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.

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.

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.

Now, We War!

Why did Paul begin his discussion of God’s weaponry with a clear statement of whom we do not wrestle with? Could we discover in this statement, “We wrestle not with flesh and blood,” a first step to victorious warfare? Or, do we find here a statement that draw strong contrast with the methods, machinery, manpower, and meaning of spiritual warfare?

Isn’t Paul clarifying that believers don’t expect to win the spiritual battle with natural warfare? Doesn’t he make it clear that all the historic efforts to politicize the kingdom have missed the authentic kingdom warfare? Paul isn’t saying all natural warfare is wrong; don’t get me wrong – Paul isn’t an anti-war hippie, nor is Jesus. Nations have governments, and governments are given the sword by God to be a terror to them that do evil. So, war is a part of the struggle of nations on the natural level. Thank God the right nations won World War 2, for example, but also recognize that every war isn’t legitimate fulfillment of Romans 13 authorization: some nations are the source of terror and should be defeated by violent force when they use violent force, and they should be attacked, dismantled, defeated, and disarmed when their warfare is wicked, according to Romans 13.

However, our warfare isn’t natural. We aren’t hoping to amass bigger weapons to take over governments and conquer nations with bullets, tanks, missiles, and drones. We carry on a very different warfare with even greater historic potential for kingdom expansion!

Warfare in the Spirit

Paul uses the word, “pale,” to metaphorically describe warfare that he says requires God’s armor and produces more than a defensive position, rather an advancing and overcoming conquering of new territory. The word has the deeper meaning of “shake or vibrate,” and the meaning applies to “struggle, wrestle, conflict, and opposition.” The word is used by Plato to speak of getting your opponent by the neck by gaining a superior position.

Here’s the point: victory comes from gaining position. “The translation of the word as “wrestling” may be a distraction for the point Paul makes, and we instantly start thinking of hand holds, throws, and leverage where we should be thinking about gaining a superior position from which to subdue the opposing force. We also err by assuming the application of “wrestling” is individual where it should be understood corporate.

God’s armor is Body armor, fitted to the entirely assembled Ecclesia, more than individualized armor fitted to each warrior. Paul describes what we do corporately in Ephesians 6.

The verb, “palo” is actually another form of the common word, “ballo,” which means “to throw, cast, rush, drop, or place.” We can see that the words denote activity, and in this sense, aggressive activity of the sort that can be associated with fighting, warfare, contention, contest, struggle, and battle.

Oppose the Actual Enemy

Paul clarifies that we must battle with the principalities, not with flesh and blood, in this battle. Notice that I said, “In this battle.” Paul didn’t say, “You never have opposition from people.” Neither did Paul say, “You never enter into struggle or conflict with people.” And, Paul never says, “People are never your enemies.” We know, for certain, that we do have battles with people that people oppose us, and that people can be enemies.

The discussion Paul has in Ephesians 6, however, specifically details our conflict with spiritual conditions produced by the real enemies the produce those spiritual conditions: rulers, authorities, cosmic dominators of this darkness, who are the spiritual evil in the heavenlies.

Paul begins with this prophetic declaration and impartation: “Be empowered by the Lord and with His dominating spiritual power that overcomes all natural and spiritual conditions.” [This includes “dunamis, kratos, and ischuous.”] Standing thus in this condition of spirit, put on all of God’s armor so that you will have the capacity and power to stand against the devil’s methods.

Then, Paul describes who operates, from where, with these methods, to withstand, distract, deflate, defeat, wound, oppose, and even destroy us. So, we know that the devil designs and designates ways for his rulers to rule, his authorities to authorize, and his cosmic dominators of this darkness to maintain enslaving spiritual conditions. And, Paul says, “We are the ones who must win this battle.”

The “we” represents what is shared by those assigned by Jesus as the called together into assembly Ecclesia, to a place, at a time, where these evil representatives of hell oppose God’s representatives. We receive authorization to overcome in God’s power, through overcoming spiritual power to dominate the spiritual arena where these representatives of hell use the devil’s methods to maintain their dominion. We are in this thing together!

