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Gifts of the Spirit

7 Do’s and 7 Dont’s of Prophetic Ministry (Breakers Challenge)

By | Gifts of the Spirit, The Breakers Challenge, The Holy Spirit, The Prophetic | No Comments

Many Christians have been hurt by bad prophetic words.  Many have even left the faith altogether as a result of being in toxic, charismatic churches. Alternately, many other people have also been tremendously helped and even guided by powerful prophetic words. So how do you ensure that the prophetic words you give are helpful and not hurtful?  

Here are 7 do’s and 7 dont’s of prophetic ministry that can help you as you move in prophetic ministry.  

7 Do’s of Prophetic Ministry 

1. Do encourage, edify, exhort, and comfort others through your prophetic word.

1 Corinthians 14:2-4 (ESV)

For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.  On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.  The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

This sounds basic but so many people do the opposite of this.  New Testment prophecy is to encourage.  

2. Do read your Bible.

Read your bibleI have heard countless prophetic people say, “I’m waiting on a word from the Lord.”  Open your Bible. You’ll get one immediately. Many people want the rhema  word of God to the detriment of the logos word of God. So, read your Bible.  

When you read Genesis through Revelation, you get an insight into the character of God.  

I spend so much time with my wife that if someone told me my wife said something, I could judge it and say either, “Well, I know her character.  She didn’t say that,” or, “Yeah, that sounds just like her.”  When you read the Bible, you know what God sounds like.  

3. Do allow a senior pastor to cover you.

Those who are in authority must be under authority.  Just because you were hurt by a covering doesn’t mean you can’t now be protected by a covering.  Just because a covering misunderstood, ostracized, and gossiped about you doesn’t mean God can’t give you a covering

that will lift you up, encourage you, and give you direction.  Your covering can give you a platform, influence, greater insights, and care for you.  But you have to be under authority if you are to be in authority.  That’s God’s plan. If you’re wondering what’s your next level, but covering is missing from your life because you’re a rogue prophet, your next level is coming under a covering.  

4. Do speak the truth in love.

Prophecy should be rooted in love. Because I have two daughters, I often ask myself,  am I disciplining them out of anger in response to what they’ve done? Or am I trying to increase their wisdom and raise them up? Is this discipline I’m giving bringing them to a place of maturity?

God does not give you discernment to increase your criticism, He gives it to increase your accuracy. Prophets see much in the spiritual realm that it can create anger.  So make sure your prophecy is rooted in love and not anger or criticism.  

5. Do exactly what the Holy Spirit instructs you to do.

Prophecy is delivered to your spirit and mind before it goes out of your mouth.  There can be a temptation to change the words or deliver it differently than your receive it.  Do exactly what the Holy Spirit instructs you to do.

6. Do use prophecy to guide others into the Lord’s will.  

Boy reading mapJesus constantly revealed the will of His Father. When you prophesy, don’t try to help people fulfill their will. Use prophecy to fulfill God’s will.  You’re going to feel a temptation, especially when God uses you to prophesy to renowned famous, or well-know people.  You’ll feel the pull to ask, “Okay God, how do I help them fulfill their will?”  But no! Prophesy so that you can help people concerning the Lord’s will.

7. Do prophesy to point others to Jesus Christ, not yourself.  

I know it sounds basic, but if you’re operating in supernatural ministry, there can be a temptation to absorb glory instead of deflect it to the Lord.  But the secret to elevating it to higher dimensions of influence is deflecting more and more to the Lord.  Glory should come through you, not to you.  Be a conduit for glory that deflects back to Jesus, not an absorber of glory.   I’ve seen people start so well, but then money starts flowing into their cash app, Venmo, and PayPal.  Then they start getting invited into green rooms and it perverts the prophetic in their life. 

7 Dont’s of Prophetic Ministry 

1. Don’t say “Thus sayeth the Lord” just because they did it in your storefront Pentecostal church.

I was raised in that same kind of church. But it doesn’t mean that we need to put “Thus saith the Lord”  Why? Because sometimes, you’re going to miss it.  You won’t always be 100% accurate.  

