When was the last time, if ever in your lifetime, you have witnessed true apostolic and prophetic authority that manifests in rebuke and reproof?
Such as this: "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to deceive the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, was it not your own? And when it was sold, was it not under your authority? Why have you conceived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to men, but to God" (Acts 5:3-4).
Ananias and his wife Sapphira dropped dead in this meeting and young men carried their bodies out (vv. 6, 10). This judgement produced great fear in the people and kept the Church clean and pure (vv. 5, 11).
Or this one, from Acts 8:20-23?
"Peter said to [Simon], 'May your money perish with you, because you thought you could purchase the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor share in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.'"
Simon was used to being honored as a sorcerer, and his pride would not be allowed to operate in the kingdom of God. Thankfully, it seemed like he was brought to repentance. Once again, Peter's discernment and subsequent rebuke kept the church pure and clean, unlike today where we have thousands of sorcerers posing as ministers, whose hearts have been overtaken with covetousness and poisoned by iniquity.
Or this: "Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, stared at him and said, "You son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness, full of deceit and of all fraud, will you not cease perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now, look! The hand of the Lord is against you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time" (Acts 13:9-11).
Here is another sorcerer who was dealt with by the Lord, and it resulted in the proconsul believing and receiving the gospel and being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord (v. 12). When was the last time you witnessed someone, a sinner, being astonished by such a miracle of this nature and variety?
Instead, what we hear are feel-good "prophecies" and sugar-coated words about experiencing prosperity, happiness and "glory". These types of syrupy-like prophecies are often spoken to men and ministries who are idolatrous charlatans. Imagine prophesying such to Ananias and Sapphira or Simon the sorcerer, whose hearts were already clearly tainted with perverted motives. Here is a prophecy you might hear spoken to them today:
"I have called you to a high calling, and I will lift you up to a place of great glory, and money will no longer be a problem for you for I will move on people's hearts who will contribute to your wealth. You will no longer minister in small circles, but soon television will open up new arenas to you, and your ministry will be greatly sought after. In that day, you will know the favor of your Daddy God, and He will increase you more and more."
Doesn't it get a bit nauseating to hear such carnal and man-centered words spoken over questionable characters? It feeds the pride and idolatry that may already be in their hearts. The landscape of Christianity has been polluted and unprotected by such.
Calling for True Apostolic and Prophetic Voices
I am calling for true apostolic and prophetic voices who model true ministry and leave people in awe of God, and inspire worship that leads to whole-hearted obedience. I am calling for true agents of reformation and change who will come forth and overturn the tables of these lovers of silver and appearance and drive them out of their gerbil wheel of professional ministry that is tainted by false identities of beauty, fame and popularity.
I am calling for clear voices who will warn the false apostles and prophets and gullible Christians to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. White-washed walls full of dead men's bones they are—vipers of iniquity bound by covetousness and false allegiances. Scripture says, "Their destination is destruction, their god is their appetite, their glory is in their shame, their minds are set on earthly things" (Phil. 3:19).
People eager for revelation and feel-good experiences who are not yet grounded in Scripture make easy targets for these false apostles/prophets and charlatans to exploit them, and false and unsound doctrine to sway them and deceive them.
Young minister, I admonish you to come away from the rat race of professional ministry and the unholy desire for media exposure and popularity with men. For how will you speak against the status quo, and the culturally accepted way of man's traditions and religious institutions if you've not been stripped of it in your own personal life? You will always be just an echo of a noisy gong and clanging cymbal unless you've learned to love and fear the Lord more than man. The desire for only the approval of God is what will qualify you to speak into the fabric of this superficial Christian culture that values pomp and pageantry over purity, self-interest over God-intimacy, and hype over holiness.
May a whole new breed of apostles and prophets arise and cleanse our churches from dens of thieves and turn them into houses of prayer.
Our preference for God over man is the foundation that establishes all true apostles and prophets and makes them profitable to His kingdom.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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