Today people know there is something wrong with the church; something wrong in the church; something wrong with the leaders of most churches. But, yet, most people cannot place their finger upon the problem. Preceding every move of God there is a hunger that grows in the hearts of men and women; a hunger that cannot be satisfied with words of men…unless they come through the anointing of a servant of God. The anointing breaks the yoke. The anointing sparks and brings revival. Today most people are dissatisfied with the spiritual conditions surrounding them. They are dissatisfied with the churches they are attending.
People are beginning to cry out to God in prayer. People want new wine. They want the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in power and authority. They want anointing. They want reality; not a form of Christianity. The Bible tells us that when new wine is poured out, new leaders suddenly appear. In the church today there needs to be a reformation. There needs to be a change. If you want to continue to move with God, if you want to continue to grow in God, if you want fresh anointing; you have got to be willing to change.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12 reads: “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.” Ladies and gentlemen, if we want to move with God, if we want to move with the Spirit of God, if we want to move with the wind of God; we must change.
John 3:8 reads: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Jesus said that those who are led by the Holy Spirit will be changing and moving constantly. To move with the Holy Spirit demands constant change. II Corinthians 3:18 reads: “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Once again, we must change. We must not resist change if we want to move with the Holy Spirit, if we want to grow from glory to glory, if we want a fresh anointing. Again, to move with the Holy Spirit demands constant change. People like to be stable, secure, and comfortable. But, Jesus demands freedom. Freedom means change. Jesus works like the wind. It can never be limited, boxed in, or confined. People’s efforts to crystallize and restrict the Holy Ghost are contrary to the ongoing work of God.
Luke 5:37-38 reads: “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.” Ladies and gentlemen, whenever the Holy Spirit fills people with new wine, the structure or organization in which they function must change. Old wineskins drip. New wineskins must be used to hold the new life; to hold the ever-changing flow and anointing from the Lord. We have seen this principle constantly in operation throughout the history of the church. For example, when Martin Luther pursued truth, rather than resisting truth (as Thessalonians warns), he received revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning faith and grace and established the church called the Lutheran Church. The previously established church…the old wineskin…was ripped in two, and a new denomination was birthed. Let’s look at another example. When John Wesley preached with the fire of the Holy Ghost, a new structure now known as the Methodist denomination was formed. Throughout history as men and women ministered under a fresh anointing of God’s Holy Spirit, there was change from the old established system, allowing the Holy Spirit to breath new anointing through the anointed apostle or prophet. New wineskins formed every time new wine was poured in.
God wants to pour new wine into all of us. He wants us to grow in anointing. But we must not resist truth. We must not resist change. We are growing from glory to glory. We are supposed to be growing into His likeness; into His image. The Lord has never failed His church, but we have resisted truth. We have resisted His Holy Ghost.
Joel 2:28-29 reads: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Ladies and gentlemen, we must be willing to change! We must be willing to allow our present wineskins to rip. Jesus warned that it was impossible to pour new wine into an old wineskin without ripping it. You and I must allow the Holy Ghost to rip apart our old wineskins. There can be no mighty spiritual revival; no mighty change in our lives or in the structure of the church, the denomination, or the organization of the church without a great shaking and changing of the wineskin. It will rip! The problem in churches and denominations today is that we have people resisting the change of the Holy Ghost. We have people resisting the truth of the Holy Spirit. We have people resisting God. We have people that want to remain in old wineskins. We have leaders leading churches and denominations today that are administrators or pastors, but who exclude the apostles and prophets.
Now, Church, listen to me. If we want a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit; if we want change, we must allow our wineskins to rip. We cannot expect to know the same power of the Holy Ghost that the New Testament believers experienced unless we have wineskins similar to theirs. One of the reasons why the first century church grew was because they used the full operation of what Ephesians 4:11-15 explains. Let’s read it: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
It has been taught by many administrators and pastors that the apostles and prophets were only for New Testament times. But, that is not scriptural. All five of these ministry gifts were given by God to the church: “…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ…”.
The church cannot reach perfection until it follows God’s order of church leadership. Until the church works as Christ instituted it to work, operating with His servants, the church cannot grow. Thus, we see and feel the frustration of people who attend dead denominations and dead churches that have become stifled after their apostle or prophet retired or died.
Once again, John Wesley and Martin Luther, when they moved off the scene, all of a sudden their denominations were turned over to administrators and pastors. The fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit led by the apostle and the prophet ceased. God wants today to raise up leaders so His church can go through a major reformation, putting new wineskin in place of the old, so that the church can enjoy a great outpouring of the Holy Ghost.