That phrase was used in Old Testament times for the prophets to identify whose god they were speaking on behalf of. New Testament prophets don’t have to do that anymore  (Jeremiah Johnson talks about the difference in Old Testament and New Testament prophecy at length in my interview with him, which you can check out here.) 

2. Don’t always prophesy doom and gloom.

God may use you to do a future foretelling prophecy.  And many significant prophetic voices have warned of economic downturns or war, and have been accurate. But if your prophecy is primarily doom and gloom, you don’t have a revelation that whenever there is a Goliath, there’s going to be a prophetic David. Whenever there’s a famine, there’s going to be a prophetic Joseph sitting on the pile of grain to distribute to a nation.  God always fights a spirit with an opposite spirit. Don’t constantly prophesy doom and gloom.  

3. Don’t spend a lot of time in dialogue before and during prophetic ministry. 

It poisons the well.  Let me explain.  You don’t want to prophesy 30% from the things you’ve learned from your conversation and 70% from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, the more information you take in in the natural realm, the harder it is to enter to the spiritual realm.  Oftentimes I will limit my conversations with people before and during prophetic ministry to help keep the ministry pure.

4. Don’t ever use prophecy to control other people.

Puppet on a stringFeel free to send the link to this blog to anyone you know who is doing that! Even if you think that what you’re saying is right and they need it, just call it a teaching, not prophecy.

If what you’re saying is beneficial and going to bring correction, call it a pastoral counseling session. Call it a teaching, call it advice, but don’t call it prophecy.

5. Don’t release a word if you are a people pleaser.

If you want people to like you, don’t become a prophet.  At one point my life, I prophesied a word and was ostracized by an entire church. Nobody agreed with me. Nobody believed me. They all thought I lost my mind. They all thought I was lying. And it wasn’t until about two years later when the word came to pass that then I was elevated into a higher level of respect. But there was a duration of time where the people closest to me thought I was crazy.

So if you struggle with people pleasing, go before God and say, “Lord, I want to learn the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, but the fear of man is the beginning of foolishness.”

6.  Don’t prophesy when you’re very tired.  

This is important, because when you’re exhausted, you will have a tendency to speak out of emotion.  Elijah was chased in a brutal attack by Jezebel (Jezebel will always attack prophets) and then had ministering angels that fed him as he prepared to sleep.  You have to learn how to rest and recharge because if you minister out of that exhaustion, you will speak out of emotion, which is your soul, instead of speaking out of your spirit in conjunction with the Holy Spirit,

7.  Don’t give directive words about marriage, pregnancy, or moving across the country. 

Pregnant woman 

You have a 50% chance of knowing what gender the child is going to be.  And if you guessed the last three times correctly, you still had a 50% chance. Medical science will give us the true answer.  We don’t need you to prophesy.  

Here’s the thing about prophecies about who to marry.  People don’t need you to prophesy about whether or not they should marry that person – they need premarital counseling.  I counsel marriages, and even if you are a perfect match with someone, you’re going to need a lot of Christian counseling, healthy relationship skills, and wisdom to survive marriage.  It’s not about choosing the right person, it’s about becoming the right person. So stop with this foolishness. Stop giving people directive words and give them biblical wisdom that teaches them how to be the right person.  Because becoming the right person God’s called them to be will actually help them for the rest of their life.

Here’s a little caveat: If you are very confident that the Lord has released you to do so, then you can give a directive word.  I have given directive words that have been accurate and helped people.  But do this with extreme caution.

 

By following these 7 Dos and 7 Dont’s of Prophetic Ministry, I pray you can grow in confidence as you move in prophetic ministry.  

Further Resources

📝 How to Operate in Prophecy: My Interview with Jeremiah Johnson

📝 Supernatural Healing as Evangelism

📺 Does God Still Perform Miracles?


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

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How to Operate In Prophecy: My Interview with Jeremiah Johnson (Breakers Challenge)

By | Gifts of the Spirit, The Breakers Challenge, The Holy Spirit, The Prophetic | No Comments

Are there people today who have the ability to prophesy?  Many Christians claim to hear from the Holy Spirit concerning future events, even being able to know intimate details of people’s lives that they’ve never met.  Many other Christians claim that the scriptures are all we need and the gift of prophecy has ceased in our time. They point to the inaccuracy of prophecies from people who prophesy, or even worse, the use of prophecy for profit. But what do we do with all of these accurate, modern prophecies? And how do we deny the fact that if it’s administered properly, the gift of prophecy is a powerful gift that could even confirm to unbelievers the reality of Christ?

