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.

Blueprint Leadership: Executing God’s Strategies

The Blueprint Room

I once visited a construction company’s offices to review blueprints, and the company had an entire room dedicated to blueprint storage. Large-drawered cabinets dominated the room, clearly marked, collecting a vast museum of proposed and previously constructed building projects.

The person I was with went to a drawer and lifted a set of blueprints from a stack stored in one drawer, throwing them out like a sheet on a bed upon a large table so we could review one section of the prints that were pertinent to my responsibilities.

Considering this situation today, I was struck with the analogy: perhaps we have such a room filled with revelations of God’s construction assignments as well, properly catalogue and often mentioned in terms of “we received a prophetic word.” Yet, the room is filled with God’s projects as if the blueprints He has revealed await God’s implementation. They do not. God has representatives on earth to build what He designs in heaven; waiting on God to do what God is waiting on us to do might be considered the greatest rebellion of kingdom history because it is a massive collection of disobedience!

Voicing Vision without Implementation

Beware the tendency to shout loud about a prophetic revelation and to do nothing about it, anticipating the God will enforce His judgments when the reason for the revelation has more to do with how His representative people will enforce them. Beware the immaturity of apostolic and prophetic leadership that hears and sees but fails to prepare and position.

The operative word for kingdom leadership says, “Prepare and position the saints.” To apply the physical body meaning of the word for “perfect” implies both preparation and positioning. A prepared body part must be put into place for the operation it was prepared to do, in concert with other body parts. This is the metaphor of Ephesians 4.

The operative word for kingdom leadership says, “Apostles and prophets lay foundations that align with the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. The master builders have blueprints for the entire building from site preparation to finish work.” The metaphor of building implies that the revelation is the approval for the plans and the authorization for the construction. Blueprints leaders have a much greater assignment than merely voicing a revelation or calling people to a vision. They must do something to implement the revelation!

Right now, kingdom blueprints remain in storage racks as accumulations of Divine assignments await apostolic and prophetic maturity. The point is that until we have an apostolic and prophetic people prepared and positioned to implement, the beauty of artist conceptions for kingdom construction become a gallery show of conceptualizations for us to ooh and aah over instead of a working blueprint calling every believer in a region or nation to their destinies.

“Accurately Anticipating” Applied to Alignment and Assignment

We are still making prophetic announcements of revival and Awakening now as if these are new and novel insights to be celebrated or general invitations to anyone and everyone to parade and party. They are a call to identify the authentic apostolic and prophetic leaders who can found things, kingdom representatives who can tell people what to be and do so that what they are and do builds a body and building.

After spending (almost wasting) time identifying bricks and piling them in neat stacks, we have yet to complete foundations for revival and Awakening, hoping that God will do it for us. He will not. After spending inordinate amounts of emotional energy identifying vision that paints the artist conceptions of the edifices, we have yet to identify the subcontractors or even properly assign the site preparation work that matches the finished product.

We revel in our vision and neglect our assignments. We are like Noah preaching a flood while staring at the timbers that he must assemble to save his family! We assume declaring something obligates God to build something when God reveals so we can do the work!

We may also assume that praying and worshipping will make things magically appear that only the grander kingdom leadership functions can bring to pass. That is, prayer and worship do not form physical things or transform people without the complete functional leadership of the kingdom in full implementation. Praying without preaching or worshipping without discipling won’t produce a mature body. Praying won’t lay bricks or install windows. Without prayer it won’t be right, and we know that. But, the idea that we wait on God to do what God waits upon us to do fills the blueprint with uncompleted assignments.

King Saul discovered quickly that God wasn’t interested in a leader who could offer a sacrifice but fail to obey. King Saul lost what prayer and worship provides because he thought 99% obedience would be enough. King Saul was replaced with David because God found in David someone with His heart, and God defines “has My heart” as “he will finish what I assign him to do.”

Identity: Ministry, Marriage, and Family

An observable pattern in ministry often reveals a pathology in the leaders: many ministry marriages and families fail to the point of discrediting or destroying ministry, and many ministry leaders ignore the more important and fundamental foundations upon which kingdom leadership rests.

For example, a preponderance of leaders who find identity in ministry undermine the foundations of marriage and family.

1. Your spouse didn’t marry a preacher. They married a lover. They didn’t marry a prophet or deliverance expert. They married a companion. THey didnt’ marry a life coach. They married a completer.

When the foundations of kingdom culture are ministry, and the identity of leaders comes from calling, as a first point of reference, marriage and family suffer. While some international leaders assume Paul meant to remain married because it takes away from ministry, thus postulating that calling trumps marriage and family relationships, they are wrong. They are missing the more important foundation of kingdom culture in their rush to spiritualize personal identity.

