It could be no plainer as written: “God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints,” (1 Corinthians 14:33, NKJV). In accord with the will of Christ the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to all genuinely born again believers and does so adhering to the divine order of mankind to be honored by the saints in every church and generation until the Lord returns. Too, women are not oppressed and no glass ceiling exists in the churches. Jesus as Lord is the infinitely stronger than iron authority over them! Thus, though a woman may be gifted to prophesy, preach or teach, she does so in line with God’s order of mankind (1 Corinthians 14:34-37; 1 Timothy 2:11-15).3
As a pastor, I was always on the lookout for sisters in Christ gifted to teach His Word both within our assembly and beyond to help me spiritually build up the women I served. Nationally, in those days I came to regard the teaching ministry of Beth Moore. I was saddened recently, though, after reading a blog she wrote to her brothers. I was certainly moved for her (and all other gifted female Bible teachers that have had or are having her experience) to learn that she has been treated as inferior and with the same contempt I have as a black man among not a few white conservative professed Christian males. According to her testimony up to now, she has handled this admirably.4
Nevertheless, while mistreating a fellow believer on the basis of gender or race is sin that should be rebuked, I urge us all affected not to appeal for acceptance and respect of our person as much as for God and His Word! In doing this, we must strive to be accurate which in a righteous attempt to uphold the Lord’s valuing of women, my sister was not when she labeled Mary Magdalene as the “first evangelist” based on Jesus’ command to carry His personal message to His “brethren” (John 20:17-18, NKJV). This is a common interpretive mistake among my sisters reacting defensively to justify and validate their existence in ministry and legitimize their ministries.5
Spiritual gifts are given by the Lord for the service of His house and Kingdom causes not our personal ambitions to achieve or be recognized for the sake of ego (Mark 8:34, 10:35-45; John 13:14-17)! Christian women gifted to prophesy, preach or teach that insist on being treated with the same deference in position as the men show they are after ego gratification, forgetting God’s order of mankind that always has the men in His house at the higher rank (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Corinthians 11:3).6 Feminism of the world in the churches insists this is not fair, but we in Christ are not of the world! Because this is true, Christian men and women are to interact with the proper attitudes while respecting rank (Romans 12:16; Galatians 3:26-28; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Timothy 5:1-2).
Moreover, local churches or related parachurch entities are not the places we go to find significance in working nor to show up to show out in again, gratifying the ego (Romans 12:3-13; 1 Peter 4:7-11).7 But we should learn before we ever do anything that we have significance having already been accepted relationally “in the Beloved” by grace through faith; who gave Himself for us to redeem us back to God (Romans 5:6-11; Galatians 1:1-5; Ephesians 1:3-14; Titus 2:11-14, NKJV). Therefore, it is not nearly as important as we think it is that any of us in ministry be accepted or respected by peers as it is being faithful to the God who called us and His Word (1 Corinthians 4:2)!
To these ends, I hope Beth Moore keeps reaching and teaching women as gifted by the Holy Spirit, called by Christ and affirmed in Scripture as her sole mission; not allowing herself for the sake of greater success or respect to purposely include men as a target audience in sin. For though she cannot control that men come to her women’s events and rightly does not eject them (if not surveying her doctrine or from evil motives, the men are obviously searching for something they are not getting from male pastors and teachers), knowingly accepting invitations to teach in settings of disobedience as I have seen her in passing doing on Christian television is willful sin (James 4:17). Once more, the Holy Spirit will never lead us away from or into disobedience to God’s Word.
There is clearly enough personal, pastoral and corporate sin over just feminism in His house for the Lord not to be pleased with His people and churches that are guilty at this hour. We all know there are so many other strongholds of deceit in God’s house as well. Therefore, I cry out yet again with the Lord’s appeal to all of the guilty to repent now! For if there are natural consequences for disobeying the Lord Jesus’ words, then, in all consistency with His acts toward disobedient Israel of old, judgment is about to dramatically intensify upon professed Christian individuals, leaders and churches guilty of constructing and maintaining strongholds of deceit in His house (Luke 6:46-49). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
3 See the May 20, 2018 post, The Value Of Women To Jesus Christ, under the category, God’s Creatures. Also, get my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
in the Strong Man Store for instruction on the great woman of God who lives on purpose to please Him and do His will in all submission.
4 Read Beth Moore’s blog. Also, read one of the many posts the Lord has given me to make rebuking racism, Moral Pressure Rightly Applied, under the category, Call
5 An evangelist preaches the Gospel to the lost in which case, Scripture does not tell us who the female is that holds the distinction of being first to do so among women.