While a great deal has been made of the fact that armor is mostly defensive and the Sword of the Spirit is the offensive weapon, this ignores the fact that we need defensive armor because we are on the offense, pushing, pressing, charging, expanding, displacing, challenging, and overcoming the enemy! The idea that we are never offensive and wear armor to defend ourselves only when attacked completely ignores the message Paul is releasing, the lifestyle and ministry of Paul, and the mandate and mission of the Ecclesia!

We Fight on Offense, Not Defense

Nearly all my ministry life I’ve heard the same rhetoric about God’s armor being predominately defensive in application with the Sword being the only offensive weapon carried by the believer. Two things bother me about that repeated mantra: 1) God’s armor fits the Body of Christ and the picture given here has more to do with corporate armor than personal; 2) the only reason the believer wears God’s armor, to represent God in this battle, is because the believers are pressing, pushing, charging, combating, expanding, and displacing; the Ecclesia is on offense, not defense!

I’ve heard discussions of warfare that make me want to stand on the table and scream: “Do you have a Bible?” Mush mouthing and murmuring about “we aren’t supposed to oppose the devil or anything like that ’cause we are so wimpy and weak before the devil that we need to hide behind Daddy’s armor while He does all the fighting for us.” Intellectual honesty suffers from these devotionals on dereliction of duty.

We need armor because we are going to push the enemy off God’s land, push him back from where he has usurped, take territory and occupy it, and overthrow the rulers, authorities, and cosmic dominators who enslave the people in particular spiritual arenas applying the devil’s methods. We need armor because we intend to resist, pursue, overtake, overcome, and set up kingdom where hell has been in charge!

We aren’t called to passivity, weakness, and excuses to stay home and knit John 3:16 into our sweaters while hell takes our nation!

We need to get some blood on our hands swinging God’s Sword of authority and power at demonic opponents. We face the enemy because we are sent to pursue God’s purpose and run right into the usurping hellish hordes. We don’t back down and say, “Oh excuse me, I didn’t mean to get in your way.” Our spiritual violence is not just OK, it is demanded!

Jesus defeated the devil and destroyed his works. Now, we represent Him in enforcing His victory, challenging every entrenched opponent of His redemption, and taking back what hell has stolen. We establish kingdom “in the midst of His enemies,” so He can rule in the earth.

Finally, let me say, that we should avoid “needless casualties of war” but never assume there will be no casualties. To insist that no believers get hurt or die, that no martyrs reach heaven for their faithfulness in the face of war is to blaspheme! I say, “To not go to war is to blaspheme the Power of the Cross, Resurrection Life, Ascension Authority, and Eternal Intercession of Jesus Christ!”

We War and Win!

Why did Paul begin his discussion of God’s weaponry with a clear statement of whom we do not wrestle with? Could we discover in this statement, “We wrestle not with flesh and blood,” a first step to victorious warfare? Or, do we find here a statement that draw strong contrast with the methods, machinery, manpower, and meaning of spiritual warfare?

Isn’t Paul clarifying that believers don’t expect to win the spiritual battle with natural warfare? Doesn’t he make it clear that all the historic efforts to politicize the kingdom have missed the authentic kingdom warfare? Paul isn’t saying all natural warfare is wrong; don’t get me wrong – Paul isn’t an anti-war hippie, nor is Jesus. Nations have governments, and governments are given the sword by God to be a terror to them that do evil. So, war is a part of the struggle of nations on the natural level. Thank God the right nations won World War 2, for example, but also recognize that every war isn’t legitimate fulfillment of Romans 13 authorization: some nations are the source of terror and should be defeated by violent force when they use violent force, and they should be attacked, dismantled, defeated, and disarmed when their warfare is wicked, according to Romans 13.

However, our warfare isn’t natural. We aren’t hoping to amass bigger weapons to take over governments and conquer nations with bullets, tanks, missiles, and drones. We carry on a very different warfare with even greater historic potential for kingdom expansion!