When fathering kingdom leadership, we do not begin with calling. We begin with creation. God began creation producing marriage. Then and only then, did He say, “Multiply and take dominion.” You ministry will only be as strong as your marriage, and you will only be as happy as your children as you grow older. All attempts to prioritize ministry over kingdom fail because of the obviously unBiblical idea that marriage and family are personal, none of anybody else’s business, and distant all considerations of calling, gifts, anointing, and leadership. A foolhardy supposition!

2. God doesn’t base identity on calling. The Son of God is the Son of God. He has a calling and assignment that He is perfectly fulfilling, but Father does not identify Him by ministry. He is Son representing Father. When the vision of John recognizes Him as Lamb, we still do not see a change of identity but a fullness of identity to which He arrives by obedience and submission.

The reality is if Jesus doesn’t finish His assignment, He remains Son of God. That is a purely ridiculous fantasy considered for the sake of discussion alone, for He is perfectly obedience and submissive to Father because that is what being His Son means.

So, none of us gain identity from calling and gifts since we receive identity in creation. Attempts to behave in ways consistent with ministry always damage the soul and all the relationships that join with it. Thus, a pattern of diminishing may be observed among ministers who gain identity from ministry, and their priorities turn from kingdom culture to performance at the expense of their spouses and children.

They find it easy to justify this by pointing to the benefits of ministry in others while dismissing discussions of diminishing marriage because they assume their spouses and children to be sacrifices to their higher calling. No higher calling exists. It is delusional to assume higher calling when God creates marriage and family as priorities!

Kingdom Culture

This is a good example of attempts at kingdom that ignore kingdom culture. Ministry becomes something odd and out of step to kingdom because it ignores kingdom culture. The resulting dysfunction piles up on the side of the road as wreckage: tens of thousands of leaders lying about too wounded to fight.

To assume we know better than our Maker is high dollar stupidity.

When we accept the world as a framework and its culture as a filtering system, our kingdom performers, like famous movie stars, singers, and cultural icons, experience two, three, and four marriages with children that act like hellish hooligans. Suicides in ministry occur. Children on drugs mar our private lives with pain. Leaders empty of soul turning to adultery and pornography as outlets for coping while maintaining the empty hallelujah of performance.

It is the reality of the kingdom we hope to ignore, or worse, as has now become pandemic, to justify with exaggerations of love, honor, and grace.

There is no amount of grace that makes adultery something we can ignore. There is not amount of love that gives God’s people a preacher addicted to porn. There is no honor that covers perversion. Marriage and family dysfunctions are not personal problems to be privatized; a kingdom leader’s marriage and family are everybody’s business because kingdom culture asks for integrity.

Ask Questions

As a fathering leader, I ask questions. I expect accountability about a leaders personal life to be the business of leadership, and I assume anyone running from those questions to be hiding something that should be available for inspection.

Really? Yes, really. I know that would empty most platforms of leaders. And, I know you are assuming that have expectations of perfections. You would be wrong. The point of being accountable isn’t about not having any problems but being teachable and transformable.

So, I can work with people in ministry with imperfect marriage and family realities as long as they are teachable and transformable, fully submitted to a process of improving kingdom culture in their personal lives. I cannot abide the most anointed leader for ten seconds who disdains accountability by offering me, even selling me, on the power and authority of ministry.

“A hundred were healed,” says very little to me when the hotel room pornography after the meeting answers to long ignored marriage issues.

Come off the road and prioritize your family instead of using the needs of people and the expectations of ministry performance to excuse you from being the man or woman you were created to be as the only healthy basis for representing God.

Reconciliation and Restoration

You know you have kingdom cultural problem when the basis for relationship reconciliation and restoration has no basis in principle, procedure, or protocol.
Reading the analysis of commentators and pundits on the breach between Barnabas and Paul over John Mark, one would think their relationship met a suddenly when it would be more consistent to the story and human experience in general to assume the conflict was a final step in its deterioration.

Paul and Barnabas had failures on reconciliation leading up to the John Mark crisis.

Analysis of many relationship breaches reveal:

  1. People tend to overlook little breaches and misunderstanding when they fail to discern that the pile of unresolved things is growing. When the pile finally reaches a proportion that blocks passageways, they then deal with the final breach without reference to the previous pile.
  2. People tend to assume that reconciliation and restoration should be based upon “whatever it takes” instead of principle, procedure, and protocol. The definition of “good relationship based upon love” that assumes a mature believer will go along to get along is so obviously erroneous as to be unworthy of consideration.
  3. As with Barnabas and Paul, the irreconcilables may expose fatal flaws in submission to assignment. It appears that Barnabas walks away from the assignment to which Holy Spirit him in order to devote himself to a personal project with John Mark. That might be the best analysis of the Scripture, certainly best presentation of the facts given us in Acts and other Scriptures. Otherwise, we are projecting presuppositions on the passages without applying kingdom cultural principles.
  4. When God defines a relationship and the roles and responsibilities of the relationship, reconciliation and restoration must continue to respond His definition. If you breach a marriage relationship, for example, God’s definition of marriage, roles, relationship, responsibilities, must be the foundation for restoration. You cannot assume that a man can reconcile with his wife and maintain a relationship with his mistress, right?
  5. In the same way, those that rebel against assigned authority, breach their submission to alignments, cannot be reconciled and restored to a different relationship with those leaders. The rebel can’t write the reconciliation package as if a negotiation is in order when God is the One who makes the leadership assignment in the first place. If the change of relationship is defined by God, there is a procedure and protocol for that redefinition, and the leader is the leader in that procedure.
  6. With regards to friendships, the procedures and protocols of the kingdom continue to apply. If the friendship is between married people, ignoring marriage relationships isn’t possible. If the friendship is between leaders, ignoring leadership relationships isn’t possible. If the friendship is between leader and follower, ignoring leadership protocols isn’t possible.

In other words, people in rebellion wish to redefine relationships to accommodate their demands, subvert their submission, and rewrite history to fit their justifications for having a problem with authority. Often, kingdom leaders as well as rebels ignore these kingdom culture dynamics in order to appear heroic or humble, and they allow or even celebrate the destruction of kingdom culture in so doing!

Kingdom has a culture, and that culture has principles, procedures, and protocols that help us define relationships, roles, and responsibilities. We cannot breach culture to mend fences. We cannot ignore God’s assignments because they make us uncomfortable. We cannot justify rebellion using cultural norms from the world or any other subculture without damaging kingdom culture.

The most obvious way we have failed to maintain kingdom culture: relationships.

Jesus Speaks

At first, we wonder why Jesus addresses relationship breach with such a lengthy treatment, as if this discussion is so important that He could leave out the big ticket items of modern churchanity to spend time discussing personal and corporate responses to relationship health. And, sad as it may be, the treatment of Matthew 18 in modern christianism is an insult and blasphemy to Jesus.

The reason Jesus focuses upon relationship for the Ecclesia answers to the discussion we are having about kingdom culture. Again, “the most obvious way we have failed to maintain kingdom culture: relationships.” We have sacrificed the principles, procedures, and protocols of the kingdom to “let’s find a way to get along.” That substitution of humanism and human cultural values for kingdom culture and kingdom values has so diminished kingdom culture that we have only some film and surface slush left!
Jesus speaks to the most basic because He speaks to the most general. If we get this right, we restore kingdom culture in fundamental ways! If we continue with our humanistic mores, the kingdom culture remains distant.

Kingdom has a culture. Relationships are fundamental to that culture. Marriage and family foundations come first. Government and social relationships come from those within the kingdom. Healthy Ecclesia relationships are as necessary to body health as the very systems of the physical body to its health.


What fails us most often in reading Scripture is an insufficient mindset, a context of presuppositions into which the words of Jesus say what they mean coming out of His mouth.

Of course, there is a whole body of christianism that never even tries to do this, subverting the Bible and Jesus to a different context and creating a false impression about the mind of Christ. We are not those people, right?

The presuppositions upon which Jesus speaks do not damage any other Scripture, and any other Scripture, properly applied, does no damage to the words of Jesus. So, the presuppositions of Jesus about kingdom culture serve in applying and implementing relationship reconciliation and restoration.

“Gained a brother” is a powerful phrase. But the discussion begins with “if your brother sins (that sin directed toward or against or involving) you.” So, Jesus begins the discussion with a breach of relationship, and that starting point is of vital importance to the rest of the discussion. How do we determine what “sin” means? And, the presupposition of Jesus in this entire scenario, serious as it is, speaks to that breach of relationship, because that relationship is defined by kingdom culture.

False Expectations and Sins

Most of the relationship breaches in which I have been involved, whether between me and someone else in the kingdom, between people I lead in the kingdom, or between kingdom leaders, are not “sin” based breaches at all. They seldom involve sin; they are usually and predominately breaches of false expectations, selfish and childish, stubborn and silly, personal stuff that adults should be able to talk out.

I don’t think we do great disservice to kingdom culture when someone fails to offer us the response we imagine we deserve in our delusions, in other words. “They failed to greet me properly. They ignored me. I should be receiving greater honor around from them.” That isn’t “sin involving you from your brother.” That is dysfunction in relationship that mature people work out through dialogue because of love.

Sinning is a breach of kingdom culture in terms of principle, procedure, and protocol. When that occurs, damage done to the entire culture must be addressed, else continued disregard for these sins destroys culture altogether.

Determining what Jesus means by “your brother sins” is of paramount importance here.
In most situations then, the “your brother sins” part of the relationship breach cannot be reconciled simply because the real issue isn’t an actual “sin involving you.” It is a matter of interpersonal maturity that needs long suffering, love, and honor.