The unwitting woman at the well certainly qualifies in action to be considered an evangelist since she went and told lost men to ‘“Come, see a Man...’” (John 4:25-30,
NKJV), but she was not gifted and called to do so. Surely, though, she was a witness of Christ as all Christians are supposed to be (Acts 1:8)!
6 Respecting rank applies to men immediately under Christ also. While He calls us “friends,” “one” with Himself and the Father and “brethren,” (John 15:13-15, 17:20-23,
20:17, NKJV), we never get in the Lord’s face insisting that we be regarded the same as He in rank (Revelation 17:14). We never see Christ attempting to equal His
Father in rank either, though, He is equal to Him in every other way (John 14:28-31; Philippians 2:5-7)! Such respect for rank is everywhere seen in the created spiritual
dominions of angels too and the natural order of the earth except in these latter days among fallen humanity as women under the influence of demons, rebel through
feminism to challenge God’s order of mankind. Truly, even with all of her business activity and acumen the Proverbs 31 woman never sought to stand with her husband
in rank at home or “in the gates,” the place of community governance by men as elders (Proverbs 31:23, NKJV)!
7 Seeing activity in the church as performance is another reason many churches of manmade religion especially have capitulated to and allowed feminism and its central
tenet of worldly defined gender equality to enter. Women are seen as equally as capable as the men to perform in any positions of the church and they are. Even so,
God calls His servants to serve Him and His causes in His house to please Him and do His will. This means among other things as the apostle John teaches, in love
obeying the divine order of mankind in all that is done (1 John 5:2-3). Evidently, the apostles did not consider faithful obedience to God’s Word “legalism” as many pro-
fessed Christians under demonic influence and in rebellion accuse us of today who delight in it!
Mid-twentieth century launched feminism made its way into churches through compromising male pastors as have all other strongholds of deceit over the centuries. The way was actually paved first for its entry by those affiliated with turn of the twentieth century Pentecostalism and its daughter Charismatic Movement that followed which gave unbiblical license to its female members to preach to, teach and take authority over men in their services and programming. Following their Pentecostal brethren, pastors of other denominations did so thinking of themselves as being socially conscious, fair-minded and progressive; forward thinking visionaries bringing their churches into modern times.
Scripture is clear that where it concerns the limitations of human invented rules, traditions and practices, God’s people should be on guard against becoming rigid and stagnant. For it is not for the shackles of manmade religion that we have been saved, but freedom in dynamic relationship with our Savior (John 5:38-42, 8:31-36; Romans 14:1-13; Colossians 2:16-23)! Besides, religionists always inevitably exalt their invented rules, traditions and practices over and wickedly cancel out God’s enduring commandments as seen in Scripture and Christian history to this hour or what, for example, is the need of a church covenant in addition to God’s New Covenant (Mark 7:1-13, 14:22-26)?
However, as it concerns God’s house, Jesus is Lord--period (Matthew 16:13-18; John 13:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18)! Whatever He while on earth or later through His apostles and New Testament writers commanded or taught are the continuing marching orders of His Church. No Christian ecclesiastical figure has been granted the authority or right to change, cast aside, circumvent or ignore the commandments and instructions of Christ in the Word of God as no one has from Moses. Anyone that has or willfully does so does it having been moved deceitfully by Satan with consequence (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19)!
From the beginning, Satan the deceiver has been actively engaged in his cause to deceive mankind to the end of destroying as many as possible (Genesis 3:1-5; John 10:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 12:9). Successful tempting of pastors at their points of sin weakness in pride, conceit and selfish ambitions for success, wealth, power and accolades has led many to their willful disobedience to, corruption, compromise and abandonment of God’s Word along with corresponding sound doctrine (James 1:12-18). Such doctrine includes the character and order of God’s house which many have now set aside enacting “doctrines of demons” as foretold (1 Timothy 4:1-2, NKJV).
Many professed Christian pastors and those they shepherd live ambivalent about or willfully ignorant of Satan’s ongoing warfare against them. As a result, they do not take God’s Word to heart to daily armor up, fight or even “test the spirits” deceitfully bombarding their thoughts; not appreciating the spiritual enemy of their souls is purposely employing every means at his divinely permitted disposal including his chief scheme, deception, to destroy those not loving the truth of God’s Word or living out of a biblical worldview (Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 John 4:1-6, NKJV). The Holy Spirit will never lead us away from or into disobedience to God’s Word!1
Pastoral willingness to set aside the order of God’s house for whatever motives meshed with the wider social rebellion and chaos of the sixties also stirred up by demons. This turbulent context gave rise to feminism--most assuredly a doctrine of demons with its accompanying blasphemy, arrogance and evil rebellion--which specifically challenged the fairness of God’s program to women at all levels of society beginning in the home with marriage and family. As with the males of that generation of emerging pop psychology, women were urged to break out of traditional molds to find themselves, significance and fulfillment in all “self-actualization” and press to stand equal with men.