Warfare in the Spirit

Paul uses the word, “pale,” to metaphorically describe warfare that he says requires God’s armor and produces more than a defensive position, rather an advancing and overcoming conquering of new territory. The word has the deeper meaning of “shake or vibrate,” and the meaning applies to “struggle, wrestle, conflict, and opposition.” The word is used by Plato to speak of getting your opponent by the neck by gaining a superior position.

Here’s the point: “victory comes from gaining position. “The translation of the word as “wrestling” may be a distraction for the point Paul makes, and we instantly start thinking of hand holds, throws, and leverage where we should be thinking about gaining a superior position from which to subdue the opposing force. We also err by assuming the application of “wrestling” is individual where it should be understood corporate.

God’s armor is Body armor, fitted to the entirely assembled Ecclesia, more than individualized armor fitted to each warrior. Paul describes what we do corporately in Ephesians 6.

The verb, “palo” is actually another form of the common word, “ballo,” which means “to throw, cast, rush, drop, or place.” We can see that the words denote activity, and in this sense, aggressive activity of the sort that can be associated with fighting, warfare, contention, contest, struggle, and battle.

Attack the Actual Enemy

Paul clarifies that we must battle with the principalities, not with flesh and blood, in this battle. Notice that I said, “In this battle.” Paul didn’t say, “You never have opposition from people.” Neither did Paul say, “You never have a struggle or conflict with people.” And, Paul never says, “People are never your enemies.” We know, for certain, that we do have battles with people that people oppose us, and that people can be enemies.

The discussion Paul has in Ephesians 6, however, specifically details our conflict with spiritual conditions produced by the real enemies the produce those spiritual conditions: rulers, authorities, cosmic dominators of this darkness, who are the spiritual evil in the heavenlies.

Paul begins with this prophetic declaration and impartation: “Be empowered by the Lord and with His dominating spiritual power that overcomes all natural and spiritual conditions.” [This includes “dunamiskratos, and ischuous.”] Standing thus in this condition of spirit, put on all of God’s armor so that you will have the capacity and power to stand against the devil’s methods.

Then, Paul describes who operates, from where, with these methods, to withstand, distract, deflate, defeat, wound, oppose, and even destroy us. So, we know that the devil designs and designates ways for his rulers to rule, his authorities to authorize, and his cosmic dominators of this darkness to maintain enslaving spiritual conditions. And, Paul says, “We are the ones who must win this battle.”

The “we” represents what is shared by those assigned by Jesus as the called together into assembly Ecclesia, to a place, at a time, where these evil representatives of hell oppose God’s representatives. We receive authorization to overcome in God’s power, through overcoming spiritual power to dominate the spiritual arena where these representatives of hell use the devil’s methods to maintain their dominion. We are in this thing together!

While a great deal has been made of the fact that armor is mostly defensive and the Sword of the Spirit is the offensive weapon, this ignores the fact that we need defensive armor because we are on the offense, pushing, pressing, charging, expanding, displacing, challenging, and overcoming the enemy! The idea that we are never offensive and wear armor to defend ourselves only when attacked completely ignores the message Paul is releasing, the lifestyle and ministry of Paul, and the mandate and mission of the Ecclesia!

We Fight on Offense, Not Defense

Nearly all my ministry life I’ve heard the same rhetoric about God’s armor being predominately defensive in application with the Sword being the only offensive weapon carried by the believer. Two things bother me about that repeated mantra: 1) God’s armor fits the Body of Christ and the picture given here has more to do with corporate armor than personal; 2) the only reason the believer wears God’s armor, to represent God in this battle, is because the believers are pressing, pushing, charging, combating, expanding, and displacing; the Ecclesia is on offense, not defense!

I’ve heard discussions of warfare that make me want to stand on the table and scream: “Do you have a Bible?” Mush mouthing and murmuring about “we aren’t supposed to oppose the devil or anything like that ’cause we are so wimpy and weak before the devil that we need to hide behind Daddy’s armor while He does all the fighting for us.” Intellectual honesty suffers from these devotionals on dereliction of duty.

We need armor because we are going to push the enemy off God’s land, push him back from where he has usurped, take territory and occupy it, and overthrow the rulers, authorities, and cosmic dominators who enslave the people in particular spiritual arenas applying the devil’s methods. We need armor because we intend to resist, pursue, overtake, overcome, and set up kingdom where hell has been in charge!