Today, I’m interviewing world-renowned prophetic voice and apostolic builder, Jeremiah Johnson.  We’re talking about the essentials of the prophetic today.

Mike:   Jeremiah, you’ve been operating in the prophetic for some time now, but people are reading who come from all backgrounds.  Maybe they attend churches where they don’t believe that the gifts of the spirit are even currently in operation, or maybe they were told by the pastor we have one designated person that prophesies, and it’s not you. For the people who want more and are being raised in this hour, I want you to share the essentials as somebody who I trust.  What would you say are the essentials?

The Essentials for Prophetic People

Jeremiah:  A couple of things come to mind. I think it’s really important as we begin a conversation to recognize that there’s a difference between old covenant prophecy and new covenant prophecy. I don’t think that a lot of people understand that. So when you talk about the Old Testament underneath an old covenant, you had prophets who were the singular voice of God to a nation. In other words, the Holy Spirit didn’t dwell within man, He dwelled upon man.

And so, to get a direct word from God most of the time, unless God himself just showed up as he did with Abraham or others, the kings would seek out prophets for a word from the Lord. So, in other words, they were a mediator between God and man. So that’s Old Testament prophetic.

New Testament Prophets

Jeremiah: In the New Testament, Jesus Christ has become the mediator between God and man.  Prophets are prophetic people. In the new covenant, prophets no longer hold the kind of authority that they did in the Old Covenant. The blood of Jesus has banned feeding tube Christianity. In other words, we have to make sure as New Testament prophetic people that we recognize that we have a role to encourage and comfort people and bring strength. If God has called you to the prophetic ministry, you’re a New Testament prophet, even there you have you offer direction, correction, and prediction, primarily those three. But you have to recognize the role that you have is different than that of an old covenant prophet.

So when you hear people make statements like, “Where are the Jeremiahs, the Isaiahs, the Ezekiels?” I’m like, “They’re dead.” I understand what they’re saying but that kind of authority and role in the New Testament church is no longer necessary. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. And if someone is functioning as a New Testament prophet, their number one role is not just to give you a word, it’s to teach you how to hear a word. 

And so again, there’s a heavy dependence upon prophets in the old covenant, but now in the new covenant we prophesy but we teach people how to hear and obey God themselves.

Secondly, in the old covenant (and I’m still going back to this issue because so much of the confusion that’s available in the current prophetic movement is centered on the misunderstanding of the old covenant and new covenant) there’s a primary role of voice to the nation. In the new covenant, we’ve got Jesus, and the Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all truth.  I would say that in the Old Testament, prophets were, for the most part, unaccountable.

Invited Into a Family

Jeremiah: They wandered around in caves, they weren’t well connected, and they just kind of dropped the word of the Lord in and then dropped out.  Again, in the new covenant, we have now been established and invited into the family of God.  So what I tell people is prophets and prophetic people in the old covenant were cave dwellers, but now in the new covenant, we’ve been invited to a family, to a dining room table where we no longer have permission to isolate.

A lot of the problem in the current prophetic movement is that prophetic people think, “I’m just a prophetic person, no one understands me, I operate in rejection and all church leadership are Pharisees and of the devil.”   All of that kind of rhetoric and mindset is rooted in old covenant concepts. I very much believe that one of the primary issues in modern-day prophetic ministry is we are operating out of an old covenant mindset concerning the prophetic and we don’t understand New Testament reality.

So, if you are a prophet or prophetic person, you are called to equip the body for the work of ministry.  How can you equip a body if you’re disconnected from them So when I talk to prophets or where do you attend church? What are you building or who is the person you’re helping to build?  They just kind of look at you crazy. And again, kind of that crazy that comes on them is they have a crazy mindset rooted in a covenant that is now fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

ChurchSo these two things are essential.  Understanding your role as a prophet or prophetic person in the body is to point people to Jesus, to teach people how to hear and obey the voice of God for themselves.  We’re not supposed to be raising a codependent, “You gotta sow a seed, you gotta fund my ministry or I’m not prophesying to you.”  That’s bogus. And then we’ve gotta get over “lone ranger” mentalities in people that don’t believe in the local church and don’t believe in being part of a team. We need to get healthy in the prophetic.