Begin with the kingdom relationship definitions to determine “your brother sins involving you.” Then, address the breach of culture that answer to “sin” in order to repair the breach. For the most part, Jesus isn’t talking about friendship or people living up to your expectations of relationship, people treating you as you imagine, demand, prescribe, or expect, in other words. Those aren’t sins at all! Those are symptoms of your pride and immaturity.

Get the Glamor Out of Ministry!

Glamour, from as early as 1720 [Scottish], “magic, enchantment” a form of sorcery that projects spiritual influence upon the mind and perceptions, “to cast the glamor.” In English we find grammar in medieval applications to “any sort of scholarship, especially occult learning.” This from c. 1500 in English but common in Medieval Latin to describe spiritual influence in the study of mystery or hidden knowledge or knowledge of hidden things. Particularly in the writings of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Later, the sense of “magical beauty, alluring charm,” first recorded 1840. As that quality of alluring influence and attractiveness that came to be especially associated with Hollywood, high-fashion, celebrity, etc., by 1939.

(See also Jamieson’s 1825 supplement to his “Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language” has glamour-gift “the power of enchantment; metaph. applied to female fascination.” Jamieson’s original edition (1808) looked to Old Norse for the source of the word. Zoëga’s Old Icelandic dictionary has glám-sýni “illusion,” probably from the same root as gleam.)

Thus matured into an art form by modern media to create escapism as a way of characterizing reality in exaggerations for the purpose of entertainment but also with the aim to redefine reality through the attractiveness of this alternate worldview, thus giving meaning to reality from other sources.

Entering into christianism in the latter half of the 1900’s when the use of tools similar to Hollywood called some into a sense of showmanship, especially those with miracle working power in the kingdom who fell into the use of legitimate kingdom authority and power for alluring influence beyond the definition and design of their callings and assignments, building a false attractiveness to ministry and ministry personality upon the foundations of legitimate kingdom leadership.

Glamorizing Kingdom Leadership

This trap is in reach of all kingdom leaders, but the temptation tested those most who become well-known, especially in some novel way. They succumb to the altered state of fascination with their fame, building air castles of pride and delusion, some to the extreme, many to the point of distraction, still many others simply adding into the legitimate ministry of personal calling a personality distinction unworthy of a servant’s heart and role.

In short, there is nothing glamorous about ministry. Nothing. Start here. Proceed forward. Ministry must be real people in real time or we diminish the role of Holy Spirit in the ministry by creating an allusion about those who operate in His power.

We are repeating some tragic mistakes in our efforts to accumulate believers, build downlines, and construction ministry support foundations. We are glamourizing worship, prayer, preaching, and spiritual disciplines, especially with the young, to build perceptions that attract them to false entitlement, equality, and expectations.

I heard one leader say to a worship leader in a foreign country: “Come to our base in America, and we’ll make you the next _______.” Recruitment at this level of hype is wrong! That is building on glamourized fantasy, influencing people to participate in your downline with the work of imagination void of revelation, with little thought at all to the only real issue for kingdom: the will of the Father.

If God wants someone some place with some ministry, He assigns them. He doesn’t lure them to that place of ascended fascination with fame, the stage spotlight of “this is as good as it gets” and you can get it too. Such a sell job demeans Holy Spirit as our Leader, and insults Jesus as King of His kingdom.

To what extent do we use this worldly effort to encourage delusions in people? Do we allow it to remain in place with a shrug as if presenting the subtle hint or more obvious oversold impression that what they see on the stage is what they can have too if only they join in the mini-movement? Do we use the very successes that bring glory to God in exaggerated ways that add allure and glamor to the equation, allowing hundreds, even thousands, of people to assume that all they need do is get to where the show is and they too can enjoy that carefree good life of personal fulfillment, giving no thought to the actual calling of God upon people’s lives?

If we allow that impression to remain, without correction, even when we do not design our sets and ministry shows to create it, we do err exceedingly in that we assist the enemy’s number one method of destiny destruction: the “anything but that” method. We feed the lie that “if only” I could be where my kingdom idol is, I will become a kingdom rock star too. We celebrate with ambitious high-fives when more people sign up for our accumulations as if everyone using our lingo and subcultural dialect, enter our chambers of subcultural activities with well-developed subcultural behaviors is success in the kingdom. We cannot measure success in the same way Disney measures park attendance and company profits. We can accumulate without fulfilling assignment.

Glamorizing ministry leadership involves the practice of grooming superstars from the thousands that don’t do it, to leave the impression that everyone can be just like the superstar if they only immerse themselves more deeply in the subculture or ape the personality traits and spiritual disciplines of the superstar. We lie in this way as well as hell itself whether we intend to or not. It is simply not true; and if it were true, it would be contrary to kingdom principles and protocols.

