to minister from their own dysfunction.  These experiences caused me to press into God for a fathering spirit myself.  This is when God gave me my first revelation of the Elijah anointing.

It is possible to be raised by God in the absence of a real spiritual father in your life, but that is not the pattern that God intended. God planned for spiritual fathers to raise their families and leave a legacy of sons and daughters for generations who would continue the process with their own offspring in the spirit.

When we grow up without a spiritual father, we develop an independent spirit.  An independent spirit is a characteristic of an orphan heart.  A person with an independent spirit has had no one to approve, appoint, protect, or promote them.  They end up having to do these things themselves.  These are normally the functions of a father in our lives.  The independent spirit is easy to identify because it is self-appointing, self- protecting, and self-promoting.  The problem then becomes one of being able to function within a family.

Relationships are difficult, many often ending in offense and discouragement.  This is why we see people with an independent spirit are not able to stay in one place very long.  They wander and roam not knowing they are looking for a family.  But families have fathers.

When this happens, recognizing and accepting a father into our lives becomes a “hard thing.”  Remember the words of Elijah to Elisha…”you have asked a hard thing.”

An independent spirit will not let an individual be the representative of another – they can only represent themselves.  But in the process of becoming a son or daughter, we learn to represent another.  Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen My Father” (John 14.9).

In relationship to our earthly spiritual fathers, others should be able to see the spirit of the fathers in the sons and daughters.  The Apostle Paul said Timothy was a “true son” because he was able to represent Paul accordingly (Philippians 2:19-22).  If we have not served with another as a son does with a father, God will connect us with a father whom we can serve until we become a son.

We will have to enter another’s vision and become representative of it in order to be delivered from the independent spirit of self that has grown from our orphan heart.  Our spiritual fathers will know when true sonship has occurred, just like Elijah knew when Elisha was ready to receive his inheritance.  Elijah said, “If you see me when I go up,” which in the original language means, “If we see eye to eye.”  Elisha had learned to see eye to eye with his spiritual father’s vision.

Can you see your spiritual father’s vision and represent it?  This is the pathway to deliverance from an independent spirit, and the road to recovery from an orphan heart.

When we become true sons, curses resulting from an orphan heart are broken in our lives (Malachi 4:6).  We enter into freedom from a self-directed life.  We have a deeper revelation of our Father’s Love for us, because the independent spirit keeps us blinded to a degree.  We are able to receive and give love without the hindrances of insecurity, inferiority, and poor self-perception.

Without seeing a father’s vision and serving it, we have been left to serve our own vision.  Of course we have individual visions, but sonship occurs through the process of relating to a spiritual father as we serve the vision of another man.  This is what Elisha did.  This is what the disciples of Jesus did.  This is what Joshua did, and it is what we must all do.

Many believers have an independent spirit because they have encountered abuse from parents or other authority figures.  Because of this they have decided that no one else is worthy of trust when it comes to their life and destiny.  With the availability of Chris- tian TV, radio, seminars, conferences, and ministry partnerships with nationally known ministers, other believers have grown spiritually without relating to a local church family where there was a spiritual father in the house.  They approach the church with the “self-approved, -appointed, -promoted and -protective attitude” and are difficult to deal with.

This is the hard thing brought about by fatherlessness.  If their established agenda is not appealed to by the leadership, they simply move on looking for the right place (meaning a place where they can represent themselves without confrontation).

Pastors can usually see the calling on a believer’s life, and will believe in their personal vision, but still will not be able to release that person within the church because of their inability to see beyond their own thing.  Such dear people can cause unintentional damage if they do not understand and relate properly to the “vision of the house.”  This can cause offense and confusion which gives place to accusation and betrayal, ruining many good churches.

The same is true with ministry sons and daughters who are being connected to today’s apostolic movements.  If they have developed their ministry vision through an independent spirit, the apostle to whom they connect may have the same problems as the local pastor we just described.  These anointed vessels may have the same traits of the independent spirit and will need to understand that they must be in submission to the father whom God has placed in their life.

