Ephesians 4: “Prepare and Position”

Reblogging because so pertinent to now.

DrDonLynch

Jesus ascended back to heaven after His Resurrection to bring All to full consummation, to apply what He had secured by His finished work, and to accomplish what only Kingdom of God on earth could accomplish.

As He ascended to finish what His finished work enabled Him to finish, He bestowed some apostles, prophets, teachers, evangels, and shepherds as gifts to the saints. They prepare and position the saints to do the serving work that constructs Christ’s Ecclesia (Paul uses the metaphor of a body here), produces agreement in faith and knowing Jesus Christ in the fullness of the measure of His stature. This should also stop weakness and wandering, people wavering about because they lack a set foundation of teaching and behavior that keeps them from being blown around by breezes of other teachings inconsistent with the apostolic didache (a body of apostolic teaching that represents what Jesus taught…

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What Makes Church Work Properly?

Expanded version of blog post on Kingdom Leadership Dynamics

DrDonLynch

The modern approach to Scripture starts with what we want and fits Scripture to it so that God appears to say what we are doing pleases Him. One of the best examples of this dysfunction comes from the often quoted “equipping the saints.”

Kingdom Leadership Dynamics for the Ecclesia

Paul opens our eyes to God’s leadership strategy in Ephesians 4. Jesus leaves earth, and bestows five different kinds of leaders upon the kingdom Ecclesia that function to prepare and position saints (holy ones) to serve within the Body to make the Body function efficiently and effectively. Paul uses the body metaphor to explain how these leadership dynamics produce the results Jesus wants for His church.

In one particular phrase, Paul uses the Greek word, katartizo, to define how these leadership dynamics operate and what they accomplish when they are doing what He designed them to do. Jesus gave the five…

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Equipping the Saints

Refreshing some ideas for this moment.

DrDonLynch

Paul opens our eyes to God’s leadership strategy in Ephesians 4. Jesus leaves earth, and He bestows five different kinds of leaders upon the kingdom that function to prepare and position the members of His Ecclesia. Paul uses the body metaphor to explain how these leadership dynamics function, the measurement of success we should use, and observable results that leadership function brings to the kingdom’s Ecclesia.

In one particular phrase, Paul uses the Greek word, katartizo, to define what these leadership dynamics accomplish. Jesus gave the five dynamics of leadership to “katartizo” the holy ones so they can work the ministry within the Body of Christ.

So, equipping the saints becomes a fundamental health issue for the Ecclesia, and the meaning of the term becomes essential to a good understanding of kingdom leadership dynamics.

Like many words, this term has different facets of meaning depending upon the…

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Prophets Now!

Understanding the change that occurred in the life and ministry of Jesus, as it relates to the function of the prophet, leads to a fresh perspective on what we commonly call, “New Testament prophets.”

The turning point comes with Jesus, of course, but the revelation foundation begins with John. What John prepares history to receive provides us a fundamental insight into what is needed for us to understand the prophet in the reset of kingdom Jesus establishes.

Jesus makes the greatest reset of kingdom in history. As Son of David, sitting upon the throne of David, He makes the kingdom David established eternal as a spiritual kingdom with natural world influence. In doing so, the prophet John stands in a unique moment of transitional function, honoring the old while anticipating the new.

In the Season of Actualization

Prophets who prophecy in a generation in which things prophesied for generation will be fulfilled, as we are right now, do function uniquely.

It is not that John is so unique as his assignment is unique and John’s response to the assignment makes him unique. He is prophet. He is Messianic prophet. He is the last of one thing yet not the first of another, so he is uniquely transitional.

John is a prophet that will not succeed in terms of seeing what he announces and anticipates come to pass; however, he is a prophet who will see what he anticipates reach the fullness and fulfillment in a way no other prophet has ever seen. He is like no other in greatness because of his assignment. He will remain least in the kingdom because his generation will utterly fail at responding to the prophet’s leadership. He will be the culmination of a process of anticipation but not the initiator of the Messianic age.

Understanding John is key to understanding the life and ministry of Jesus as a basis for understanding kingdom reset in which New Testament prophets now function. In the season of actualization, prophets hold onto the fuller body of work spoken by previous generations, who did not live to see what they prophesied, while living that fullness and fulfillment with anticipation of a prepared and positioned Remnant people properly responding to the season of actualization.

John is the greatest. John is the least. The words of Jesus concerning John do not assume the absence of prophets in the kingdom after His life and ministry – we know He personally bestowed prophets upon the kingdom Ecclesia – they reveal the horrifying rejection of a His generation to the accumulated revelations that should have made them the most prepared people on earth and in history for Messiah’s arrival.

Yet, they all missed the manger!

Right Now

Step into this understanding: we are now in a season of actualization. The kingdom reset is not as great as the one Jesus originated, but He is originating another reset with historic upheaval and consequence nearly as great. Again, He looks for preparation and positioning of the Remnant as the basis for actualization of the accumulated prophetic anticipation. He is looking for forerunners, for sure, but He is looking for prophetic leadership within a prepared and positioned Remnant that John could not enjoy.