Jesus Sans Glamor

No matter how many painting you’ve seen of Jesus as a child or grown man, He didn’t have a halo around His head. That can either refer to overshadowing Glory on His life or to the illusion of unreal mystical glamor. Often it is the latter as people attributed to Him what is absent from His life and ministry.

We may misread the meaning of Jesus with respect to lifestyle and ministry. We may misread His finished work and eternal provision dramatically. We may run into a line of thinking that basically says, “Jesus suffered so I won’t. Jesus was poor so I can be rich. Jesus avoided fame because He wanted me to be famous. Jesus lived simply so I can wear the best newest fashions. Jesus was rejected so I can be relevant.” See how we move from exaggeration to exaggeration, without saying a word, by presenting the idea that ‘those who join with us reach these levels of personal potential?’

Potential never enters the picture of kingdom purpose.

Jesus gave no thought to personal potential, and He established that principle and protocol in His kingdom. Doing great things means so little to Him that He ignores it, focused completely upon doing the will of the Father who is in Heaven. Do you realize that is the very opposite of glamorized ministry leadership?

The only kingdom answer to the “who I want to be when I grow up” question is: “doing the will of My Father who is in heaven.” Potential is the devil’s tool for the “anything but that” method. Purpose is God’s design and definition for destiny.

Jesus shunned glamor. One of the initial temptations was geared directly to a glamor shot of Messiah: “Jump from the pinnacle of the Temple so angels will catch You up! It will be a great show!” (From then on, all Messianic followers would be lining to wait in the hot sun for their turn at the “Pinnacle Jump at Kingdom World.”) Jesus didn’t do glamor. Jesus fulfilled purpose. He knew that glamor always distracts from the reality of spirit by appending it with other spiritual influences.

Consider the phrase, “angel of light” in this way. The adversary casts a glimmer or gleam of shimmering. We could offer this as another way of defining “glamor.”

Glamorizing the Apostolic

We exaggerate in our sales pitches even when exaggeration is the greatest enemy of Truth. In order to sell the point we make in a controversial discussion, we oversell. We set ourselves up for dismissal by glamorizing the apostolic because the idea that there are apostles and prophets is controversial. We begin to present the apostolic as the cure-all, highest peak of glory, mountain top for all really spiritual people, and long line for autographs after the game. We design shoes with the apostle’s name on it as if wearing them will make people as authoritative or anointed. When we exaggerate the point, we miss the point.

I suppose we don’t think telling the truth will “help the cause,” but Truth is always the only road to travel!

Apostles suffer more. Apostles are most likely rejected of the kingdom leadership dynamics. Apostles become the targets of opposition. Apostles give more. Apostle belong less to themselves and those they love most than other leaders.

Apostle wash feet. (Not write the purchase orders for the pans and towels others use to wash feet.) Add some other experiences to the reality: shipwrecked, snake bit, stoned to death, hungry, run out of town, in prisoned, beaten several times, knifed in the back by those you trusted most on a regular basis when they didn’t get from you what they demanded, etc. The butt of jokes, the topic of sneering dismissal on doctrinal grounds, the most misunderstood (who can understand who hasn’t walk the path?).

To add the “Wouldn’t You Like to Be An Apostle, Too?” jingle to the advertising campaign requires the apostle to stand on the stage and tout the glories of financial gain, jetting about the globe in first class, eating chocolate covered strawberries and drinking the finest bottled spring waters, living on a special diet of super foods designed by christian television’s best nutritional gurus. Then, “Join my downline and you will enjoy the same kingdom benefit package, and if you are a really good boy or girl, Jesus might let you be an apostle too someday.” Now, let’s all sing our jingle, “Be Apostle; Be Apostle, Wouldn’t You Like to Be Apostle, too?” Lower voice: “Be apostle…be apostle…be apostle.” OK, big high five for Jesus!

We could spend a few paragraphs describing the golden crowns and funny hats, elongated bishopric rods and flowing gowns as some stare into the mirror on the wall….

Glamorizing Aids the Adversary

Apostles are hardworking construction engineers. Accumulating materials for building isn’t construction. Warehousing this accumulating of building materials so they can be spit polished and gold plated so they are more worthy of the Lord’s work isn’t construction either. After several years of apostolic glamor, we have bigger barns but empty fields. We have glamorized the office without building the building chief architects are asked to construct.

In order to be apostolic, we have to get the subcontractors building something on the foundations. One would think we would have some superstructure in place by now that would show the actual job description in the real world. (We do have some, but the point stand that we have much less than we should.)

Here’s how the adversary partners with glamorized ministry: once the bricks arrive, accumulated by glamorized leadership techniques, they all wish to be builders instead of bricks. Somebody has to be a living stone! We can’t build with accumulated materials if the accumulation produced false entitlement, equality, and expectations.