 

Mike: I would like to unpack this a bit with you.  What do you think happens in a prophetic person’s heart for them to say, “I’m wounded and not going to try the local church again.” Is it that we’re living in an era where there aren’t that many local churches that can incubate the prophetic and help it grow?  

As a lead pastor myself, I’ll be honest with you, sometimes I do feel that is rare to find a pastor and church that appreciates the prophetic in other people. So I know there is a lot of woundedness there. You probably triggered a lot of people with what you just said.  How can we turn this into a healing moment for someone who is wounded, knows what you said is true, but needs to take the next step?  What does that look like?  

The Cup of Rejection

Jeremiah:   People get set free with the truth. Mike, I have ministered in over 500 churches and probably trained at least 10,000 prophetic people. I’ve If you got us all in a room, we’re all going to say the same thing because the profile of prophetic people is you have to accept that you will drink the cup of rejection on your way to prophetic maturity. Many prophetic people don’t want to receive that. 

When you start talking to many of us, you find we were rejected by your family.  Sometimes there are supernatural birth experiences, you were certainly thrown away by the local church. But we have to keep our eyes on Jesus, who was without sin. I oftentimes say we have no right to judge and criticize the church unless we’re willing to die for her. 

We’ve all been rejected, we’ve all been wounded, and we’ve all served our Saul.  But remember, you served Saul to get Saul out of you.  In other words, we’re on a journey as prophetic people. You are going to get rejected, you are going to be misunderstood. But this is part of your training for love. Jesus Christ died for love.  There was nothing he did wrong,  There was no dirt on him, but he still chose to love.

So, Mike, I hear it, I’ve trained them, I’ve walked with them. Every true prophetic called person is going to go to the wilderness as part of their calling but not everybody gets out. In other words, many are called, and few are chosen.  Many are called to the prophetic ministry where you’re going to drink that cup of rejection. But very few walk in forgiveness. Very few learn how to heal.

All for Love

Jeremiah: And again, who’s our example? Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords.  He walked this out as the greatest prophet who ever lived. And he invites prophets and prophetic people today to drink that cup of rejection. And again, I would love to tell people listening today, “Hey, God’s going to send you to a great church. They’re gonna love the prophetic.”  That’s not true. Actually, God is going to send a lot of people. He is going to send you to Sauls. He is gonna send you to assemblies and places that are going to crush you.  They’re going to hurt you, they’re going to persecute you.  And it’s in those trials and tribulations you have an opportunity to bear with the sufferings of Christ and learn how to walk in a pure prophetic flow.

Is Accuracy of Primary Importance?

Mike:   Jeremiah, I’ve been studying the prophetic for over 30 years now. That stretch of an answer was the most profound answer I have ever heard.  The whole time I was thinking, you just saved some people decades.  You just saved some people years if they’ll let that get in their spirit.

I think the biggest emphasis with the prophetic is always accuracy, right?  How can I be accurate?  I think what I hear you saying is that new covenant prophecy is more about being integrated into the body and it’s more about your position than it is about your accuracy if that makes sense. Because trying to migrate somebody into integration where you are a part of something, you’re building something, there’s a legacy connected to it in the body of Christ. And so what would you say to those who are like, okay, I get it,  I want to learn how to become more accurate. What would you say about accuracy?

 

Jeremiah: I think it’s going back to that misunderstanding of covenants. In the old covenant when people would prophesy and it wasn’t 100% accurate, they would stone them. And if you go and look at that Deuteronomy passage that most people quote about stoning false prophets when it’s talking about false, it’s talking about prophets who have a motivation in their heart that is trying to lead people away from Jesus. 

Let the Others Judge

Jeremiah: In a new covenant, I quote 1 Corinthians 14, which says, “Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge.”  So, the old covenant prophecy was infallible because it was the very words of God. But in the new covenant prophecy is fallible. Prove it. Why do two or three prophets have to judge another prophet’s words if the word’s 100% accurate?  It’s not.