Even then, making up the predominant numbers in the churches, pastors had already been pandering to women as their major worker base and allowing them to improperly fill roles that went beyond being mere helpers. But with the coming of feminism, ambitious and assertive women under its deceitful ideological sway were easily allowed to breakthrough what was carnally considered the church’s version of a “glass ceiling” of male only authority by compromising pastors. Add to this the reality some women were being authentically gifted by the Holy Spirit to prophesy, preach and teach which are bound up in leadership gifting and the perfect storm for transgression ensued; continuing to this hour with feminism as one of many strongholds of deceit entrenched in the churches.2
1 Read the July 2009 Journal, Days Of Deception followed in August by Seeing To Believe in the Journal Archives of the FSTVEP Web Site to be challenged about your
need to love the truth of God’s Word to avoid being deceived by the continually intensifying demonic deceit of these latter days. For if you are falling now for the clear
deceit of feminism, what will you fall for going forward and leading up to the Antichrist?
2 Arising from the boiling caldron of rebellion in the sixties with feminism was also the demand to legitimize same sex relationships which made its way into many osten-
sible Christian churches to not only be approved, but indulged in by ecclesiastical authorities. Read the three-part 2008 Journal the Lord gave me concerning this de-
velopment entitled, Is God Doing A New Thing?
This is the second of a three-part edited blog repost celebrating the results of Billy Graham’s ongoing “My Hope America” campaign and more broadly, God’s glorious design of the Church to function through the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. To my great joy also in this installment, I am led by the Spirit to focus on and give instruction about the demonstrated service of the prophet in the New Testament. So, pastors, elders and others that have tried to figure out what my angle is and who do I think I am (1 Corinthians 1:26-31), I invite you to open your Bible and learn as I had to if you will, what it teaches. Too, of course, I hope you will repent from rejecting God’s Word in favor of leaning on your own understanding up until now if guilty (Proverbs 3:5). Have a great Thanksgiving!
Originally Posted November 17, 2013
How often over the years have I heard the hypocritical call even by what are otherwise serious Christian leaders for God to raise up prophetic voices among the churches to cry out against the unfaithful drift, willful compromise and increasing wickedness of professing Christians in the supposed hope that repentance and revival will break forth? Yet, when such voices as my own cry out from God against the evil in His house, these same men are among the first to resist, reject and renounce us as uncalled critics and troublemakers. As is typical of proud, independent religionists, they want to listen only to those they choose and deem fit (Exodus 2:11-15; Acts 7:22-28, 33-35, 51).
As the Old Testament prophets before and Christ as “the Prophet” in one of His multiple assigned roles by the Father, so, He commented sadly and warned those He would gift and call to follow Him in similar service that they would be without honor among their own countrymen and families; those they were sent to serve who professed to be God’s people (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Ezekiel 3:1-7; Matthew 13:53-58; John 7:1-5). He spoke the truth! Even so, New Testament prophets are an integral and continuing part of the leadership gifts Christ places in His Body from the first century.
In fact, through the apostle Paul, God ranks the ministry of prophets only behind apostles in functional importance to the Body (1 Corinthians 12:27-30, 14:1-6, 20-25; Ephesians 4:11). In general, the multi-gifted eye witness apostles (and missionaries today as their descendants) preach the Gospel, make disciples and establish churches in areas where Christ has not been named and after a season, move on to another locale (Acts 13:4-14:25). Evangelists, as we saw with Billy Graham, are consumed with preaching the Gospel to whomever, wherever the Spirit leads to make disciples. Pastor/teachers and elders lead and teach an established local assembly of disciples.
Prophets privately or corporately prophesy, teach, preach and/or exhort to reveal, instruct, encourage and build up through revelation, knowledge and wisdom as well as when directed by the Lord, rebuke and warn seeking the repentance of any professed disciples of Christ that are sinning regardless of their position in the Body. If “the righteous are bold as a lion,” the prophets the more so and are all most assuredly aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ (Proverbs 28:1, NKJV)! They serve as the eyes, ears and mouth of Christ, the Head of His Body (1 Samuel 3:1-18, 9:6-19; Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 29:9-10; Jeremiah 1:4-19; Ezekiel 3:8-27; Amos 3:7-8) and govern themselves under Him (2 Kings 2:1-18; 1 Corinthians 14:26-33).
