Prophetic Confrontations .
Are we about to see a prophetic showdown within prophetic ministry and among various prophetic groups? Are there foreign spirits training prophetic people? Every move of God, outpouring, time of refreshing and relevant truth for a particular generation has battled its own particular demonic resistance. That also holds true for prophetic ministry.
Apostles and prophets are both apostolic gifts, apostolic in the sense of being sent-ones, foundational in calling, and given to serve the body of Christ and equip the born-again believer in distinct ways. One particular, yet pervasive tactic of the enemy against prophetic ministry is the introduction of faux prophetic operations and unhallowed defilement. True prophetic people have seen false prophets precede them. This makes the acceptance of their ministry much more difficult. The reason for this is because prophetic ministry is a stalwart opponent of Satan. To stop the prophetic ministry the enemy must interpose a counterfeit, something that looks and sounds like Christ’s true prophetic ministry but is not. Satan is the master deceiver and knows ancient weapons of seduction needed to deceive all save the most mature and discerning.
Christ is still calling, training, activating and sending His prophets into the world He loves. Even as prophets are sent into the world there remains a continuing effort by the prince of darkness to introduce prophetic defilement into prophetic ministry. This is why emerging prophets need to learn from seasoned prophets and established spiritual leaders. These prophetic contaminants are deceptive cancers sent to vitiate true prophetic ministry. Like cancer, prophetic debasement is progressive. Sometimes prophetic defilement is dormant or hidden and at other times hideously apparent.
Once I was with several people praying and heard some of them prophesy. I was uneasy in my spirit because there was something that wasn’t quite right. Maybe you have been in meetings like that too. Something appeared foreign and strange. I couldn’t seem to put my finger on it at the time so I continued to pray. As time went by the Holy Spirit began to talk to me ever so softly. “There are things in their lives defiling them. There is no longer a desire for holiness, they have a blend, an unholy mixture.” That unholy concoction He called “prophetic defilement.” It can be likened to that “strange fire” the sons of Aaron brought into the temple that ushered God’s judgment on their lives (Leviticus 10:1). As you read this work pray the Holy Spirit increases your spiritual discernment. You may be familiar with the spirit of Jezebel that attacks prophetic ministry but let’s examine these less familiar and unholy contaminates too.
Satan has been diligently implementing his strategy of prophetic defilement. For you to be effective in prophetic ministry you must not be seduced by his deceptions. Throughout this essay we will unmask various demonic assignments that introduce unholy mixtures into the prophetic ministry. “How could it happen,” you ask? Are there any early warning signs? Can we protect ourselves? Are there foreign spirits training prophetic people? How do we discern the true from the false? These are some of the questions we will explore. Let’s get started.
We are in the times of “the restitution of all things,” including prophetic ministry (Acts 3:21). There continues to be a restoration of prophets and prophetic grace released in our generation. Christ has not changed since his resurrection and ascension. God is still giving gifts to men. He continues calling, training, activating and releasing prophets into His Church.
There was a time, not too long ago, when the only five-fold ascension gifts embraced within the Church were evangelists and pastors. Many didn’t even identify the unique ascension gift of teacher. Yes, many believed there were evangelists, but some taught there were not any prophets and certainly were no apostles. Today this has changed and many agree that there are five distinct ascension gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers all called to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12). As a prophet you already know that. Christ didn’t remove any ascension gifts from His Church and all five are still vital and functioning today. With the restoration of all five gifts working together, we can expect at least five things to happen:
1.There will be a greater release of true prophets, speaking with true prophetic utterances throughout the Church.
2.The devil will oppose prophetic ministry by releasing deceitful spirits into the prophetic ministry speaking with mystical voices.
3.There will be a danger of true prophets speaking with false prophetic utterances. These false prophetic operations will release defilement and discredit true prophetic ministry.
4.There will be a strong prophetic release that will make a way for restoring God’s apostolic government within local churches.
5.There will be a separation of true prophets from deceived prophets into different companies leading to a prophetic confrontation with foreign spirits of divination such as Jezebel and Baal.
