Posts Tagged ‘instruction’

Prophetic Preaching

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent Me.” (John 7:16)

Jesus consistently preached under the anointing of God, as we see in the above verse. Yet the key to being prophetic is that Jesus’ message carried the weight of supernatural creativity, breakthrough and fulfillment.  A prophetic preacher may use the gifts of teaching, exhortation and prophecy in a variety of ways; but the power of the message itself, will shift the atmosphere (Rom. 1:16-17). That is what makes it prophetic!

“And take the … sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Eph 6:17)

Prophetic Preaching contains a ‘Now’ Word:

The prophetic gift is employed to make known the thoughts, purpose and intent of God. Prophetic preaching has a sense of immediacy. In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘rhema’ primarily refers to the spoken word that carries power in its ‘utterance’, whereas ‘logos’ primarily refers to the written word, the logic of God or His thought process. Prophetic teaching and preaching releases the rhema of God’s “Spirit-breathed”, current Word. It is designed to reveal the Father’s “Now Word”, making known something that if believed would come forth. It answers the question, ‘What is God’s Word to us in this season?’

Example: The Apostle Paul said, “the word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we preach” (Rom. 10:8). He goes on to say that if you act on it by confessing and believing, you will be saved… You will be transformed!

What happens in prophetic preaching is that we are drawn into an experience by the conviction of the Holy Spirit as well as the will to believe and step into its power. It sets a Kairos moment… the opportune time for change and transformation. Prophetic preaching opens doorways into heavenly blessing, revelation and assignments.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Cor 2:13)

Based on Spiritual Revelation:

Prophetic preaching is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the means of revelation. The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means an ‘uncovering’ or ‘disclosure’. In other words, God is revealing something by His Spirit that is not known by natural means… its a mystery. There is often a call to action or a need to respond and activate the Word received by the hearer. This is why we place a high priority on seasons of prayer or altar times, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts when the atmosphere has been shifted in a room or auditorium. This may be to align one’s heart or actions, to pay attention to a timely warning or submit to guidance. When we do not position ourselves for God’s present or future plans, we often miss our opportunity. The consistent results of the prophetic instructions of God are for transformation and breakthrough.

Notice these two examples:

  1. “The children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do… and all their brethren were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32)
  2. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Mt. 7:28-29)

Prophetic Preaching Carries Authority:

This authority is not based upon the preacher’s gift, but on the basis of being entrusted with a message from God Himself. Throughout Scripture, the instruction given through a prophet brought breakthrough for God’s people. This included strategic guidance in a time of warfare (2 Chron. 20:14-17), a word of action in crisis (Gen 41:25-46) or a specific declaration of breakthrough (2 Kings 7:1-2). Prophetic preaching is of great value when a shift is needed to bring the Kingdom of God and push back against the darkness that floods our vision.

Empowering the Church:

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.”  (Acts 15:32)

The outcome of prophetic preaching, just as with all prophetic ministry, is that the Church and its leadership is built up, strengthened and empowered. (1 Cor 14:3-4)

Training the Prophetic

Lukas Maina of Eldoret, Kenya

“Do not neglect your gift… Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (1 Tim 4:14-15)

If you have the spiritual gift of prophecy, receiving prophetic training is one way in which you can develop your gift. No spiritual gifts, even revelatory gifts such as discernment and prophecy, come mature and fully developed. We have a responsibility to steward the gifts God has given to us, from the time we recognize that we have them.

Training and mentoring is a Biblical concept. In the Old Testament, Elijah and Elisha had groups of prophets that looked to them for leadership (2 Kings 2:5-7, 2 Kings 4:1 & 4:38). In the New Testament, we learn that God has given leaders to the Church to help equip people for ministry and bring the Church Body to maturity (Eph 4:11-13). Jesus trained His disciples, who in turn trained other leaders to do the work of ministry.

7 Reasons for Prophetic Training:

1. Training Develops Your Unique Prophetic Gift:
The purpose of training is connecting your skill level with your gift and ministry development. Training is an intensive, focused way in which you can grow your prophetic gift and take the next steps forward in your prophetic ministry. Good prophetic training will not limit, but rather enlarge your capacity to hear the voice of God and provide tools for ongoing growth.

2. Training Accesses the Experience and Knowledge of Others:
Prophetic training will give you knowledge and instruction on a broader base of experience than just your own. Along with this, training should teach you how to apply what you have learned with wisdom. The best teachers are those who are not afraid to share their own experiences… even failures make great teaching material. It is wiser to learn from other people’s mistakes than make your own!

3. Training Enables Instruction from Mature Leaders: 
When you receive prophetic training, you are learning from instructors who are gifted and experienced in your area of ministry. They have a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience to impart to you. And they carry authority in their sphere of expertise. Each of us struggle with our blind spots… in other words, we don’t know what we don’t know! Training is an opportunity to have others who are further along in the journey speak into our lives, broaden our perception and teach us new insights about our prophetic gifts.