Thus, no local church leadership controlled or ruled over the Lord’s prophets as the earliest kings of Israel never did even when they were on the payroll except when persecuting them (2 Samuel 24:10-14; Jeremiah 37:6-21). As those of the Old with godly kings, so, the first century New Testament prophets gladly submitted to the authority of the original eye witness apostles, elders and brethren of the Jerusalem church who even sent them on missions (Acts 15:22-23, 30-35). Clearly, righteous rulers of the churches as again, the kings of Israel had nothing to fear from the Lord’s prophets and welcomed them; the prophets for their part honored and worked cooperatively with godly leadership in the churches which would also be true of me.
The Lord’s original eye witness apostles served to initially fulfill His prophecy that He would send prophets to Israel’s religious establishment since they claimed to have such reverence for them and they would reject, persecute and murder them--though Stephen was actually the first prophet murdered (Matthew 23:29-36; Luke 11:46-51; Acts 3:1-4:22, 5:12-42, 6:1-7:2a, 52-60). After the persecution that scattered the church from Jerusalem, they made disciples of Jews and Gentiles as they traveled and churches formed in places such as Antioch in Syria where Barnabas--a named prophet and teacher--was sent by the Lord and the Jerusalem church to help (Acts 8:1, 11:19-26).
It is at Antioch that we are first shown the service of New Testament prophets beyond the Jewish context at Jerusalem; men that were not pastors or preachers only and whose service was consistent with Old Testament prophets not only as forth tellers, but foretellers of things revealed to them by God and speaking to inform the disciples so that they might respond accordingly (Acts 11:27-30, 21:10-14). These gifted first century prophets were accepted into the churches and their authenticity through their lifestyle and messages, judged by all in accord with already established Old Testament criteria, the instruction of Christ and His eye witness apostles (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Matthew 7:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).1
Godly women that prophesied did so in honor of God’s order (1 Corinthians 11:2-16, 14:34-40; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). Moved by the Holy Spirit who would never lead them (or any of us) into sin, they exercised their gift primarily with women (Exodus 15:20-21), individuals or in a small group of inquiring or passing individuals with no commanding proclamation involved, but simply, faithfully repeating a word of prophecy, knowledge, wisdom or instruction from the Lord (2 Kings 22:12-20; Luke 1:39-45, 2:36-38; Acts 21:8-9). The prophetess Christ names “Jezebel” and rebukes with the church pastor was clearly out of order and false (Revelation 2:18-29, NKJV). Deborah was exceptional in an exceptional time for Israel unfaithful to God as King and with men of great spiritual weakness (Judges 4:1-10).
1 See the October 30, 2016 repost, No One Speaks For God? under the category, Instruction.
This is the first of a three-part edited blog repost in which the fruitful outcome of the nationally televised Billy Graham broadcast and the man are celebrated. Too, I joyfully pivot to celebrate the Lord’s perfect program plainly laid out in the New Testament that makes a Billy Graham and all of His servants gifted and called to ministries possible--if churches would be obedient. This leads finally to the blog title and content of parts two and three that tragically acknowledges prophets as servants of God being among those historically persecuted in sin by professed Christian church authorities. It is only in repentance from all biblically defined sin that revival will come to those seeking it.
Originally Posted November 10, 2013
I want to follow up my blog, Billy Graham’s “My Hope America,” (reposted November 6, 2016 under the category, Glory To God!) first by commending the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for a job well done in a broadcast concept that faithfully retains the centrality of the cross in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as did Rev. Graham throughout all of his ministry. For Rev. Graham’s part, in his nineties with an age weakened body, the Gospel message and fire in his belly to preach it is still powerfully seen as every authentic preacher called of God could see and appreciate.
Second, I want to publically commend our Portland area Fox Channel, KPTV 12 for being among those of that secular network to air Graham’s broadcast. I continue to pray that a great harvest will come from this and await the reports in weeks to come.1 Finally, as the Holy Spirit has led, I also want to expand on comments I made in the aforementioned blog about the relationship of the churches with men whose gifts, calling and ministries are clearly intended for them to serve God’s purposes beyond, but with the support of the local church.
Let me begin by making it clear that I fully accept the New Testament instruction that as a genuine manifestation of Christ’s Church, every local church and its governing authorities are to be respected, submitted to and obeyed as they respect, submit to and obey Christ as Head (Matthew 16:18; John 21:15-17; Acts 2:38-42; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 13:7-8, 17). This instruction presumes that the local churches and their leaders are in fact, honoring Jesus as Lord and faithfully obeying His will recorded in Scripture as the final authority, not the manmade rules and traditions of religion.