Jesus revealed in “the glory of His kingdom,” tells Simon, James, and John that John is the Elijah prophesied to arrive for a season of preparation, a forerunner and pioneer prophet for a time of actualization. Jesus says, “In rejecting John, they rejected Me.” Having refused the preparation and positioning, the Remnant people and generation refusing Messiah, failing to understand that Messiah would arrive to restore kingdom, kingdom culture, and kingdom conquest.

Instead of receiving the preparation, Jesus’ generation held onto their substitutes for kingdom, kingdom culture, and kingdom conquest. Their own kingdom based upon political factions operating against the kingdom’s purposes. Their own culture based upon traditions of the fathers that made kingdom culture of no effect. Their own conquest that makes a proselyte a twofold child of hell.

Jesus says, “All the Law and prophets prophesied with reference to John.” (Matthew 11) The tense and sense of this phrasing says, “The ultimate goal of all that prophetic leadership and function was the prophetic leadership and function of John. What they did and said, and how they led, anticipated John. They were attempting to prepare and position a Remnant culture for the arrival of Messiah. When Messiah arrived, however, John was required to prophetically respond to generations of failure, so John is least in the kingdom that Messiah resets while greatest in the accumulated anticipation of Messiah’s arrival.

John cannot function in response to the age of salvation for Israel but in preparing and positioning a Remnant for kingdom reset. (Paul finds some of those disciples in Ephesus years later and begins with them to initiate regional Awakening.) And what John accomplishes means John fades while Jesus flares. Both bright lights will be extinguished by a Remnant generation in rebellion, but the process will produce something far greater than history had ever seen before!

Here we stand. Is the Remnant prepared and positioned? To what extent is this true? To what extent do we consider this aspect of accumulated prophecy into our time of actualization function?

Prophets Right Now

In the moment of reaching a high point of prophetic anticipation, the prophets functioning right now should be more radical in preparation and positioning than any of the previous three or four generations. We are not anticipating as much as we are preparing and positioning with urgency: God is serious, and God is in a hurry!

We have moved far toward “Prophecy for Dummies” as if merely hearing Holy Spirit, as all believers do, is a sign or symptom of “prophetic” operation. This is neither the gift of prophecy or the prophet in function. From that immature accumulation of a subculture comes the exact opposite of what the prophets should be doing: namely, a rebellious rejection of forerunner leadership at the very time is becomes more essential to the kingdom!

The immaturity of the prophetic accumulation producing a bottomline of “I can hear God for myself, so I don’t need anyone telling me what to do.” Yet, we live in a moment of history that demands prophets function at the foundational levels, preparing the Lord a people ready for the next season.

The idea that activating people in prophetic gifting and operations takes away from the development of a prophetic culture can only come from a non-Biblical source. God designs and defines the prophet to foundational function, so the maturing of the prophetic would make people more likely to hear and respond to prophets than at any other time in history!

If we are producing a response to prophets that empties the kingdom of the need for them, we do err exceedingly in our approach to the prophetic!

If the prophets are not confronting what limits the preparedness of this generation for the season of actualization, we do err exceedingly!

If prophets are functioning at the foundational level, the lack of kingdom culture has become so desperate in it absence that we can no longer prioritize spiritual stuff without immediate, radical correction. If our grasp of “the supernatural” is so childish and immature that it produces lawlessness in the kingdom instead of vastly improved and increased submission to kingdom culture’s principles, procedures, and protocols, we will as unprepared for the season of actualization as Jesus’ generation was for the manger.

Kingdom Centers and Ecclesia

Kingdom Culture and Ecclesia

For more than 17 years, we have been fully engaged in establishing kingdom centers in strategic locations internationally. We did not plant a church because we knew that a center functions so differently from modern church-anity that people would continuously gravitate toward the existing model.

Ecclesia should be built upon a kingdom foundation. Ecclesia should be built, not planted, with intentionality, “called together into assembly” to accomplish a kingdom assignment. Ecclesia implements kingdom assignment, given to kingdom leaders.

To begin a center, you begin with apostles and prophets as foundational kingdom leadership dynamics. To the extent you have both of these foundational leadership dynamics functioning, the center’s foundation can support existing structure at each stage of growth, mature in function, expand in numbers without sacrificing original purpose, and expand in influence. These foundations must be localized, that is, they must function from a strong home base so that influence extend without outrunning the supply line.

Immediately I hear that someone says, “Paul didn’t remain localized.” My answer would be that Paul didn’t intend to operate kingdom centers but to initialize kingdom in the scope of his assignment, and Paul did localize whenever and wherever he functioned in this way. Paul intended to normalize kingdom culture, Gospel message, and leadership development to non-Jews, blazing out like a burning torch long before the maturity of what he originated.