The unique characteristic of a ministry gift is the anointing of God. The word “anointed” means “having oil spread upon”. When God anoints a person, the person changes. I Samuel 10:6 reads: “And the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.” Every leader with a ministry gift has been touched, anointed, gifted by God, changed by the work of the Holy Spirit. These changes take place in two areas of a person’s life. First, a gift from God changes a person’s heart. Look at I Samuel 10:9: “And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.” The Bible tells us that the instant Saul received his anointing, God changed his heart. So it is when a pastor receives the heart to shepherd people, or when an evangelist receives a heart full of compassion for the lost. It is God’s own heart for a specific area of ministry that is placed within a gifted, anointed individual.
Secondly, a gift…anointing from God…allows the Holy Spirit to flow through a person in a greater measure and in a certain fashion. John 7:38-39 reads: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” The Holy Spirit will work through any Christian, but the person who has received God’s heart anointing for a ministry has an open channel for the Holy Spirit to flow in a unique way. The Holy Spirit comes forth from the pastor in a different manner than the way He works through the teacher, the apostle, or the prophet. It is the same Holy Spirit sent by God the Father, but the different gifts allow the Father to pour out His grace in different ways.
Isaiah 10:27 tells us that it is the anointing of God that breaks the yoke. You and I must be willing to change. We must allow our old wineskins to rip and allow God to pour in new wine so that we have new wineskins. Thus, fresh anointing can come upon us, and God can use us as He desires. The apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, pastor…they all have anointing…a special, unique anointing on each ministry gift, that allows that ministry gift to perform certain functions for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The unique characteristic of a prophet and an apostle anointing is that they work on the basic structure of the church. Ephesians 2:20 reads: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone…” So, here the Word of God tells us that the body of Jesus Christ is built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, and that Jesus Christ Himself is the corner stone. Ladies and gentlemen, listen carefully. Evangelists, pastors, teachers, and all other Christians build upon the foundation already laid. You can look at I Corinthians 3:10-13. Only apostles and prophets have the empowering of God to lay or change the foundation itself. Did you hear? Many churches, many denominations need their foundations changed. They need new wineskins. But, in order to do so, they must be led by the apostles and prophets.
The word “prophet” means “one who speaks for”. He is one who has received an anointing to speak in a much more direct and powerful way. Behind the prophet’s words are great spiritual forces able to break spiritual bondages off people or groups of people.
Harold R. Eberle writes in his book, “The Complete Wineskin”: “The purpose of the prophet’s words is not simply to provide knowledge or understanding, but to change the structure or nature of that which is being spoken to. A preacher’s words may be evaluated, but a prophet’s words must be accepted or rejected, submitted to or resisted. This does not mean that the ongoing conversation of a prophet is God-ordained, and hence, power-packed, but the messages that the prophet receives from God for a particular situation or person do have God’s spiritual forces behind them. The prophet is God’s direct mouthpiece, through whom God speaks powerfully into the church and into the world.”
“We must distinguish between the Christian who prophesies and the ministry gift of a prophet…The Christian who prophesies speaks God’s words, but there is not as much spiritual power behind those words, and they are spoken only for edification, consolation and exhortation (I Cor. 14:3). The prophet may speak with these three purposes, but also may speak God’s direction, revelation, rebuke, correction or knowledge of the future. The prophets in Acts 13:1-2 hear God’s direction to send out Paul and Barnabas for ministry. In Acts 21:10-11 the prophet Agabus speaks with revelation and knowledge of the future when he announces that Paul will be imprisoned. The prophets in the Old Testament give strong rebukes to the Jewish people on many occasions, as does Paul in his letters to the churches. The ministry of a prophet is more diversified and powerful than that of a Christian who simply prophesies.”
“The prophet can be better understood when we contrast the power of the prophet’s words with that of an evangelist’s words. A gifted evangelist may come to a church or a city and preach a message that causes dozens or even hundreds of people to respond. However, we know from studies that success depends much upon advertising, organization, and extensive follow-up…even with these, very few of the people reached will remain involved in a church. For example, in a typical citywide evangelistic crusade held today, less than twenty percent of those who respond to the gospel invitation will get involved in a church.”
“In contrast, when a prophet visits a church or a city, the power of a prophet’s words produces lasting results. Charles Finney (who is wrongly called an evangelist by many) was a prophet who brought revival to numerous cities in America about one hundred years ago. Studies show that over eighty percent of those to whom he ministered remained in churches for the rest of their lives. The prophet Jonah brought an entire city to repentance without any advertising, follow-up, or administration.”
“Such results are understandable in the prophet’s ministry but uncommon in the ministry of the evangelist. A gifted prophet not only changes the course of a church for years to come, but individuals who receive the prophet’s ministry are given direction that influences the rest of their lives. A prophet deals with foundations. As we look at a few other examples later, we will see that a prophet’s words endure time, persecution and affliction. The words of teachers, pastors and evangelists do not carry such authority.”