For this reason, with Christ’s leadership, every born again believer is to seek out and become part of a Bible teaching local church. Also, in accord with Christ’s will in those churches, every believer is to be taught His Word, encouraged and given the opportunity to serve Him out of the spiritual gifts and calling He has given them recognizing not all such persons are intended exclusively for service in or to be controlled--even if supported financially--by those assemblies (John 20:19-23; Acts 1:8, 2:1-21, 8:4-8, 26-40, 11:19-26; 2 Corinthians 11:7-9; Philippians 4:10-20; Ephesians 4:7-12).
Now, if any so-called church does not fully recognize the essential biblical doctrine of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit to include all of the spiritual gifts He imparts to believers, then it cannot possibly think legitimately of itself as a church of Jesus Christ (John 3:1-8, 14:15-17; Romans 8:6-9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; 1 Peter 4:7-11). And those that refuse to recognize, deploy into or support the service of a gifted and called servant of Christ assembled with them are in willful sin (1 Corinthians 12:12-26; 3 John 5-11).
Biblically, the spiritual understanding and sensitivity of the local church is to be like that of first century Antioch when the Holy Spirit commissioned “Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” (Acts 13:1-2, NKJV). The prophets, teachers and all others present in that local church who were fasting and ministering to the Lord concluded their consecrated devotions with the physical laying of their hands on Barnabas and Saul in a tangible expression of submission to and ratification of the Spirit’s directive (no doubt, spoken through one or more of the prophets present--1 Corinthians 14:29-33) to send them forth (Acts 13:3).
Please note that the men in their work as apostles (sent ones, missionaries; Scripture does not say Barnabas was an eye witness of Christ risen like Saul--Acts 4:32-37, 9:26-30) were not under the control of that local church, but the Holy Spirit! Righteously, however, the Lord gave the church the responsibility to joyfully cooperate with Him in authenticating and sanctioning His calling of the men. For their part and also righteously, Barnabas and Saul not only reported back the results of their work in a voluntary accountability of their service to Antioch, but also the mother of all other churches at Jerusalem and the original eye witness apostles (Acts 14:26-15:35; Galatians 2:1-10).
Thank God there were enough godly pastors remaining in the days He raised up Billy Graham as a gifted evangelist that he was supported by his local church and many thousands around the world that came together for the cause of bringing souls to Christ! No one was successful in re-directing him from the work God called him to; no one was successful in controlling him, his biblical message and ministry under the guise of mortal accountability, though godly men surrounded and encouraged him.
Like the apostle Paul, Rev. Graham voluntarily and transparently reported the results of his work. In this media age, his doctrine was examined by all--what person professing to be a Christian could really argue with the simple and pure biblical message of the cross though today, there are many? Rev. Graham’s honor by God and men is well deserved. However, as the Lord Jesus taught, there is a group of His servants that should not expect to be honored at all by those they serve.
1 Visit https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/about/ for campaign results to date.
This is the conclusion of an edited three-part 2013 blog repost that exhorts professing Christians and churches that are guilty to stop resisting and persecuting God’s gifted, called and sent prophets so that our ministries for good might be fulfilled among them. Even so, how glad I am that while sinful men may not honor His prophets, the Lord Jesus does now inwardly and will in days to come, provide sweet vindication to us before the entire world near and at His glorious return to earth!
Originally Posted November 24, 2013
As foretold by His eye witness apostles and confirmed by the Lord, many of the leaders of the churches planted in the first century corrupted themselves and launched a trend that has never been reversed, but only enlarged to this hour (Acts 20:28-31; 2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Revelation 2:12-29). Indeed, as l have already written about many times, after the passing of the Lord’s eye witness apostles, corrupt shepherds along with false prophets and teachers introduced many heresies and brought forth manmade Christianity the religion which has a form of biblical Christianity (1 Corinthians 4:18-20; 2 Corinthians 3:1-6), but is powerlessly far from it (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
It is in the satanically fostered context of human ordained religiosity in churches and related organized ecclesiastical bodies that faithful saints and prophets have been martyred for the faith as by divine unction they cried out against the corruptions they saw standing faithful and true to the Word and causes of Christ--a truth recorded in many reliable sources including Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. These are churches and ecclesiastical entities that have called, sanctioned and sent out their own workers to spread their corrupt, religious doctrines while they willfully murdered those standing in their way falsely claiming divine approval (John 16:1-4).