Paul intended to prepare spiritual sons and daughters to operate kingdom centers. In fact, the model of Paul, as a lifestyle or life’s work, would be a less than desirable for most modern leaders for several reasons, and saying so does nothing to diminish his assignment or leadership as an apostle. That is, we do err to assume that Paul is the only or highest or most obvious apostolic model.

Paul’s “foundational function” was a whole bunch different from the foundational function of other apostles and prophets and the ones he set into place as oversight elders.

Very few modern apostles function like Paul, for very good reasons. They are authentic apostles, but their assignments aren’t like Paul’s in any particularly measurable or observable ways. Since Paul didn’t begin any of his kingdom establishing efforts as “church plants” and none of the apostolic models of Ecclesia match our present ones, we recognize that modern church-anity isn’t very apostolic.  Apostles understand that Paul established kingdom and “ekklesia” happened, that once we establish kingdom and kingdom culture, Ecclesia functions from that on earth as it is in heaven reality.

Paul prepared kingdom leaders so the Ecclesia would function with kingdom leadership dynamics. He had the momentum of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus upon, within, around, and through him in ways we do not presently have them in most nations.

We can certainly discover elements of apostolic fathering from Paul, (and some move his model to the top of the list because of the bounty of information Holy Spirit chose to release through his writings), but we cannot limit our understanding of “apostle” to Paul or his experiences when his mission centered upon the preparation and positioning of emerging apostles and prophets.

Nor can we rightfully dismiss the aspect of Ephesians 2:20 through which we understand the foundational leadership of apostles and prophets to initialize kingdom Ecclesia: to some extent the originating leaders did initialize things in unique ways that we are not. We do not initialize things in the same sense or manner because we are centuries down the road of history from that set of kingdom conditions. That is, foundational leaders for Kingdom Centers must be developed, not recruited, so that kingdom foundations become the basis for the function of Ecclesia.

Kingdom Center

I am not stuck on the name. I am aware that others use it along with a list of other names that seek to identify some form of the same concept. I am hopeful that the apostolic and prophetic foundations laid will provide blueprints, spiritual dimension settings true to the Chief Cornerstone, and resources to assist others in building upon set foundations.

I am certain that a Paul-like leadership, an apostolic initializing model of “here today and gone tomorrow,” isn’t the only model, the most desirable model, nor even the fundamental way Jesus designed His representatives to function. That is, how Paul functioned doesn’t turn his experience into a principle. His principles are principles when recorded by Holy Spirit in Scripture, but his experiences aren’t principles.

Paul wasn’t the last apostle. Paul wasn’t the epitome of the apostolic. Paul wasn’t the final or exclusive word on apostolic function. Many people were “called apostles” and called “apostles” who didn’t function like Paul, and Paul doesn’t demand that every apostle alter his assignment to model his. These assumptions have both limited apostolic maturity and misrepresented the function of “apostles.” In fact, Paul prepared apostles and prophets to function in ways much different from his own, while they maintained the spiritual DNA, principles, and protocols Paul laid down for kingdom leadership and Ecclesia functionality.

For the apostle and prophets located at any Kingdom Center home base to fulfill personal assignments, they need to become kingdom resource for the entire region.

The resource an apostle brings can be summarized by assignment: apostles have the authority of their assignments; apostles represent the One who authorizes their assignments; apostles train leaders to expand and establish the assignments; and, apostles have a specific aspect of assignment to produce the culture of the kingdom.

The founding apostle may provide foundational apostolic didache upon which the assignment continues and expands, but the apostles and prophets he builds into the foundations of the Ecclesia must answer to the assignment. Ecclesia originated by the these apostle assignments receive this foundational assignments and kingdom culture from the assignment more than the apostle, but the measurement of success must answer to the origination blueprints. (Apostolic didache is the continuation of the ministry of Jesus no matter how far into the future that body of teaching may enter history.)

Therefore, a kingdom center should measure success by the influence and impact of kingdom culture upon the prevailing culture of the region in which it is located. It should be a resource for altering the culture of that region through kingdom leaders. It should announce and enable a process that matures leaders to the level of function equal to the scope of the assignment.

An apostle with a regional assignment should be able to produce leaders able to function at a regional level. An apostle with an international assignment should be able to mature leaders to function at an international level. An apostle whose scope of authority is localized should assume that alignment with apostles and prophets who function regionally and internationally provides him the best opportunity to fit his work into a broader blueprint of kingdom influence. The resources of a local Kingdom Center should interact with the resources of a regional and national Kingdom Centers, moving toward fuller interaction internationally.

Apostles and Prophets

Building a foundation with an apostle or apostles without adding prophets to the foundation, or adding them after the initialization, produces dysfunction. If Ephesians 2:20 teaches us that apostles and prophets remain foundational to the Ecclesia as a building, “building” being the metaphor for Paul’s discussion of Ecclesia, apostles and prophets must remain functional during the entire process in the same ways they provided initial function at the laying of the foundations. When we build with apostles only, as if prophets remain something “other than,” we fail to mature the apostolic function in marked, personal ways. Without revelatory maturity, the “building” leans too far in one direction or another, so to speak.