When the bricks show up on site with false entitlement, they arrive with demands that answer to the exaggerated sales job that got them there. When the bricks show up on site with false equality, they start measuring themselves by themselves and begin to see other bricks as competition for their places in the building. When the bricks show up on site with false expectations, they demand to be the headstone or have a star embedded in them and become the very entrance of the house.

Glamorizing kingdom ministry produces a people who all want to be in charge of the building instead of realizing the revelation of their places in the walls. They will hang around for a while waiting for their moment of spotlight performance so they can finally show their stuff on stage, but if that doesn’t produce fame and fortune, they will be on the next heavy truck out of town to another construction site where their potentials will finally be appreciated. After glamorizing ministry, people come to the conclusion that it is the highest place, the place of which their amazingness can be realized.

As if Jesus never said the exact opposite with His lifestyle and ministry, principles and protocols, and kingdom culture behavior. Jesus never oversold. Jesus never exaggerated. Jesus shunned glamor. Jesus asks, “Will you also go away?” but He never said, “Well, I meant that figuratively; you all know that you will be in the high life with Me.” (Wink.)

Shatter the Glamor Mirror!

There are some shoes worth more than other shoes. Then, there are some shoes that are a thousand bucks for no other reason than the maker produces only a few of them so glamorized people know someone else isn’t going to show up at the party with the same pair. You aren’t buying comfort, quality, or longevity of use. You are buying glamor at a glamorous price. Are you really getting a better diamond if “he went to Jared’s?” Or, is the sell job about glamorizing the source more than the result?

The gleam has been cast upon you! Shatter it off your soul! Stop looking in the spiritual mirror to measure your success with the glamorized histories of previous heroes. They are dead! They should tell you that it will cost you dearly. They should tell you how lonely fame really is. They should tell you why only grace kept them from the same end as Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson. They should tell you why an authentic apostle is more beautiful when the lights are turned off, they look too old for glamor shots, when they write their best book while exiled on a rocky island scarred by the boiling oil and pained by prison posture.

Read the real story and you will see that the testing trials of the super stars would stop the heart of most people unprepared for the reality of that level of ministry. The glamorized ones end up in the ditches. The glamorized ones end up with bigger mirrors, trying to keep the show going when the allusions no longer interest the crowds.

When you glamorize ministry, you must increase the glam to maintain it. You gotta drop more balloons from the ceiling, raise more dead people next year, fill a bigger stadium, contract a bigger band or more famous performers. Your anointing has to be throw more bodies to the walls. Glamor is a dead end. Get it off your soul!

When you get to the place where you can preach without your wardrobe, you are starting to shed the dead skin cells of glamor. When you preach your heart out only to understand the conference crowd is glad you are finished so the big boys can finally get to the pulpit, the ones they bought the tickets to see and hear, you are about to encounter your true understanding of ministry. When you realize that God wanted you to do something with no thought whatsoever about your personal fame, you will know that you have more of the mind of Christ. When you realize that God called you to be broken bread and poured out wine for an eternal purpose, you will stop trying to redesign yourself in a way that gets you more Facebook friends,so to speak.

Kingdom Ecclesia

[Following up on previous posts concerning Jesus’ use of the word, ekklesia, in reference to His kingdom, and how what Jesus says and what modern churchanity assumes varies in massive ways, I wish to consider how to define Ecclesia in terms of assignment, location, coverage of a region, and kingdom legislative function.]

We know that Ecclesia has definable application to the entirety of the kingdom, as it is in any given moment internationally, a reference to kingdom citizens en mass as it were, as the dwelling place of Holy Spirit wherever they assemble in ways identifiable from a kingdom perspective. We also know that Ecclesia can meet in a house, a plurality of Ecclesia in a city, region, or nation identifiable by its kingdom makeup and assignment.

We see Jesus bringing accountability to seven city-states, or regional jurisdictions in the Revelation, the stars He holds in His hands in the vision He shares with Apostle John. We have learned from Scripture that Jesus builds His Ecclesia, that He has one. We learn that we can gain understanding of its spiritual function from metaphors like building, body, and bride. We also learn that internal protocols within the Ecclesia may rise to the place of legislative and governmental consideration from two or three witnesses to “the entire Ecclesia,” presumably an Ecclesia definable as “the whole one” in some specific measurement as opposed to the idea that the “entire Ecclesia” worldwide wouldn’t deal with a one-on-one reconciliation even if the communication of that judgment decision was more universal.

So, we can set some parameters for Ecclesia as “more than two or three or small group” and “less than worldwide” when we discuss Ecclesia in a functional sense. As a building, body, or bride metaphorically, we understand Ecclesia to have internal systems, structure or order, shared passion, focus, role, relationship, and covenantal bond with Jesus in ways that cannot be functional as a worldwide Ecclesia nor a two or three or small group without the essentials of kingdom leadership.