With that history, what is it today--hundreds of years after the Protestant Reformation that also spawned its own round of violent persecution and martyrdom of godly opposition--if the churches of manmade Christianity the religion purposely persecute perceived opponents and prophets with oppression, mistreatment, ostracism, loveless abandonment to hardship and murder by words? This is done without hesitation by men controlled by the sinful flesh while outwardly decked out in deceitful religious piety as I can testify (Matthew 5:21-22, 27:46-49; Galatians 5:13-15; James 2:14-26; 1 John 3:16-17).
As if to plug up their ears to God’s outcry against their sins by His prophets, some of the scholarly especially have gone so far as to assert prophesying and preaching are synonymous so that to preach is to prophesy and all preachers are prophets. Others of that group in attempting to expose false prophets declare that prophecy and prophets ceased after the first century and surely by the completion of the entire Bible in the 4th century. Both of these views are corrupt since one does not have to necessarily preach to prophesy (2 Samuel 12:1-15; Luke 2:25-35) and may be used by God to prophesy to an individual or many through preaching (Luke 1:67-80, 3:1-20)!
While the completed Bible is our written, living foundation and landmark (Hebrews 4:11-13), it does not mean the living God has muted Himself with no further communication to be made to us at all (John 14:15-26; Acts 22:17-21, 23:10-11, 27:21-26). There has not been a time since the passing of the eye witness apostles to this hour when the Body has been without contemporary need for the eyes, ears and messages of her prophets sent from Christ the risen, living Head even with many false prophets who have existed simultaneously from ancient times (Jeremiah 23:9-32, 27:12-18, 29:1-9; Matthew 28:20b). The Lord’s foretelling of false prophets did not mean there would not be any that were true (Matthew 24:11).
On the contrary, it certifies their existence since Satan raises up the false to subvert the words of the true. The Lord’s prophets are faithful to His Word as it is written; they do not rely on or cite for final authority the opinions of sinful, mortal flesh--no matter how credentialed. And who better suited to accurately interpret God’s already written prophetic Word when He is ready (Daniel 8:15-27; 1 Corinthians 13:2a)? As the evangelist burns to win lost souls, so the prophets of Christ burn for the purity, holiness, righteousness, obedience, fidelity and fruitfulness of His bride (2 Corinthians 11:1-4)!
The Church in its infancy may not have had need for many messages of rebuke and warning--although, what is the apostle Paul with the gift of prophecy doing in most of his New Testament letters to churches? Beyond question, however, the Lord Himself continued that aspect of the work of New Testament prophets with His Revelation to the apostle John given and written down for all professing believers and their churches near the end of the apostolic period (Revelation 1:9-3:22). He has also continued to gift, call and send His prophets to faithfully fulfill every aspect of their ministries in the churches including crying out against sin and warning of divine retribution upon the unrepentant.
As the Lord foretold, His prophets have been so much without honor they are singled out among the martyred faithful saints as recipients of God’s vindication (Revelation 11:15-18, 16:1-7, 17:1-6, 18:1-8, 20, 24-19:3). This is because of their suffering to the end at the hands of unbelievers and those professing to be Christians they were sent to serve especially in the churches of manmade Christianity the religion whose leaders in the West today generally and America in particular through their proud, independent spirit, resent being told they are in sin and resist rebuke as well as warning preferring instead, to cut off the messengers to their own hurt (Jeremiah 2:29-30, 5:1-3, 7:28; Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 23:33-24:2).
Therefore, in this month of praying for persecuted believers, among them I pray for and honor my brethren, the Lord’s prophets without honor in the churches who are held in contempt and persecuted in various ways by those claiming to be Christians. As for me, I do not seek or require the honor of mortal flesh though I desire for their sakes that God’s people would give proper heed to the words of warning He has put in my mouth in perfect alignment with what is plainly written in His Word (Ezekiel 33:1-9)--woe to the teachers of falsehood who teach believers in Christ face no eternal peril for sinning in willful disobedience without repentance (Jeremiah 28; Galatians 5:19-21, 6:7-8; Hebrews 3:7-19, 10:26-31, 35-39; Jude 1-11)!
I repeat in part what I wrote in my April 17, 2016 blog repost, Disembodied, Pt. 2 under the category, The Faith: “I am deeply honored in the Lord and pleased to the highest degree to serve you as a watchman/prophet and teacher in the footsteps of those faithful servants of Christ from the first century until now...” Glory to His Name!
Of the greatest sins manifested among many church leaders today is the arrogance to believe that they can somehow improve upon and expedite God’s program for making and teaching disciples of Jesus Christ! Though ancient now, the methods Christ and His apostles empowered by the Holy Spirit used to make disciples (preaching the Gospel) and teach them to obey God’s whole Word were effective (Mark 1:9-20, 3:13-19, 4:10-12, 33-34, 8:27-38; John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-16, 36-47). Even so, 100% of the people who heard their preaching and teaching did not accept it (John 6:60-71; Acts 4:1-4). Our problem is we want that 100% even if it means doing stuff in the flesh to get them!