I am involved in producing apostles and prophets who should and can function at an international level. I have an international assignment so I train everyone to function at that level. I am involved in producing apostles and prophets who can function together as foundational leaders since the foundation of kingdom “building” assumes more than one apostle or prophet for the regional and national scope. Combining many assignments through apostolic alignment, I am involved in producing apostles and prophets aligned with other international leaders who carry a fuller set of blueprints, in hopes that these leaders maintain strong home base Kingdom Centers as well.

Essentials of a Center

Apostle or an apostolic council as the eldership oversight requires apostolic leadership. The sense of the interchangeable terms “elder, bishop, presbyter,” includes “expertise and experience” that qualifies leaders for oversight responsibilities. Elders have the understanding of oversight because they have access to the blueprints of God’s purpose: how can you oversee something without a mature understanding of its purpose? Oversight provides accountability for the progress and proficiency of the blueprint production: “inspect what you expect.”

The term “elder” and “bishop” are interchangeable and signify expertise and experience, and the terms apply at any level or scope of assignment; hence, the need to clarify “apostolic council” from “take care of the buildings and grounds council” or “shepherding council.” The bishop of “cleaning the building” is as valid a designation of a bishop as the bishop functioning over a region or nation in terms of what the word means and how it applies, and both require some access to the blueprints though one would have significantly less than the other.

The polity concepts of manmade institutions usually unnecessarily complicate function: people of assignment must be matured so they function with expertise and experience in order to provide the necessary judgment and leadership to fulfill their scope of their personal assignments and provide maturity for the greater corporate assignment at local, regional, national, and international levels.

“Apostle” and “prophet” refer to calling and function. Some have the call but lack function. Some claim the title who do not have the call or function. No preparation can give a person the call. Hanging around with apostles or prophets will not produce the call. Desiring the title because of erroneous perceptions that “apostle” or “prophet” is the highest of the ascension gifts or “as far as you can go” in promotion “up the scale” is grossly immature in its malpractice.

Without an apostolic and prophetic assignment, a Kingdom Center isn’t logical or even possible, because the authority required to operate it will be missing.

Leading a Kingdom Center

You have the authority of your assignment, so the center you produce must answer to that assignment for a definition of “success” and the standard by which all priorities are set. If you have an apostolic assignment, the Kingdom Center serves to fulfill that assignment. It calls for the preparation and positioning of kingdom leaders for function within the Ecclesia Jesus builds in that region.

“Apostle” is calling and function. Apostle is as apostle does. When the called come into the function, ordination recognizes the legitimacy of the calling and that the calling is now functional. Some prefer the term “commissioning” but that seems more consistent with marking the ordained for a more specific, personal assignment. In either case, both terms are extra-Biblical except as we define them in application, and both terms denote recognition of calling and function.

The apostle or apostolic council needs to be resident even if the assignment is international, and the apostles are traveling. The home base of these apostles should be apparent to all, because it provides the validation for their integrity and specific authority.

Home Base

No matter the scope or sphere of assignment, the apostle needs a home base from which to function. It is not a temporary enterprise even though it may mobilize to touch the most distant places on earth. (Ecclesia may be temporary in form and expression of kingdom, but kingdom isn’t temporary.) The home base campus serves as a tool utilized for kingdom leadership development. The physical buildings are tools, so the tools should be suited to the function, and the best tools available should be secured.

Apostles and prophets move around, especially if the scope of their assignments are national and international, but each of them must have a strong home base. They must be “leaders who make leaders.” They must produce apostles and prophets, through the home base, who can also do what they do, and do more than they do, as a basis for expanding the foundations upon which everyone assigned can build.

The center must offer several aspects of the ministry of Jesus: freedom, healing, prophetic and apostolic training, worship, discipling, fathering, formalized discipling for kingdom leaders, seminars and conferences, the Ecclesia as a kingdom assembly, evangelism, teaching, and shepherding leadership initiatives, and leadership development for every aspect of culture.

To be center means to offer something foundational to many people in the region or nation in ways that strengthens the entire kingdom effort, to be poured out wine and broken bread to others, to the saints and through the saints to the culture.

To be a center that produces mature leaders, the leaders being discipled and fathered should function in and through this center. These leaders do not change the vision but they do expand the vision. They learn to function at a local, regional, and international level, given the scope of apostolic assignment, and make that level of spiritual power and authority available at the local, regional, and national level. The home base of an international ministry makes international kingdom authority and power available at the local level.

Why “Apostolic?”

We call them “kingdom centers,” because that is an appropriate descriptor. My original reason for using the term “apostolic” in reference to these centers answers to the function of blueprint and master builder leadership as described by Paul and mentioned by Jesus.