“Often the prophet is called upon by God for a specific task. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the Lord. Nehemiah led the Jews to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. When we read the books of the prophets in the Bible, we see that ‘the word of the Lord’ or a vision came to each of them and then they were required to proclaim that one message. Moses, who was also a prophet, led the Hebrew people out of captivity.”
“Today, God sends some prophets to a specific church or denomination to correct it or get it on track. Other prophets may have a primary message that they express in many different ways and carry to many churches. Because of this, they may appear unbalanced and limited. People may judge them for talking about the same topics over and over, not realizing that they are supposed to be ‘unbalanced’, at least through our natural eyes. Many times God will keep the prophet speaking on the same subject or on related topics until the message has been received or openly rejected. After that, the prophet may be given a new vision, or word, or burden from God. It is because the prophet’s vision can be intense and powerful that the prophet is sometimes limited to one task or message at a time.”
“We must not form a distorted image of the prophet’s ministry. Not all prophets have a single mission or purpose. Most of them should be able to give consistent, balanced direction and revelation within the Body. In describing their role, I do not want to restrict them or your view of what they should do. I am just briefly mentioning here a few common characteristics.”
“Prophets are also used by God to transmit, confirm, or recognize anointings on other people. In the Old Testament, we see that the prophets poured oil on the heads of the kings before the kings took their positions. Paul encourages Timothy to continue in the spiritual gifting he received at the laying on of hands with prophetic utterance (I Tim. 1:18 and 4:14). It was several prophets and teachers that set Paul and Barnabas aside for ministry (Acts 13:1-3). Prophets are able to speak forth God’s anointings as God directs.”
“The hearts of prophets are directed, intense, burdened, tender, and sometimes frustrated. Their hearts are focused on the specific tasks God has given them. Their emotions are linked to the results they perceive in relationship to their calling. They are often in tears when they see no change, joyful when correction is received. They have tender hearts that are easily broken at the sight of sin. Yet, it is common for prophets to be frustrated when they see that what is written in the Bible is not real in the church.”
“Prophets are more sensitive to spiritual forces and impending troubles than the average Christian. In the Old Testament, prophets are often called seers, referring to their ability to see into the spiritual world (for example, I Samuel 9:9). They sense God’s solutions or answers to problems in the Church, in the world, and in the lives of individuals. Their eyes are open to see visions and anointings from God.”
“Because prophets often encounter tremendous resistance, many of them are very determined, assertive people, frequently considered hardheaded and stubborn. They are not influenced much by persecution or men’s opinions. They are often dramatic, acting in ways that emphasize the messages God has placed on their hearts. Prophets are sometimes radical individuals, alone more than the average Christian, and so intense that they challenge those around them. I do not want to stereotype, but this is how God often seems to design the character and personality of a prophet. It comes with the gift.” Pgs. 22-26.
The church (believers) are in perilous times today because of “damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). Rev. David Alsobrook writes in his book “The Precious Blood”: “A damnable heresy is a teaching which, if believed, will damn a person”.
The book of Jude warns of false teachers who follow the ways of Cain. Cain was a humanist who tried to worship God his own way, offering to God what God had cursed. Cain offered God a bloodless sacrifice...the first false religion and distortion of God’s Word.
Two thirds of the clergy polled in one denomination disclaimed belief in the virgin birth, the blood, and denied the deity of Jesus Christ and His literal resurrection. Brothers, we need to be led by the Word of God! Ephesians 4:11-14 exhorts the church to work as a team with order so we are not influenced with damnable heresies!
Please telephone my office at 360-629-5248 and order my book, “The Church Has Divorced Itself From Its Roots”. Apostolically I give advice and counsel to many pastors and churches throughout the world. I am also Chancellor of World Theological Centre for Evangelism and Missions, an accredited Bible College which trains potential ministers to become “flames of fire” (Hebrews 1:7). Prophetically I call the nations and the church to repentance through a word of warning from the Lord.
Yes, for years now I have served the Lord as an Apostle and Prophet throughout the world to many pastors, churches and nations. Beloved, we must all work together for the perfection of the saints and the glory of the Lord! Shalom!
TO BE CONTINUED
WMI is now focusing on the following 42 nations: The United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Philippines, India, Jamaica, Honduras, Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Burundi, The Congo, Iran, Sweden, Norway, England, Russia, Germany, Finland, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Turkey. In these countries we are trying to saturate the nation with the prophetic warning through articles, newspapers, radio, television, etc. We encourage you to study the prophecies on many of these nations on our web site at www.worldministries.org. They will help you know how to pray for each nation. We need intercessors in and for these countries.
© 2002 World Ministries International