The Lord’s approach and example to teaching men as disciples was Self-denying, labor intensive and time consuming. But these are the inescapable realities of spiritual fathering our Lord embraced as well as called, equipped and charged His disciples turned apostles to also do. Church pastors are imperative in the work (John 21:15-17)! Having been a pastor and mentor of boys and men I fully understand the demands especially of time spiritual fathering make on one’s life. However, this is why a pastor equips those he spiritually fathers to do as he does. If he is too busy to do what the Lord has commanded as his priority, then he is too busy! As the Lord leads me to point out in this edited 2013 Commentary, men are being hurt because of disobedience to His commands.
Originally Published September 2013
While our Ministry celebrates every brave incarcerated man that steps out before our Strong Man Of God Rally assemblies to publically pray to receive Christ or rededicate to Him, it saddens me personally to see the great numbers that rededicate. Most of these rededications are men that were Christians before their incarceration for a second or third time. It is certainly true Christians that commit crimes must take personal responsibility for their actions. However, after talking to many of these men it becomes clear that they are not getting the one on one mentoring of a “spiritual father” needed to deepen their walk with Christ in the churches they are members of as I did not early on.1
To be sure, the failure to make committed followers of Christ is a wide spread problem in the churches. Spiritual infancy dominates today in a Western church culture that is more concerned with the numbers than whether members are maturing in Christ. This lack of emphasis on the slow process of making disciples as our Lord commanded is hurting men the most since they are God’s chosen leaders in the home and churches. Many sit and the relative few that serve largely do so as babes in Christ with no intentional plan to disciple them. Once a month meetings and the annual golf tournament are not enough to turn baby Christian men into fiery, maturing disciples of Christ!
As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, teaching his family is a responsibility God assigns every man.2 As the head of the house, a man teaches his wife and children. As a father, he teaches all of the children, but with a special duty to mentor and guide his sons into manhood; his wife, their daughters into womanhood. Beyond their families, aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ imitate Him in taking newborn Christian men under their wing to spiritually father them into maturity. We know this process is slow because our Lord spent more than three years of intensive time with His twelve disciples, then the rest of the lives of those who became faithful apostles (Matthew 4:18-22; John 14:18, 16:12-15).
In the Lord’s “Great Commission,” He commands His disciples to make, baptize and teach new disciples from all of the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). As it concerns teaching, veteran disciples are to teach the new “to observe all things that” Christ had commanded them (vs. 20, NKJV). Teaching what Christ “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV) commanded entails more than just important doctrines, but also all of the thinking, attitudes and behaviors of Christ-likeness we are also to possess in pleasing God the Father as He did (Philippians 2:5). To this end, the apostle Paul also instructed his spiritual sons to teach and pass on what they had learned to men who would do the same with other men also (2 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 1:1-9, 2:1-5).
To their shame, not only do many pastors and churches not encourage spiritual fathering or mothering in their ranks today, but too many have no formal discipleship instruction at all much less for newborn Christians in the pews who need the “pure milk of the Word” not the philosophical musings of men (1 Peter 2:1-3, NKJV).3 And for the churches that pride themselves on offering lofty sectarian seminary level courses such as Systematic Theology as sufficient to fulfill Christ’s command to teach especially babes, repent! You are causing them to gag and choke in confusion on what is not even biblically organic, but sinful humanly processed and genetically altered meat (1 Corinthians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:14-16, 3:14-17).
Shame too on you guilty pastors that look down on my work in the prisons as though it were inconsequential when Christ your Judge is recording for Judgment Day how many of the Christians I find there that are members of your churches (Romans 14:10-13; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)! We salute all of our fellow workers in the prisons filling in what lacks in the churches. To the pastors that need help setting up a discipleship plan for new believers or want to know more about teaching biblical manhood to and spiritually fathering men contact this Ministry.4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read Part 1 of the August 21, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, instruction. I lament the early lack of spiritual fathering that potentially
could have saved me from many painful failures and shortened the inordinate length of my infancy in Christ in the opening of this post and also that of the October 2,
2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 See the September 25, 2016 post, A Leadership Caused Failure and Pastors As Developing Christian Men posted on December 17, 2017 both under the category,
Call To Repent.
4 Get contact information for Strong Man Ministries and learn about for example, the Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study as an important help in making disciples of
men and teaching them biblical manhood on our Web Site.