This simply means they must submit, or come under the mission of another.  The independent-spirited one may fight for recognition for a while, wanting the father to recognize their call and vision, providing opportunity before any loyalty to the father’s vision is established.  They have not yet realized the move of the Spirit today to “restore the hearts of fathers and children,” and that this is the prophetic mandate upon the church at this time.

This process will produce the mature sons and daughters who really represent the Heavenly Father as Jesus did, and will release the greatest blessing of God the earth has ever seen.  Malachi said, “unless I smite the earth with a curse…” meaning that when the restoration occurs, the earth will be mightily blessed.  The mature sons and daughters who have been blessed with their double portion will do the works of the Father and usher in the return of the King of Kings!

Let’s ask God for understanding of the work He is doing at this time and find our place within it.

Apostles Are Survivors

16218012_sI recently heard Evangelist Mike Murdock make a profound statement that enhanced my perception of victory in the life of a believer. Mike said, “Success comes after survival”. As I began to meditate on this concept, I realized how much it related to Apostle Paul and his entire testimony of a life of hardship and danger in following Christ. In 2 Cor.11:16-33, Paul lists the many sufferings he endured walking in the will of God for his life as an apostle of Christ, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus in Acts 26 where Paul was told that he would “suffer many things for His Name”. Paul’s life as an overcomer in Christ meant that he could survive the worst satan could hurl at him, not that his faith would keep him from ever experiencing any of the bad stuff. Real faith is what we do in a fiery furnace situation, or facing the fire and flood that life brings our way. It would be nice if we only had the devil to deal with because he can be controlled by the authority we have in Christ, but we also have people to deal with who are not so easy to control and are the primary instruments of pain in our lives. Paul said that “evil men and seducers wax worse and worse” and that “perilous times shall come” because “men are lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God”.

Demonically inspired people are part of the cause of pain and suffering in our world. Examples of this would be a Hitler or a Saddam. In Paul’s life it was the religious people who continually tried to have him killed or imprisoned, or people who wouldn’t listen to his advice that resulted in his own hardship such as the captain of the vessel in Acts 27 who didn’t heed Paul’s warning not to sail at that time into a dangerous storm. Paul was victorious because he could survive the worst of situations, and that knack for survival was a result of his faith in God’s ability to keep him no matter what. If we could hear the testimonies of the successful people in our day, we would find that they endured hardship on their way to success, and that life was no easy road to travel. Teaching that leads people to believe they may never have to fight for their life, is not the “whole counsel of God”, Jesus warned that the enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy” our lives. Being an overcomer means that we have overcome many things to gain the title. Sometimes it appears that God’s people are too soft and can’t really “endure hardness” as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, they believe that “Jesus is my shock absorber in life” as the bumper sticker reads and are ready to have a nervous breakdown when trouble comes knocking. Our apostolic teaching should result in the forming of Christians who can withstand in the day of evil and when the dust settles they are still standing.

I believe that Moses was an apostle who went through much rigorous training to develop the endurance necessary to fulfill his assignment. Hebrews 11:26 tells us that “Moses endured seeing him who was invisible”. One day as I was reading about Moses and Pharaoh, I asked the Lord why he was so hard on the Egyptian leader, hardening his heart repeatedly and finally drowning him in the Red Sea. God said, “It wasn’t about Pharaoh at all, I was training Moses to have endurance by making him face an increasingly difficult problem ten times over. I just used Pharaoh to prepare my leader for duty”. I realized that Moses was too soft for the trouble ahead and that God knows how to prepare us to survive difficulty. Any apostle that has been successful in building an apostolic family, that has produced sons and daughters who are also successful in ministry can write books about the survival skills they have learned, or they wouldn’t be around any longer. Truly, “Success follows Survival”.