“We Are the Church”

We cannot be so hasty in our generalizations that we include “whatever and whenever” in our design and definition of Ecclesia. We have allowed for error in this regard for some time by allowing for the two or three of Matthew 18 to be “church” when Jesus makes this impossible by His own words; so, we cannot fall into the trap that an Ecclesia can be two or three people simply because what two or three are doing is kingdom business: the opposite would be Jesus’ point, in fact, that He is involved in kingdom business involving two or three even when it is not “the entire Ecclesia.”

On the other hand, we cannot be so hasty in our generalizations that we assume “everybody born again” in any geographical or cultural sense all belongs in or to a particular Ecclesia. We cannot design and define “ekklesia” based upon statements often made that use the boundaries of man to set the boundaries of kingdom. To claim, for example, the Ecclesia in a state, city, or neighborhood is the only way Jesus sees His Ecclesia – “there is only one Church in the city” or “you cannot have an Ecclesia here because there already is one” – ascribes expressions of Ecclesia to a category that lacks legitimate Biblical authority. Jesus speaks to Ecclesia only from a kingdom perspective with geographic identifiers secondary to cultural assignments.

That is, Jesus assigns us to disciple “ethnos,” and kingdom is itself a spiritual culture, so we need to understand His design and definition of “ekklesia” in the context of kingdom culture confronting natural culture with an aim to disciple cultures by spiritual influence to better represent the culture of His kingdom.

We have reacted to the idea of “going to church” in ways that move us into dangerous territory. We overreacted to the idea that “church” is a weekly event so dramatically that we are willing to assume that “being the church” can mean anything we personally wish “church” to be. That would be, and is, a grave error!

Church is not your family. Church is not you and yourself. Church is not two or three. Church is not small group gathered for any form of “doing this for Jesus” motif. Church is “ekklesia.” [We previously discussed how the word changed dramatically to mean “building” because of religious and political considerations, and how these considerations make “church” something foreign the word “ekklesia” in the mouth of Jesus.]

We should say, “We are part of the Ecclesia, and part of an assembly of kingdom ekklesia by assignment of the King.” Remember, “ekklesia” does not mean “called out of the world.” Ecclesia means “called together into assembly from within the kingdom.” So, technically, the Ecclesia can be called together in conference with some type of universal assignment as it was in Acts 15, kingdom leaders making judgment decisions from Scripture, experience, and revelation that expands the scope of implementation of a kingdom establishing blueprint. Generally speaking, however, Ecclesia is more commonly definable by cultural assignment and represented by a geographic location in which that culture exists.

“The Ephesian Ecclesia” would refer to a city-state region in which kingdom of God citizens were called into assembly to represent kingdom culture, follow the apostolic and prophetic blueprints to construct a spiritual building, be prepared and positioned as in a body to function in a body system, enter into spiritual covenant with the King as His bride as the representation of the image of God on earth in a kingdom sense. This identity would include the entirety of Ephesian culture, the surrounding region supported by and part of the bounded city, commerce, culture, and politic that Jesus wishes to confront with kingdom and kingdom culture through the powerful spiritual influences that displace rulers, authorities, and cosmic dominators – the strategically positioned authorities of Hades that currently have the greater influence over the people of that identifiable culture and region.

Acts 19 helps us see this blueprinting more clearly, and how in a rather short time, through the leadership of Paul and many leaders he was training, Ephesus and the entire region of Asia Minor were so influenced by kingdom purpose that they became kingdom centers for more than two hundred years!

So, we can’t say, “We are the Church” when we are not accomplishing these goals at some level of cultural influence and impact. We cannot say, “We are the Church” by designing and defining a subculture to avoid confrontation and lessen the discomfort of opposing forces (avoiding the riot that Ecclesia produced in Ephesus recorder in Acts 19, for example). We cannot say, “We are the Church,” when we accumulate believers without influencing the arena of spirit that prevails over the region in which Ecclesia functions.

Elements of Ecclesia

Ecclesia calls together into assembly the kingdom citizens who share assignments given by the King that represent portions of His blueprint designs for building, systems of operation for His body, or covenantal roles and relationships of His bride. We could say we have done well in representing Him when marriage has kingdom meaning in a culture. We could say we have done well representing Him when have revelation sight, power of miracles, signs, and wonders touch the culture through our hands, when the nervous system of the kingdom body assimilates information and communicates it clearly to every body part and extremity and produces coordinated movement, exercise, work force, and mobility. We could say that we have done well representing Him when the land itself has site preparation that provides for building kingdom culture in a place with a people so that a generation in that geographic location produces more and more cultural likeness to the culture of heaven.