We aren’t called to passivity, weakness, and excuses to stay home and knit John 3:16 into our sweaters while hell takes our nation!

We need to get some blood on our hands swinging God’s Sword of authority and power at demonic opponents. We face the enemy because we are sent to pursue God’s purpose and run right into the usurping hellish hordes. We don’t back down and say, “Oh excuse me, I didn’t mean to get in your way.”

Our spiritual violence is not just OK, it is demanded!

Jesus defeated the devil and destroyed his works. Now, we represent Him in enforcing His victory, challenging every entrenched opponent of His redemption, and taking back what hell has stolen. We establish kingdom “in the midst of His enemies” so He can rule in the earth.

Finally, let me say, that we should avoid “needless casualties of war” but never assume there will be no casualties. To insist that no believers get hurt or die, that no martyrs reach heaven for their faithfulness in the face of war is to blaspheme! I say, “To not go to war is to blaspheme the Power of the Cross, Resurrection Life, Ascension Authority, and Eternal Intercession of Jesus Christ!”

Water Baptism: Repentance, Readiness, Response

The Spirit and Power of Elijah

Ten years ago I wrote, “The spirit and power of Elijah accurately anticipates what is coming next and prepares the Lord a people ready to respond when the new season arrives.” This mantle fell back to the earth when Elijah was lifted up into the heavenlies so Elisha could pick up an available anointing. Later, Malachi prophesied the coming of John. Many Jewish scholars believed John wore the actual mantle of Elijah that had been preserved in the wilderness for prophetic leaders of succeeding generations: in any case, John arrived in the spirit and power of Elijah.

The angel reveals, “He will proceed the Lord, arriving in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn fathers’ hearts to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous: to prepare a people ready for the Lord.”

The spirit and power of Elijah continues to be available to prophetic leadership: prophetic leaders of every function of kingdom leadership dynamics can operate in a prophetic anticipation. Any leader can lead prophetically; and every leader should lead prophetically. All kingdom leaders should lead prophetically, especially when the season change is drastic and dramatic.

We live in such a season change, and every kingdom leader should be leading with prophetic anticipation, preparing the Lord a people ready to respond to Him when He arrives with Great Awakening Revival!

Repentance

Repentance means, “I change to be changed.” The Greek term means, “having received and believed new revelation, I change my mindset in ways that alter my behavior and lifestyle.” In the redemptive sense, repentance means a spiritual shift that produces a transformed life, inside out.

We confess to be forgiven and restored to wholeness. We repent to be changed.

John announced repentance as the preparation response of his season of ministry because the Lord was arriving, and “being ready” would require a fundamental, dramatic shift in life and living for any person to be ready to respond to Him when He arrived. “Repent, Someone’s on the way! Repent, the kingdom is about to arrive. Repent, it is kingdom come!”

“Repent and produce the fruit of repentance: a changed lifestyle filled with the rich and mature behaviors of a person who is ready to respond to the Lord! Then, be baptized with water as part of the repentance process and announcement, the physical prophetic symbol signifying and sealing that sincere internal change.”

Returning to the foundation of repentance means a believer has walked away from the fundamental shift that initial repentance produced, walking back what he or she received and believed that produced the initial behavior change, and a general recognition that repentance isn’t a one time, “been there, done that” historic marker. Repentance is a discipline of the maturing, expanding, transformed life that renews the mind (the meaning of repentance) to prove the what-God-wants of your life.

Readiness

Water baptism, in John’s ministry, prophesies lasting life change based upon a spiritual transformation. The born anew experience we now live likewise applied the victory of the Cross and life of the Resurrection to our lives, but prophesies this in a way not yet available in John’s ministry. That is to say, that water baptism hasn’t changed in its power or significance, but redemption provision has reached ultimate and eternal finality in Jesus!

Being water baptized still prophesies radical lasting life change produced by repentance, an “I change to be changed” shift that comes from receiving and believing new revelation.