4. Training Provides an Environment for Practice:
Your prophetic gift is sharpened through being put to use. Training should provide a safe environment in which you can practice using your gift among other people who are on the same journey. A good teacher will coach you, encourage you to prophesy and provide advice on how you can become more accurate at using your prophetic gift.

5. Training Provides Opportunities to Fail and Get Feedback:
Feedback is vital to growth, and training should take this into account. Training is not meant to be a comfortable process. One Hebrew word for training means “to goad!” (1 Chron 25:6-7). Training requires personal discipline and discomfort. It also calls us to be open to direction and correction from those who are training and leading us. In a training environment, we should be assured that we are in a safe place to give and receive feedback, as we practice using our prophetic gifts.

6. Training Maintains a Fresh Anointing for Ministry:
Training can help us recognize and release old or incorrect paradigms and styles of prophetic ministry. Training is a great way to bring unity into a ministry team, as those trained receive the same instruction and are grounded in the same values together. Some values that should be present in prophetic training are: the Bible, prayer, praise and worship, a balanced approach, prophecy that reflects Jesus’ character, humility, accountability, natural expression and participation in a local fellowship.

7. Training Provides Community with Like-Minded People:
Training brings you into contact with people who are on the same journey as you. You can encourage each other, share ideas and experiences and provide a safe place to practice together. It is good to attend sessions that directly relate to your gift. However, it will also benefit you to attend any sessions your own church runs on leadership, ministry and Bible teaching. This is because the outworking of your gift is going to be unique to the flavor, vision and values of your church.

Remind yourself that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts to each one individually as He wills… “for the profit of all!” (1 Cor. 12:7 & 11)

Learning Obedience

“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  (Heb. 12:7 & 11)

Jesus as our Example:

  • (Heb 2:10) “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
  • (Heb 5:8-9) “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,”
  • (Heb 4:15) “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

It is an astonishing thing for most Christians to think of Jesus “being perfected” and “learning obedience”. It seems contrary to our popular idea of Jesus arriving fully formed and spotless like a stainless steel robot that saves the world. That was not the case; however, He came as a human being and human beings learn obedience. So, Jesus learned to obey just like we learn to obey. This seems like a contradiction when Scripture declares Him to be “without sin”. He was the perfect ”Son”, without rebellion and without sin. Throughout His 33 years He “learned obedience” and suffered temptation, rejection, pain in His body and even death on a cruel cross.

The Process of Growth:

At first He learned obedience to His parents Joseph and Mary, whom he lived with until age 30. He was a carpenter’s son and had half brothers and sisters that came and ate together at the same family table. And of course He learned obedience to God. The Jesus we see at age 30 is more mature than the child of 12 we see briefly in Luke’s Gospel (Lk 2:41-52). He had grown up, ”increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man”. Notice the growth - intellectually, physically and spiritually. This speaks to His ability to endure temptation and stay on course with His Heavenly Father. Jesus “the man” had learned a level of obedience that Jesus “the child” could never have attained. By the time He reached the cross and had endured the intensity of Gethsemane; He was perfected in obedience and was the sinless Lamb of God, that could be slain for the sins of the world.

One with The Father:

Let me say that suffering at no time implies that Jesus had any moral imperfections. Jesus speaks this incredible testimony if you will, at the moment of His betrayal that “Satan had nothing in Him” (Jn 14:30). Learning through suffering life’s trials had strengthened His character, so that He was more and more obedient. He was more able to follow God through difficult and confusing circumstances. Jesus had the greatest liberty of anyone, yet He used that liberty in only one way – to maintain His ”one-ness” with His Father.

The Orphan Heart:

There are three primary realms of disobedience in the believer: the love of the world, the love of sin, and the love of self. These three loves are by nature inside of us, because of our orphan heart. When sin entered the world man was seperated from the Glory of God and lost his one-ness with the Heavenly Father. Our minds and hearts have become ruled by the god of this age through blindness, unbelief and meeting our own needs (2 Cor 4:4-6). Our greatest struggle is – who will “father” us (Jn. 8:42-47). God deals with these areas of our life as a father deals with children, by means of love, acceptance and chastening. God breaks us free of the orphan heart by training us to respond to nurture, instruction and discipline.

Battle Over the Heart:

These loves that wage war inside us, press us continually to disobey the Lord. The Apostle John calls us to forsake our love of the world in light of our love of the Father:

  • (1 Jn 2:15).  ”Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

What we notice is that many find obedience to Christ so difficult and the world so attractive, because of the orphan heart. That is why God chastens us as His Child, in order that we may not be condemned with the world.

  • (Jn. 16:33) “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
  • (1 Cor. 11:32) “But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

Notice how the Lord calls us to Himself, “in Me you might have peace”. In the world we will have tribulation, but in Jesus we are invited into peace. It is human nature to turn away from that which is difficult and to seek ease and superfiscial happiness. By sending discipline and treating us as sons and daughters, God aims to turn our hearts away from the world and teach us how to find rest in His Son. We learn obedience through the things we suffer.