We should expect kingdom leadership dynamics to be present and functional: apostles, prophets, teachers, evangels, and shepherds. We should expect these functional leadership dynamics as kingdom leadership for the Ecclesia so that all the leadership dynamics of Jesus, the King, are represented in the Ecclesia. In this way, His representative leaders make Jesus more involved with and within His building, body, and bride than could be possible in any other way! He is Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Evangel, and Shepherd, so all these leadership dynamics of the King must be present for a kingdom Ecclesia to learn obedience and submission to the King. We should expect this to be very much like the discipling and fathering leadership provided by Jesus as a basis for resetting God’s kingdom on earth so that His finished work on the Cross, overcoming victory in the Resurrection, all-inclusive authority in heaven and earth in the Ascension, and ever-present positioned Intercession with the Father becomes a reality in every kingdom citizen’s life.

We should expect that any and every citizen who refuses to become such a representative faces the process of personal transformation that identifies clearly their hearts so that no misrepresentation of the kingdom culture or misrepresentation of the King becomes a new cultural norm for the Ecclesia. We should expect a clear identification of wolves, bitter rooted people, frauds, perverts, addicts, and rebels as Jude, Paul, Jesus, and John clearly demand. Kingdom leaders should exercise their responsibility and authority to protect the sheep, train each citizen in calling, gifting, and assignment, hold ever citizen accountable through personal relational integrity, and rid the Ecclesia of schism, faction, division, and corrupting leaven by the means Jesus describes.

We should expect that the kingdom expansion comes when born anew individuals begin the process of life change, breaking away from the natural culture to live in kingdom culture (behaviors based upon His righteousness), and taking on a gradually increased responsibility equal to the King’s assignments for their lives.

Alignment, Alliance, Agreement, and Authority

[While to some extent we seem unable to clarify what should be obvious in modern churchanity, remaining in infantile pouts, saying, “Mine, mine!” about toys that represent real trucks and babies while missing the larger kingdom building leadership dynamics that would do more than placate our personal penchant to be someone when we grow up, the kingdom dynamics Jesus uses to build His Ecclesia remain just as real today as they ever have! We can get this right!]

Alignment means that all expressions of Ecclesia, and functional units of Ecclesia, align with the kingdom movement through leadership alliances to forge agreements on strategy so that greater authority becomes available regionally and nationally to gain greater spiritual influence. Knowing that no legitimate conflict could occur between what Jesus assigns one kingdom leader and what Jesus assigns another kingdom leader, we recognize that all conflicts come from human inadequacy, works of flesh dynamics, misrepresentations of the King, and usurpations of territorial integrity such as those to which Paul refers in terms of “going beyond the boundaries of my apostolic assignment.”

Every legitimate expression of Ecclesia best functions in kingdom and kingdom culture when properly aligned with the regional Ecclesia as it aligns with the national Ecclesia so that every expression of Ecclesia, called together into assembly to fulfill a kingdom purpose, has and exercises kingdom authority.

However, do not fall prey to the prevailing distraction and substitute for kingdom alignment best understood by the phrase, “the accumulation of believers.” Do not assume that the number of the crowd gathered, when increased to larger numbers, equates to greater authority, power, influence, or impact. Do not fall prey to the idea that bigger in terms of natural methods, machinery, men, or marketing means bigger spiritual influence when it does not.

Alignment, alliance, and agreement release greater authority, not greater accumulation.


Enforcing God’s Decisions

Jude says God has already long ago passed judgment. The term in verse 4 is “krima,” the Greek term for judgment decision with emphasis upon the verdict: “A long time ago God recorded His judgment decision about people like this.”

God made a decision about people operating in these spiritual conditions, a judgment verdict handed down in writing. We should be able uncover these spiritual conditions because of the influence and impact they have upon the internals Remnant, Kingdom, Ecclesia, and because this influence limits revival moving into awakening.

Now the reason for Jude writing this letter is not to announce that someday God will do something but to warn the kingdom leaders that God already decided what to do with people who function in these spiritual conditions so they can enforce, apply, implement, and lead.

The idea of this written Scripture isn’t “do nothing because God will take care of them.” Just the opposite! This Scriptures says, “God already decided that people like this shouldn’t be allowed to infiltrate His kingdom assembly without an application of God’s verdict being communicate to them so that they can no longer function in hiding.”

Here’s the “do not judge” scenario completely disassembled. The reason we do not judge is because God already did. The “judge not that you be not judged” scenario isn’t that God doesn’t want any judging! We know that isn’t true because Jesus says, “Judge righteous judgment.” The judgment we don’t need is decision making based upon anything other than God’s principles and protocols.

We need God’s judgment decisions: communicated, understood, applied, implemented. Kingdom leaders should be able to identify by discernment people who operate in the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, and the rebellion of Korah, to bring personal deliverance to them or to quarantine the Ecclesia of their internal influences when they refuse to change.