Matthew records Jesus’ discussion of Ecclesia and kingdom in his Gospel: “I will build My Ecclesia upon this rock foundation and the strategically positioned authorities of hades will not withstand its influence.” Holy Spirit chose this Greek word to describe what Jesus builds that alters the prevailing spiritual condition and influence wherever He builds it. The term “builds” has little to do with our sense of “building as a physical structure” because He is talking about ekklesia which is not a construction of a facility term at all.

My presupposition remains that Ecclesia and kingdom cannot be separated, that efforts to separate kingdom from Ecclesia redefine “church” in ways that remove its original design. Jesus builds His Ecclesia because He is King of the kingdom. Nothing in the Bible suggests, hints, explains, discusses, or delineates anything other than kingdom as the basis for Ecclesia, and we cannot even understand what Jesus says about Ecclesia if we assume He isn’t King of the kingdom.

The term “apostle” cannot be adequately explained by “sent one.” [FOr more on this premises read, Apostle, by Dr Don Lynch, Amazon.com.] Such an overly simplistic misrepresentation of the root word as a title for positional authority, without understanding what the term means, creates a misleading and false impression.

Apostle is a function. Every kingdom citizen is a sent one because we represent heaven in the earth since the kingdom itself represents the King, but not everyone within the kingdom is an apostle. A more technical or functionally specific term, apostolos speaks to a specific role with specific responsibilities and relationships, a special calling and function.

Consider how Alexander the Great conquered the world as a young king. He desired that Greek culture, the culture of his kingdom, would influence all the cultures within his kingdom. He sent apostles as specific representatives, a form of ambassador, emissary, or negotiator of terms to the regions, city-states, and nations over which his kingdom had influence.

Picture this: the apostle would enter the city gates – as the place where all regional business and government was centered – as the king’s representative carry the king’s decrees. He would call an ekklesia that would assemble the people in that city who had authority to receive the message and agree and activate the terms or hear the consequences for failing to do so. The “called together into assembly” was built by the apostle by virtue of the specific function he carried, directly from the king who had influence and leadership over the territory.

The apostle would provide and communicate directions and blueprints for what the king wished constructed, so the elements of Greek culture – literature, arts, music, drama, philosophy, economics –  and the norms of Greek culture would become the norms of that culture because it was part of the Greek kingdom.

An apostle can only expect an ekklesia where there is kingdom, and the ekklesia can only be composed of kingdom citizens. Then, the Kingdom Center looks like the gates of heaven opposing, resetting, and displacing the gates of hades in a region.

So, the apostolic aspect of a Kingdom Center provides the most specific representation and fullest blueprint perspective of the assignment and the most complete measuring tool for kingdom accountability.

That said, the apostle or apostles of the center do not lord it over everybody else (at all) as much as they represent a scope of leadership that provides the most complete understanding of the objectives of the King. The apostle’s assignment expands into and through preparation and positioning of spiritual children, working with all five aspects of the ministry of Jesus, to prepare and position believers within the Ecclesia. Apostle, as representative, remains responsible for the integrity of the center, and continues as the King’s delegate of authorization for the center’s scope of influence.

In addition, the apostolic provides a place for alignment with other regional, national, and international assignments, the point of contact for these alliances. The Kingdom Center matrix fits into the fullest expression of kingdom on earth.

The Fivefold Ministry

The ministry of Jesus, bestowed upon the Ecclesia, carries on and continues every aspect of kingdom leadership established and expressed by Jesus Himself. He builds His Ecclesia with and through kingdom leaders who lead kingdom people into a fully functional, increasingly mature, and love-based expression of His stature. All the five aspects of His ministry continue in history as the ministry of the Kingdom Ecclesia, so that a fully constructed building of living stones, a fully equipped Body of operating parts, and a fully adorned Bride of holy beauty is available in the earth. All the spiritual systems of that authoritative spiritual oikos or household, with a sense of family but not dominated by “family is church,” operate to the benefit of each kingdom citizen.

The fivefold ministry provides all leaders unique aspects of the disposition and leadership of Jesus. Jesus does not equip. The kingdom leaders equip. This is obvious from the Scripture. This is the working definition of leadership and the operational strategy of kingdom life and living.

A Kingdom Center formalizes this process by informing and forming, reforming and conforming members as the people God created them to be so they can do what God called them to do. It cares for the simple-minded, vulnerable, and immature in ways that honor each member appropriately and releases mature love sincerely. At the same time, aspects of the building, body, and bride metaphors that answer to the realities of kingdom, sonship, and warfare, mature every individual from where they are to where they need to be.

By “formalizing,” I mean setting principles and protocols for progress and production that are measurable in behavior and kingdom culture. Standards that determine readiness for function and behaviors appropriate to the kingdom. The kingdom leadership dynamics should include markers of achievement observable and obvious within the Body so that God-given identity, calling, and gifts receive their proper honor, to distinguish true from false. Judging true and false is an important kingdom leadership dynamic for which there are formalized procedures, principles, and protocols.

A Kingdom Center provides the a full spectrum of kingdom leadership that says, “Start here. Get there.”