Spiritual confrontation within prophetic ministry is historic. Examples include Micaiah, Elijah and Jeremiah. Micaiah contended with King Ahab’s prophets, Elijah and Jeremiah battled the prophets of Jezebel and Baal. The Apostle Paul and Barnabas also confronted Elymas the sorcerer who withstood them at Paphos. The true will always face-off against the false. Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry is an example of that face-off. His apostolic assignment and prophetic confrontation took place because the prophetic ministers of his day:
Failed to address sin
Concentrated on amassing personal wealth
Pursued power, status and prestige
Did nothing to turn the people from sin toward God
Led the people of God astray
Because of neglect of God’s house and self-centered idolatry in the land, God anointed Jeremiah to oppose an erring prophetic movement that was leading people astray. Let’s take a look.
“Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.” (Jeremiah 23:9)
Jeremiah, speaking by the Spirit of God said, “My heart is broken because of the prophets.” Notice he didn’t say false prophets. The word prophet means prophetic voice. In other words, Jeremiah’s heart was broken because of the false prophetic operations of these wayward prophets. We can see the anointing of the Spirit on him as he shakes under the power of God. He looked like a “drunken man.” This shaking is an indication of the powerful anointing that engulfed him. He had the Word of the Lord in his mouth and was made ready to address the prophets in the land. A prophetic showdown was about to take place. prophetic ministry can’t avoid spiritual confrontations with worldliness, carnal Christianity and faux prophetic operations. This is part of prophetic ministry. Scripture says God seeks for a voice that “calls for justice and pleads for truth” (Isaiah 59:4). Prophetic ministers answer that call.
Let’s review Jeremiah’s confrontation with sullied prophets. Remember, this is the same prophet that God called to root out, pull down, destroy and throw down (Jeremiah 1:10). Let’s see that calling in action because you may face the same battles.
The Spirit of God said “the land was full of adulterers.” An adulterer is an unfaithful spouse. Serving God in spirit and truth is serving Him from a pure heart. One becomes a spiritual adulterer by putting something, someone or something foreign between them and God, even their ministries.
“For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.” (Jeremiah 23:10)
Abandoning God for something or someone else is committing spiritual adultery. God said these adulterers were evil and their acts erring. As their corruption continued without interruption the nation became full of adulterers, the land mourned and the people lacked true spiritual revelation of God. “What brought about this corruption,” you ask? It happened because the people became apathetic, self-centered, and idolatrous.
During Jeremiah’s confrontation the heavens were brazen because the prophets and priests led people away from God. The consequences for the nation was grave, the heavens became as brass. Spiritual climates are affected by the actions of prophets, priests and inhabitants of the land. Sin, rebellion and idolatry will harden spiritual climates. Scripture says,
“And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass…” (Deuteronomy 28:23).
You are probably familiar with the list of blessings in the book of Deuteronomy including blessing and prosperity but this verse makes it clear the heavens turn as brass for the disobedient. As a prophet you understand spiritual climates. Those who have ministered in various meetings notice big differences in spiritual climates. Some churches are wonderful to preach in having open heavens, while others are hard as stones with closed heavens. A brazen heaven is a spiritual climate that must be plowed through strong intercession, confronting sin and living right. Hard heavens are the result of:
Strong territorial spirits
Evil principalities and powers
Upholding deceitful doctrines of devils
Legalism, self-righteousness and hypocrisy
Hard heavens have little, if any, revelation. When you pray hard heavens feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and fall back into your lap. When you prophesy the words come out of your mouth and seem to fall to the ground. Not only are the heavens hardened because of sin and idolatry but spiritual strength and maturity is hindered too.
“…the earth under you shall be as iron.” (Deuteronomy 28:23)
When the earth is like iron nothing grows. The land was defiled because of the fruit of sin and the ministry of deceived prophets. Where there is no growth there is can be no spiritual maturity in the people. Prophets are the ministry gifts called to war against principalities and powers in the heavens. To win those battles, however, requires spiritual confrontations with opposing spirits even within prophetic circles.
Every nation, including North America must beware the fruits of idolatry and sin caused by rebellion. When prayer was removed from our public schools June 25th, 1962, for example, the alternative was lawlessness. Whenever one rejects what comes from God they have to live with the opposite. If they don’t want the Prince of Peace they get the prince of calamity. The same holds true in prophetic ministry. If true prophets don’t guard the prophetic ministry the Church will suffer under the whoredoms of Jezebel and the merchandising prophets of Baalim.