One of my favorite sports related “persistent man versus all obstacles to reach his goal” films is Rudy. The 1993 film featuring Sean Astin as Rudy, Ned Beatty and Charles S. Dutton tells the true story with Hollywood embellishment of a boy from the blue collar Ruettiger family that dreams of playing football for Notre Dame. Obstacles to this include his small size, limited athletic and academic ability as well as the ridicule of a brother and pressure from his dad to follow them into the steel mill. Against all odds, Rudy is admitted to the school, makes the practice squad and gets to play at the end of one game. His teammates carry him off the field for his “heart.”
The film, Rudy, has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me over the years since its release as an aspiring strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ particularly in my role as a servant to Him in the churches (Ezekiel 33:1-9). Going into the New Year, I want to share that encouragement with men who likewise aspire to be a strong man of God in Christ’s image. Without a doubt, the road to becoming a strong man of God is the most difficult, painful and lonely of any named among men (Matthew 7:13-14). Yet, God has called us to it! The obstacles (not the least of which come from within) are many and the odds totally against us in our own strength.
Praise be to God He calls us to mission impossible not to be accomplished in our own strength, but His alone (Ephesians 6:10)! We supply only the willingness in faith and obedience; following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ in everything and being made over into His image as we go to Him even “outside the camp,” (Luke 9:23-26; Romans 8:29; Hebrews 13:8-15, NKJV).1 Literally, to go outside the camp refers generally to the assembly of Israel anywhere, but most powerfully and in prophetic application to Christ, Jerusalem as the holy city when He was crucified for our sins on a hill outside of its gate (Leviticus 16:27-28; Numbers 12:14-15; John 19:16-20).
Outside the camp is a place of suffering and shame. Christ was willing to go there out of love for God the Father as a devoted Son, Disciple and Servant; as the Strong Man of God with a heart to please Him and do His will (Psalm 69:7-9; Isaiah 50:4-9; 53:3; Romans 15:3)! Spiritually, He was driven outside the camp by religious men claiming to know God as were His apostles who also left us an example to follow (1 Corinthians 4:6-17, 11:1). We go to Him outside the camp in the sold out heart of an aspiring strong man of God in His image driven there too in suffering and shame for His Name sake and Gospel cause by outwardly religious men--many as false and others willfully disobedient brethren--along with a rejecting world (2 Corinthians 11:22-26; Philippians 3:17-19).
The practitioners of manmade Christianity the religion from all backgrounds share commonly unbelief in the resurrected, presently living reality of Christ and the continuing veracity and power of God’s Word as it is written. They outwardly profess allegiance to Christ and His cause in the Gospel while denying both through their deeds (Titus 1:15-16). Truly, they are more loyal to their powerless, invented form of Christianity than the Lord Jesus! We are well warned to turn away from them since jaded by their corrupt and empty form of the faith, they do attempt to dissuade the sincere devotion of men freshly saved and discourage the faithful caught off guard (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
I have encountered these religious men and women all of my journey with Christ since 1977 and can readily testify that what is recorded in the Bible and nearly two millennia of history about them is true. As though my own weaknesses in the flesh have not been enough as painful obstacles to my goal of becoming a strong man of God in the image of Christ, professing Christian religionists like Rudy’s brother have sought to douse the flame of sincerity in me. In ministry, my “fellow yoke men” as Rudy’s father have urged conformity to the religious status quo while shown up teammates openly question whether serving Christ requires “all that” and not so subtly suggest I “dial it down a notch.” Of course, my years of failure to attain “success” in their eyes certify their counsel.
Even so, in the ways of unregenerate men, they have penalized me variously for not playing ball with them. From not inviting me to preach or teach in their churches to refusing to support our Ministry or purchase resources that will greatly help them and the men they supposedly care about the message is clear: you are rejected unless you do it our way. I made up my mind long ago and encourage you who would also aspire to become strong men of God in the image of Christ to do the same going into 2015 (Philippians 2:12-13). I will serve the Lord following Him outside the camp now, that I may also be with Him in the city He has prepared for those that serve Him (John 12:25-26, 14:1-6; Hebrews 11:8-16, 12:1-2, 18-24, 13:14-15)! In the day I faithfully finish my course, by faith I see the angels carrying me on their shoulders into glory with cheering from the saints that have gone before welcoming me home (Psalm 116:12-19; Luke 16:19-22).
1 I joyfully acknowledge being greatly inspired by the Lord through a message preached May of 2014 in a Portland church by Josh Sofaer with Jews For Jesus, Los Angeles
that included instruction on Hebrews 13:13 cited in this blog. Happy New Year!
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