It can take the person newly-saved as far as God created and called them to go in terms of preparation and positioning to produce fullness, maturity, and fulfillment of personal and corporate purpose.

It may take twenty or thirty years for that fully operational center to reach function because all the moving parts may have to be matured, and what God calls any generation to do always requires more than one spiritual generation to complete, but a Kingdom Center incorporates all the New Testament kingdom vision and purpose.

Functional Aspects

  1. Intercession training and continuous intercession applications that become part of each aspect of the ministry. Intercession is the ministry, and ministry birthed in intercession operates in ministry. A Kingdom Centers makes intercessors. A Kingdom Center matures intercessors. A Kingdom Center matches intercession with ministry so that intercession does not take on a separate, life of its own operation. Intercession is life and lifestyle in kingdom culture and the first step in establishing a Kingdom Center. If you do not have intercessors, make some. Then, establish a PrayerMountain event that weekly trains and matures intercession by doing intercession. Train separately. When it comes to maturing intercession, you mature the intercessor as a leader but no one can learn or mature intercession without praying.
  2. FreedomMinistry is the message of the Cross as the Power of God. Freedom is about getting freedom and maintaining freedom. FreedomMinistry is about maturing in freedom by becoming a person who lives in expanding and deepening freedom. FreedomMinistry is the basis for discipling believers into matured leaders. Our version has four levels: Power of the Cross and Power of the Spirit as encounter seminars; and Serving Leaders and Personal Purpose and Identity as encounters seminars for leadership.
  3. A training forum that is formalized, awarding degrees that measure personal learning and ministry, paid for by the students, international in leadership training with personal growth measurements; students learn to receive on their own by reading and writing, and practical ministry assignments provide for measurement of function. This is best done formally, with tuition costs, moving leaders to diploma graduation.
  4. Revival strategies for regional influence and impact with an aim of being prepared for Great Awakening Revival.
  5. FreedomNite as a weekly event for healing, freedom, and prophetic ministry.
  6. David’s Army, a regional gathering for Remnant people that emphasizes worship and intercession warfare blended so well you cannot tell the difference between the leading to a David’s Tent form of regional watch of worship and intercession.
  7. A FirstDay event for Sunday morning that provides a bridge between the present models of church and the expanded model of Ecclesia.

Prophet: Prophets as Leaders

A prevailing sense of isolation among prophets and seers, produced, by erroneous interpretations and implementations of “intimacy with God”, leaves us with people operating in a vacuum who should be fully engaged in open, leadership level, public dialogue.

Prophets as leaders escapes us. Some apostles even assume prophets are mouthpieces with no more responsibility than to speak and share and “go back to the cave” and stare at the rocks until you get something else.

Prophet as leader seems far away when it should be as real as Sunday morning sunrise! We need some thunder in the house! We need some oversight for the process of revelation that will move us past the Cracker Jack prize mentality that “Prophecy for Dummies” has produced!

Personal prophecy for those with conferenceitis is another excuse to avoid submitting to leaders so God’s purpose can be pursued with principle, process, and protocol. It is an escape from the process of preparation. It is a magic want approach to destiny. It is as wrong as horoscopes and star gazing when pursued outside prophetic process.

Personal Prophecy Delusions

Personal prophesy dominates the modern lineup simply because the conference-based promotion of prophetic seeks to mainstream the prophetic by fleshly means. The subtle promise that you might get a life-changing word attracts scrapbook prophetic junkies. They hope some word will obligate God to finally get His act together and make their Disney star wishes come true with a personal “bippidity-boppity boo”.

Having prophesied to tens of thousands of people, I won’t stand for anyone assuming here that I have a problem with personal prophecy. But the merchandising of the prophetic is not just a problem for those charging $200 for a good word and $500 for a better word. It is the merchandising that arises when we put the hottest prophets on the circuit on the flyer with the implication that you just haven’t been in the room with the right level of prophet, but if you get to this one…(pay your $75 pre-registration fee today lest you miss this conference and God never get the “set you into your amazing future” prophecy you’ve been hoping for).

Multiple Levels

The Prophet releases revelation with multiple levels of revelation. The Prophet engages in awareness of the opposing views. The Prophet understands the dialogue requires more than mouthpiece function. The Prophet has eldership authority and responsibility, oversight of a scope of blueprinted territory.

The sense in which both apostle and prophet are foundational becomes more clear in this way: the scope of assignment comes from the blueprints they share in leadership function. When prophets (or apostles) step outside the scope of their blueprints assignments or scuttle back into a cave, they abjugate the vitals of their leadership.

They become much less that God intended prophets to be. The idea that a prophet needs to become a hermit and leave the real leadership to others is the very limitation we need to breakthrough. That mentality puts the prophet into performance mode as much as anything else. The prophets begin to see themselves only valuable when they rush out of the caves, to the platforms, release the most recent thing they got in the cave. On the way back to the cave, they fall more deeply under the influence of the faulty conclusion that “my part is now over’.