AVOIDING SLIPPERY WAYS
God revealed to Jeremiah that His house was full of wicked prophets, priests and corrupted ministers. Surely this grieved the man of God. Scripture says,
“For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:11)
The word “profane” means soiled, polluted, defiled and corrupted. These prophets and priests crossed God’s holy threshold and entered the dark side. A threshold is the divider between two rooms. When you walk through a doorway there is a metal or wooden threshold on the floor that separates one side of the room from the other. There is a spiritual threshold that is a separation between the Holy and the unholy. When one is profaned they have stepped across the threshold of holiness and entered the realm of the wicked. This scripture teaches that some prophets morally abandoned holy operations and crossed the boundary from holy living into prophetic defilement. Both prophets and priests were living in sin but they didn’t quit the ministry. Their sullied lives hindered God’s plan for them, the Church and released spiritual divination into the land. This is the environment that the spirit of Jezebel and false prophets flourish. This is the spiritual climate God sent Jeremiah. As a prophet you may face the same.
From studying this we discover two different prophetic operations. First, we see that Jeremiah was very different from the other prophets in the land. Jeremiah managed to live a holy life whereas the others fell into sin and idolatry. Second, we discover there were true prophetic operations and false prophetic operations in the land. It’s interesting that God never addresses the erring as false prophets instead He focuses on their prophetic operations. The true prophetic operation released blessing and the false corruption. Jehovah didn’t turn his back on His Church. He prophesied to the corrupted ministers.
“Wherefore their way will be to them as slippery ways in the darkness: they will be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil on them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:12)
God pronounced that these prophets would have “slippery ways” and lack true spiritual discernment because of their corrupted lifestyles. They had no spiritual insight because they were walking in darkness having defiled themselves. Spiritual darkness opened the way for foolishness.
“And I have seen folly in the prophets… .” (Jeremiah 23:13)
“Folly” is acting rash, stupid, foolish, senseless and lacking common sense. These prophets sounded spiritual, looked the part, had the prophetic buzzwords, yet were void of biblical soundness, stability and discretion. They acted foolishly and lacked spiritual and emotional balance in their lives. Their idolatry produced amoral behavior that caused them to lose true spiritual discernment and right prophetic operations. The problem was the average person didn’t know these prophets were not speaking the truth. This can happen today if prophets get caught up in the glitz and glamour of celebrity Christianity. Satan waits for opportunities to entice both prophet and priest by seductions for public attention, admiration from men and the deception of earthly riches. Others are deceived because they seek the supernatural rather than Christ our Savior.
God revealed the finale of their contaminated state, they prophesied by another spirit. He told Jeremiah, “…they prophesy by Baal and caused my people to go astray.” (Jeremiah 23:13)
“If they were prophesying by another spirit why didn’t the people turn away from these ministers,” you ask? It’s because many good people don’t know the Word of God good enough to tell the difference. If the delivery or mannerisms of the minister appear spiritual they let their guard down and don’t judge the biblical accuracy of the message. We have this problem in the Church today and it’s getting worse every day.
Because of God’s love for people he sent Jeremiah to deal with deceived prophets. Can you imagine Jeremiah telling these prophets they were prophesying by a foreign spirit? Could you do that? Baal is a spirit of divination. A true prophet of God will not allow people to go astray. Even if their heart is not open to God’s representative, he will speak to them without compromise and out of a right spirit. True prophets are not trying to win the fancy of men rather they are actively pursuing the approval of God. Jeremiah was one of God’s faithful prophets sent to confront corrupted voices who were ministering to God’s people by another spirit.
Every move of God, outpouring, time of refreshing and relevant truth for a particular generation has battled its own particular demonic resistance.
To stop the prophetic ministry the enemy must interpose a counterfeit, something that looks and sounds like Christ’s true prophetic ministry but is not.
Satan is the master deceiver and knows ancient weapons of seduction needed to deceive all save the most mature and discerning.
The devil will oppose prophetic ministry with a release of faux prophets speaking with mystical voices.
There will be a separation of true prophets from false prophets into different companies leading to a prophetic confrontation with foreign spirits of divination such as Jezebel and Baal.
Spiritual confrontation within prophetic ministry is historic. Examples include Micaiah, Elijah and Jeremiah.
prophetic ministry can’t avoid spiritual confrontations with worldliness, carnal Christianity and false prophetic operations.
A brazen heaven is a spiritual climate that must be plowed through strong intercession, militant preaching and right living.
Baal is the spirit of divination.
Go deeper into the prophetic ministry, check out the Apostolic Equipping Institute’s online Extreme Prophetic Ministries training course.