For John’s ministry, the revelation was “Messiah is coming! Get ready to receive and respond! Kingdom come will soon be reality! And, you are not ready because the present spiritual atmosphere and kingdom culture inadequately represents the Law and Prophets. The spiritual generations are not joined, so you have not inherited the spiritual purpose for which Heaven chose Israel. Without radical life change right now, you will not be ready for the Lord’s arrival!”

Apply that principle and protocol to the present season: the present spiritual atmosphere and kingdom culture is inadequately representing the Revelation of Jesus. The spiritual generations are not joined, and you have not been properly prepared to inherit. Without radical life change right now, you will not be ready for the next season of Great Awakening Revival.

That season is here and now, but the response of kingdom people is inadequate because they are not prepared: what most leaders now call “revival” and “Awakening” remains the preparation of the Remnant for the season of visitation.

Nonetheless, “Ready or not, here He comes!”

Response

The rapid deterioration of manifestations of Glory into manufacturing centers and traveling Glory shows reveals that we intend to hammer the next season into the existing structures instead of breaking the molds of mechanization. We are insisting that God restore “what is” when God is ready to establish “what is coming next.”

Definitions of “revival” still insist that God make what we are doing now bigger, grander, and so validated by Glory that everyone will finally recognize that we are right.

So, water baptism was a significant public “coming out” for a new movement, an action that immediately challenged the status quo with rejection and reappraisal. Water baptism said, “What is can never prepare me for what is coming next. So, I reject it. I separate from it. I reset my life and living to the next season now before that season even arrives. I believe Messiah is coming! I believe it so much that I’m changing my entire life. I am not in Awakening mode!”

If you wait for Awakening to respond to awakening, you are already playing catch up to the move of God.

Awakening Water Baptism

When revival came to my life, after more than a quarter century of ministry leadership, I wanted to be baptized in water. I knew this water baptism prophesied the greatest life change of my present and future destiny. I felt it was appropriate, and I still feel it was appropriate. I didn’t get saved, but I did repent.

So, awakening water baptism will soon be coming to FreedomHouse!

When the Mature Transform, the Kingdom Forms

The mature alone can transform at the highest levels necessary to produce kingdom leadership at an international and national level, by submitting to a team higher than their own leadership, composed of very diverse dispositions and prepared perspectives.

The mature kingdom leader can never measure his or her maturity in leadership by their personal maturity, but rather by the maturity of the people they lead. As well, a mature kingdom leader can never measure the maturity of their leadership by how well their own mini-movement matures when God’s purpose in that assignment always assumes that it will eventually become a living sacrifice to a higher kingdom movement.

The mature kingdom leader must transform most when he or she is most mature, when they have the maturity to sustain the highest levels of transformation. The final stages of their transformation will always be the greatest and most disruptive because their maturing leadership must dump into a kingdom purpose greater than their own.

Blending Leadership at the International and National Level

Jesus had a “zealot” among His original kingdom leadership team. Jesus did not attempt to recruit a team of “finished products” but to blend a team of diverse dispositions.

Kingdom leadership teams with the international and national scope of blueprints will certainly contain blended dispositional types, men and women with some characteristics, as important as, and as fundamental to function as, their callings as apostle and prophet.

We continue to have people “on a crusade,” with a zealot mentality, mixed in at the foundational levels of kingdom leadership. We have “zealots” because God chooses them, because their Providential pathway of preparation places them into position to give that perspective to the entire team. We have “zealots” and all the other authentic dispositional types because God knows that is healthy and important to the implementation of His strategy for nations and regions.

The chemistry of the teams allows for blending of these strategic dispositions, and the entire team must submit to the total team chemistry. Jesus seeks to establish this total team chemistry when He sends, prepares, and positions these chosen ones.

When kingdom teams form, a constant and consistent method of the adversary called ‘anything but that’ will operate to limit the full function of the team. Most often, that fundamental method gains some measure of success through unresolved disagreements within the team about strategy, emphasis, and style more than substance, philosophy, and purpose. In short, the dynamics that bring strong leaders to this level of kingdom authority also contribute to their individual reluctance to trust other leaders due to the diversity of personality or dispositional types they encounter at this level.