Of course, sometimes the observable oddity of prophets and their assumed weirdness that cloaks their insecurities makes people want them to live in caves. Prophets as leaders prophesy without wearing flashing bow ties, blue streaks in their hair, half shaven faces, and pony tails, long fingernails, and locust blood on their chins. “Cave slug” fashions are not necessary to prophetic accuracy.

Prophetic Self-Talk

Internal Prophetic Communication

Every believer has a conversation going on inside, talking to and with themselves as the mind carries on internal dialogue. The conversation is often composed of positives and negatives, or comparisons and contrasts, as the mind analyzes thoughts, combines them into concepts, make decisions, reaches conclusions.

Believers argue with themselves a way of determining what they hold onto or disregard as true, valuable, and consistent. The process is complex but part of the constant and consistent internal discussion through which the spiritual mind solves problems and makes decisions. Once a  believer has a set of values and beliefs that demand application and implementation in real life with voices in the mind takes sides about simple and complex things, listening to sources of input and information.

For the believer in tune with his own spirit, receiving constant and consistent input from Holy Spirit, a complete paradigm shift of how to think arrives that includes revelation of things unavailable to the human mind through any other source but the spirit.

I call this “prophetic self-talk” when the mind is working with information communicated by spiritual means or the mind assumes that the information comes from a spiritual source. While this is a norm for all believers because they have Holy Spirit in their lives, the maturing of this kind of internal mental processing may hit some bumps in the road, and the possibility of deception is real. Deception can become delusion when the mind jumps to conclusions.

Prophetic self-talk, like all other forms of internal communication, can be key to living in boldness, confidence, faith in the form of trust and faith in the form of action, as well as, a basic way that believers take every thought captive to obedience to Christ.

However, prophetic self-talk must recognize the sources properly, engage in prophetic process faithfully, and resist the work of hell to capture the mind with evil imaginations. The enemy will plant a thought and work to convince the believer he thought it, that it was a revelation from God, or that what the believer lusts after is a legitimate part of the process of deterring what God wants.

In this way, prophetic self-talk can be deceptive and sometimes lead to delusional conclusions about the direction and directives of God. Some believers reach a level of pride in which they assume that every thought they have is from God, that their prophetic processing is perfect, and that their motivations are so pure that no accountability is needed.

God Speaks Today!

Prophetic self-talk occurs within the prophetic person who has prophetic operations and functions, who carries on the same prophetic practices within themselves without the proper protocols to process what they see as revelatory information.

  1. It is obvious that God speaks today, that He is involved with His people individually and corporately, and part of His involvement is teaching, leading, revealing, correcting, reproving, disciplining, and communicating as part of His passionate love for His people and purposes.
  2. It is obvious God communicates in the several methods the Bible reveals He uses to reveal what is hidden, or what cannot be known properly unless God reveals it.
  3. It is obvious that this means every believer learns to recognize the communication of God in order to receive what God communicates in contrast to what the believer thinks or what other sources communicate, both natural and spiritual. The believers make choices about what is God and not, and this process is imperfect even though God’s communications are.
  4. It is obvious that any believer can talk himself or herself into believing that God communicated something, giving it the same high level of authority in making decisions and solving problems that God deserves when God was not the source of the communication or the conclusion reached by that believer.

So, I conclude that many people who have been trained or learned prophetic operations and even prophetic function prophesy to themselves. They engage in self-talk that is self-prophetic. They come to consider that self-prophetic process exempt from the prophetic process applied to all prophecy because they come to assume that this prophetic self-talk is the same thing as God speaking. There is a marked difference in the method God uses to communicate internally within believers and the way prophecy communicates revelation.

God is talking all the time to His people through impressions, dreams, visualizations, and language-based insights that arrive through the spirit of a believer. While these are all a way of communicating, they are not all prophetic or a form of prophecy in the technical or functional sense. Many times a dream simply reveals what’s going on in a believer’s own heart, the outflow of internal dialogue, the imagery of personal emotions, or the imagining of one’s self in interacting internally with respect to conflict and comprehension. In that sense, no direction or directive is given or intended no matter at what level God is involved.

Prophets, Prophecy, and Prophetic Process

The very reason God has prophets and prophecy that comes through all the believers who operate in this important grace capacity,  the reason they have prophetic dreams other than those that provide simply understanding of internal feelings and imaginations, is that God designed and defined prophecy to be something uniquely different from that spiritual life communion. God knows full well the prophetic capacities of believers, wants them to receive revelation, but never intended that this aspect of His relationship with them would short-circuit the leaders He created, designed, defined, and assigned them.

God wants every believer to enjoy the fullness of kingdom leadership, and prophecy needs leadership, order, accountability, principles and protocols just like any other aspect of kingdom to avoid the pitfalls possible to human imperfection.