Apostolic Demolition

The restoration of apostolic ministry to the church should touch on three areas that we clearly see affected by the apostolic anointing in the early church. The three areas we will discuss in this article are central to the revival that was taking place, and were satan’s tools to stop or hinder the move of God to evangelize the world in short order.
Honesty. The story in Acts 5:1-5 where Ananias and Sapphira were judged for dishonesty under the apostolic anointing of Peter, should serve as a warning to us in this “second apostolic reformation”. As I interact with many leaders across the land, I find many that still are struggling with this issue of honesty in relation to finances. It is obvious that God judges our real affections by how we view and handle our finances. In fact, God has no greater competition for our affection than money, “how can we love God and money at the same time”. If there is dishonesty in the pulpit, there will dishonesty in the pew. It is amazing that God “nipped it in the bud” early on in the revival so that “others would fear” and the example of these two prominent leaders would not be copied. With something as basic as the tithe being mishandled by so many, we have a serious problem in the church. I spoke with one pastor I was attempting to mentor into apostolic truth, and when I asked him about his tithing practices, his answer was, “I tithe to my wife and she tithes to me”. Their concept was that they were each other’s pastor so they would tithe to each other. This is a nifty way to keep the money in the house and still convince ourselves that we are “tithing”. I could understand people doing something like this in ignorance when they are without relational covering, but after the truth has been revealed we must become “doers”. I could tell many stories depicting the many practices of people in regard to finances that all amount to the same thing, dishonesty. How long will God permit people in leadership to preach one thing to the saints and practice something entirely different.

It was the apostolic anointing on Peter that brought swift judgment to this grievous sin in the hearts of people. I anticipate the same results when the apostolic anointing is in full bloom in today’s church. I believe that apostles should be examples of honesty, preach honesty, and demolish dishonesty with the Word and Spirit of God.

Morality. This is a second tool satan will use to stop the move of God, and that true apostolic anointing will demolish in the church. The level of immorality in the Corinthian church was so high that incest was even overlooked. The prophets and teachers in Corinth didn’t seem to have the grace to deal with it, they were very busy “flowing in the Spirit” and enjoying the “move of God”. It should be noticed that today’s church is much the same in that as long as the “spirit is moving” and miracles are still happening we just figure God accepts everything that is going on in our midst. The level of immorality in today’s church is getting frightfully close to that of the Corinthians, even including incest among leaders. We understand that prophets are more inclined to activate and identify spiritual gifts, while apostle are more inclined to look at the lives of the people being activated and used in the gifts. This is why we need the team ministry of apostle and prophet working together, so there will be a balance of gifts and character in the church. Apostle Paul, founder of the church finally stepped in and administered the apostolic grace to correct the situation and bring holiness back into the movement. I firmly believe that a mature apostolic gift will not tolerate a low standard of morality among local church or network leaders, but will require the same level of holiness the early apostles wrote to us about. This is restoration also. We must get back to “ordaining a life” and “not a gift”. The New Testament church ordained “elders”, not “preachers”.

Sorcery. A third area that apostles will demolish is in the area of spiritual witchcraft as we find under the ministry of Paul who “smote sorcerers blind” in the Name of Jesus. Apostles have the grace to overcome the Leviathan, Jezebel and Absalom spirits that attack ministries today. That is why it is so important for independent local church leaders who are not operating in an apostolic gifting, to find and connect with an apostolic parenting ministry for a relational covering. I have watched two things happen as churches connect with a mature apostolic gifting, warfare breaks out and all the demons that were hiding and operating in secret now are screaming because they know they have been detected. Ministries that have been “up and down” due to period undermining of these spirits, begin to move forward in peace and productivity. These “ruling spirits” are powerful and won’t yield until they are made to, or as Jesus said “unless as stronger than he comes and spoils his goods”. I believe the apostolic restoration will result in these three areas of Honesty, Morality and Witchcraft being brought into subjection to the King of Kings.