We may look on in disgust when these clashes play out and think, “God needs to do a better job of selecting His leaders and their assignments.”

God looks on and thinks, “Time now for the big boys and girls to learn to play well with others.” That is, God knows only mature leaders can receive transformation at the levels needed to function internationally and nationally.

Simon the Zealot advocated a revolutionary response to Roman rule carried over from the days of the Maccabees. Yet, Jesus recognizes that His Father has given Him this man to disciple into a kingdom leader. While Simon Peter embraces this kind of passionate aggression, his brother Andrew and Philip, for example, might be much less inclined toward a “let’s get out there and kill some Romans” point of view.

Immediately we consider God’s ways in selecting the leadership team of Jesus, we discover that He intentionally throws diverse dispositions together, and the chemistry of kingdom leadership at the international and national levels should anticipate and allow for this blending, an ice-crushing, pulverizing, noisy, and sometimes shocking process.

Mature Leaders Sacrifice Their Mini-Movements

At present, we have them all: Andrew’s “just win as many souls as you can before the end,” Simon’s “let’s pray until Jesus kills a bunch of people,” the Thomas “an aliens/illuminati/nephilim conspiracy runs the universe,” Matthew’s “turn in next hour as we raise more funds to pay for the show that raises more funds” and the immature John’s “all we need is love cause we aren’t that certain Jesus will hurt a flea” as well as the other dispositional tendencies of Jesus’ kingdom team operating in our generation.

The chemistry of these various mini-movements fails to blend that well, standing afar off from one another, demanding that Jesus change His team selection process: “Surely You don’t expect us to sacrifice our distinctives as a mini-movement and work with those bozos, right?”

Jesus waits submission of all these factions He calls together, a submission of their matured strengths. He desires all these exaggerations to give way to a more Biblically sound approach. Without any exaggeration. Without the fine-tuning of exaggeration that maturing these mini-movements produces, that inevitably sets false expectations about God’s expectations.

While it is very hard to abandon the exaggerations since you’ve been writing and preaching about them for years in order to build the mini-movement you lead, the mature kingdom leader must make a sacrifice of the matured mini-movement because Jesus is producing a kingdom movement. Picture the kingdom movement that will incorporate a transformed Simon the Zealot with a transformed Andrew with a transformed John the Beloved with a transformed Simon Peter, etc.

Contrary to popular assumptions, the personality types cannot blend when they are immature at the level needed to produce the final product; only after the dispositional types have matured can the highest levels of transformation be applied to their leadership.

In the kingdom the adage, “It is hard to teach old dogs new tricks,” never even enters the picture because the kingdom reality is the exact opposite: “Only the experienced are prepared to learn new strategic responses at the international and national levels.”

The most mature must experienced the greatest personal and leadership transformations in the height of their maturity in order for their leadership to bring the kingdom movement into its fullness and fulfillment.

Only after the Providential pathway produces the properly positioned kingdom leader alongside those Jesus has sent to represent His kingdom movement in their generation – only then can the mature leaders submit to the blending of chemistry that will blast back the limitations of mini-movement exaggerations and prepare the way for the Lord’s kingdom movement!

A solid six months of “we were wrong in these assumptions” among all those affected would more closely reveal the condition of the disciples at the point of Pentecost. Jesus spends 40 days after Resurrection explaining the kingdom, yet they still couldn’t figure it out strategically. After Pentecost, they would still minister only to Jews for a decade and a half before the first non-Jew would be born anew, and they would still hammer out the proper approach to kingdom by strong confrontations over exaggerations of their preconceived conclusions.

Only by allowing a blending of leadership chemistry would they reach the proper weights of balance, and the more they fought the insertion of leaders at odds with their points of view, the more they frustrated themselves personally and the kingdom universally. Only by making their matured leadership a sacrifice to the greater kingdom leadership strategies of Jesus did they achieve the highest of their personal purposes.

Greater maturity of Divine Purpose requires that the most mature experience the highest levels of transformation in the seasons of kingdom’s greatest days of expansion.