Although God’s part of the process is always perfect, God makes no guarantee that believers become perfect because they become spiritual. In fact, God makes Himself clear in design, definition, and directives concerning revelation by providing both people and process leadership principles and protocols to safeguard revelation.

When we fail to properly distinguish between prophetic self-talk and prophecy, we fail to apply needed caution, accountability, and wisdom that comes from outside ourselves. Sometimes assuming we are having more communication with or from God than we actually are, we are falling into a form of pride that assumes every thought that enters the mind is from God.

I have observed this phenomenon in prophets and prophetic people for some time. I have certainly observed myself falling prey to the temptation. I want to hear God. I also want to think that I hear Him a lot. I want to think that God is so involved that He makes me as wise as He is.

I fell into the trap through spiritual pride in the early days of prophetic experience. I felt so close to God and was experiencing spiritual things so intensely that I came to the conclusion that I was spiritual in an exaggerated sense. I was certain I was correct in every assumption I made or that my assumptions were actually conclusions reached by revelation. Boy! I learned some hard lessons.

Having leaders to call you on it is step one! Submitting to those leaders is the safest way to overcome the deep desire to be something you are not or cannot be. Learning to say, “I have no idea!” when people expect you to discern it all is vital!

Dangers of Exempting Self-Talk from Leadership

When prophetic self-talk reaches conclusions, these conclusions seem exempt from prophetic process, and people are even willing to name drop “God” as a means of exempting themselves from the prophetic security that comes from leadership. They are willing to dismiss all discussion, merely announce their internals findings, and make horrendously inappropriate, even sinful, decisions, while blaming God for them.

I’ve seen some of my precious spiritual children quit jobs, make moves, jump ship, start ministries, spend or invest money, and even marry someone based upon prophetic self-talk. I weep at the messes they made they continue to attribute to God, and traps they fell into, some of which continue to imprison them to this day. I saw them exempt their prophetic self-talk from the prophetic process because they wished to do what they wanted to do, believe what they wanted to believe, and think what they wanted to think.

In other words, they wished to say this with a loud voice, “God told me to.”

Here some things that happen when you exempt prophetic self-talk from prophet process:

  1. You jump to conclusions about people you see as a threat, dislike personally, or hope to diminish in order to make more room for yourself in the kingdom, assuming that God is showing their weakness or sin as justification for your otherwise bad attitude toward them; you justify rivalry and contest with pseudo spiritual input;
  2. You settle upon something you want and project your demanding desire upon God as a revelation of what He wants justifying your delusions, investing spiritual functions in strengthening your “confirmations” of your misguided imaginations of the will of God;
  3. You dream a fleshly dream in your imagination and interpret it as a God-given passion, building a defense around it because of its value to your heart, and attribute experiences, thoughts, further imaginations, and air castle ideas to revelation when they are simply human imagination; while human imagination is awesome and healthy, it cannot stand the process prophetic revelation must endure;
  4. You find listening ears for your self-talk, some relational association that allows your self-talk celebration; finding this kind of friend is never difficult and often leads to mutual self-talk delusions as one parries the other into deeper “confirmations,” even leading to pseudo prophetic words between you;
  5. You begin to move more of authentic prophetic revelation into this faulty process, drawing back from sharing with leaders and other prophetic people, isolating at a greater pace until you find that you need no leadership, no sharing, no accountability, convincing yourself that what you think, judge, decide, want, and determine is sufficient because God is the One revealing things to you: of course, the prophetic process always assumes that God is the One revealing things, so you have excluded yourself from what He designed and defined to protect you from the very error that has overcome you!

Appropriate Prophetic Self-Talk

When revelation comes, tested, judged, confirmed, and approved, that revelation becomes part of the redeemed mindset of a transformed believer! His self-talk is certainly full of prophetic revelation, but it does not become part of his prophetic self-talk until after it has been processed properly.

The mind of Christ receives revelation readily. The mind of Christ assimilates revelation and gives it priority for determining a proper grasp of reality. Prophetic revelation changes the process by which believers live their lives. The mind of Christ begins with the spirit to process information, think, judge, reach conclusions, and make decisions, and solve problems.

The mind of Christ is spiritual and feeds into the mind of the believer. The mind of the believer has capacities for perception, memory, ideation, reasoning, intention, decision, combining feelings and emotions as input to the processing of information, all of these answering to belief. And, the mind of the believer is controlled by obedience to Christ.

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient. Look at the obvious facts. Or you look at things only on the basis of appearance. Those who say they belong to Christ must recognize that we belong to Christ as much as they do. I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority.  (2 Corinthians 10:4-8)
Notice that Paul recognizes that believers have a battle in the mind, yet believers have the mind of Christ, open to revelation. Paul makes it clear that the process of setting believers free is one a leader does. Paul isn’t saying that believers need to use these weapons, in this instance, but that he uses them as a leader to bring thoughts into captivity to Christ.
My point is that God assumes that believers need leaders in their lives to do some serious warfare with regards to how those believers think.
We can apply this to the prophetic self-talk discussion.