Dealing with Trouble:

We run into trouble in the flesh. There is incompatibility, because we are citizens of Heaven. There is anxiety, because we are ambassadors of another Kingdom, not of this world. There is that boss who is perverse or that co-worker who drives us crazy. Our Garden of Eden is plagued with weeds, mosquitoes, and serpents. Trouble is Designed for Dominion – Not Destruction!

Training for Reigning:

The purpose of trouble is to teach us how to rule. God’s discipline teaches us about obedience to the Father and life in His Glory. Our submission to God’s commands releases the anointing that breaks yokes and drives the love of the world right out of us. This present world is not our home, we must find no rest in it and get rid of any love for it. God’s Word reminds us that in Christ, there is a resource through the guidence of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:8-13). We are made able to overcome the world by faith everyday… just as Jesus overcame the world. 

Three Truths:

  1. God is Perfecting Us: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” (2 Cor. 4:17)
  2. God Promises Grace: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
  3. God Loves and Accepts Us: “For whom the Lord loves – He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Heb. 12:6)

Preach the Word

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:1-2)

A Sobering Demand:

These words, “I charge you” are used daily in our courts of law to speak to the heart of a witness and remind them of the serious nature of their testimony. That sobering moment when a witness stands with their right hand raised is designed to place a demand upon the person’s conscience and hold them accountable, so that what they will say will be “the truth and nothing but the truth”. We see then, that the Apostle Paul places a demand upon his “son”, Timothy. He is to preach the Word with the same urgency, when circumstances are favorable and when they are not. Paul is speaking to the heart of Timothy’s leadership, before the Presence of the Judge.  

The charge is… Preach the Word. The responsibility is not just preaching, but what is being preached. He will give an account for the content of the message, not the style, form or delivery. In the Apostle Paul’s instruction comes a warning, not to preach what the listeners want to hear, but instead to preach the truth in love.

The Apostle Paul’s Rich Example:

“I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20)

“And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the Kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyranus. And this continued for two years so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 19:8-10)

Paul did intensive, continual teaching of the Word, because it is so important for releasing breakthrough. He preached everyday for two years in order to “convince, rebuke and exhort with longsuffering and teaching” as he also charged Timothy to do. He did not preach the Word haphazardly or get distracted by the social themes of the day. It was extensive in the sense that his teaching reached the entire province of Asia and his teaching was able to shift the culture by using its gods as a backdrop to clarify Kingdom realities (Acts 17:22-23). His goal was to influence more than just the educational class, it was to bring heaven’s government into earthly spheres. His message never strayed from the Word of God and he relied upon its wisdom and power (Rom. 1:16-17)(1 Cor. 2:1-5).

The Word Brings Results:

The first result was conflict. Yet by consistently pressing forward with truth and Kingdom authority, darkness was penetrated and spiritual breakthroughs were experienced. Supernatural manifestations, miracles, healings and the removal of darkness did not come over night, but they did come. The Apostle Paul was seeing breakthrough released by the Word being preached with clarity. The Scripture says that God will confirm His Word (Jer. 1:10-12). He does not confirm human theories, but God will confirm what He has said in His Word (Isa. 55:10-11)(Mk. 16:15-20). 

“God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.”  (Acts 19:11-12)

I love the idea of “Unusual Miracles”… results that are the fruit of the transformational power of Preaching the Word of God. Its what we are after in our Christian Leadership Model.

Ascending the Mountain

“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be [firmly] established as the highest of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. And many people shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law and instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa 2:2-3 Amp).

The Mountain of the Lord is the highest mountain of all. There is no other mountain, government, or kingdom that compares to the Kingdom of our God in the Earth. All of the nations will flow into it and they will encourage each other and say, “Come! Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord… that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths!”  God speaks through the Prophet Habakkuk saying, “But [the time is coming when] the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14 Amp).

Why Take the Risk?

Its the Glory of the Lord that compels us to go. The knowledge of the Glory of the Lord will be seen, be increasing and demonstrated by a generation of Sons and Daughters who have taken the risk. These who know God and have been instructed in His ways. They will live on the Mountain of the Lord and release a supernatural reality of God to the world.

The Invitation is Clear:

The Lord is saying to the Church in this hour, “Come up to the Mountain with Me… and be there. I simply want you to be with Me on the Mountain as a friend. You don’t have to do anything or be anything for Me… just be there with Me.”

It is here that the Lord will reveal all of His treasured secrets and cause us to ride upon the high places with Him. He has favor on those He chooses to have favor and He is looking for friends to pour out His favor and blessing.

Ascending as Friends:

Jesus told His disciples that they were no longer His servants, but His friends (Jn 15:15). Friends He could tell all of His secrets and everything He heard from the Father. He also said, “To you has been entrusted the mystery of the Kingdom of God [that is, the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [of our circle] everything becomes a parable” (Mk 4:11 Amp). We have been given the privilege to know and understand the mysteries of the Kingdom and the secret counsels of the eternal God. He wants to teach us His ways, but it requires our willing responsibility.

Let us therefore come boldly, ascending the Mountain of God, being fully there and learn His ways… so that we are a manifestation of His purposes in the Earth!

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