Or in 1 Thessalonians 5, when it talks about prophecy, it says let everybody go, but then hold on to that which is good. In other words, not every prophecy that is prophesied is good. So I would say the goal is not accuracy, although we should have a high standard.

My thing is, I don’t look at somebody as a true prophet necessarily because they’ve prophesied 100% accurately.  I look at true prophets as people that prophesy accurately, but if they miss it, they repent.  They own it.  They walk in humility.  I contrast this with the perspective of, “Oh, they prophesied and it didn’t come to pass, they’re a false prophet.”  I think they’re more false if they operate in pride and arrogance and refuse to own it,  versus walking in humility and dying to their reputation and saying, “I missed it.” 

And again, it’s all about Jesus. Half the time I’m like, thank God, I don’t know any prophets that are 100% accurate. And you know what? I thank God for that because it aligns me with Jesus. Only he is 100% accurate.  So, I don’t think the goal is accuracy, although it’s very, very important. I think the goal is humility.  It’s being connected to family and serving the body of Christ like Jesus.

 

Mike:  This has been a great conversation, and I want to encourage everyone to get ahold of the resources that Jeremiah Johnson has that help to equip the saints.  There is one book in particular that will help you go deeper on this journey to continue learning about the prophetic called “Cleansing and Igniting the Prophetic: An Urgent Wake-Up Call” by Jeremiah Johnson if you’d like to continue learning.  

Cleansing Prophetic

The Current Prophetic Purging

Jeremiah:  I could talk hours and hours and hours on these subjects but if you’re wanting to dive deeper, there is a cleansing, there is a purging, there is almost a reset happening in the prophetic movement. And that’s why people are on today. You’re asking questions, you want knowledge. God is highlighting prophetic ministry because he wants to call forth a generation of fire-brand messengers who are going to prophesy out of humility and character and hit the mark. So check out that book.

Essential Do’s and Dont’s of The Prophetic

Mike:  If you could give me a very fast 60-second rundown, what are some essential dos and donts?

 

Jeremiah: If you’re called as a prophet or a prophetic person, do not isolate yourself. You have to understand that you’re going to be rejected but you do not have to operate out of a spirit of rejection. 

You need to know that the enemy of the prophetic is Jezebel. There is a great war concerning hearing and obeying God and the spirit of Jezebel will target you and try to keep you from hearing and obeying God. 

I would also say to be aware of your tendencies. Do not ignore what you feel, the burden that you’re carrying. And then I would say, do not operate in bitterness. Do not operate in unforgiveness. Do walk in humility, love, and forgiveness.

And, lastly, you need mentoring. You have to have fathering and mothering in the prophetic to make it through the wilderness. I would say at all costs if you’re a prophet or a prophetic person, seek wisdom, seek mentoring, seek mothering and fathering. It saves my life and I believe it will save yours.

Further Resources

📖  Get Jeremiah’s book, Cleansing and Igniting the Prophetic: An Urgent Wake-Up Call

💻 Find out more about his ministry at thealtarglobal.com

📝 Does God Still Perform Miracles?

📝 Supernatural Healing as Evangelism

📺 Does God Still Perform Miracles?


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

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Brain imaging of science of speaking in tongues

Science Confirms Speaking in Tongues

By | Gifts of the Spirit, Speaking in Tongues, The Holy Spirit | No Comments

Speaking in tongues is a gift for today, and it has not ceased as many preachers and false theologians would have you believe. 

Recently we were live streaming our worship service and I was on the stage getting ready to transition into my sermon. The singer next to me began to sing in another language, which I assumed was Spanish. After the service was over, the singer said, “Pastor Mike, I’ve never sung in tongues before.  That was the most beautiful, powerful experience in worship I’ve ever had.”  I replied, “Well, I assumed that you were singing in Spanish, so that’s why I was encouraging you to continue to sing it.  He said, “No, that was tongues, I had no idea what I was singing.” 

Speaking In An Unknown Language

Later on that day he received a text message from a family member who had been watching the live stream broadcast.  They said, “Hey, since when did you learn Portuguese?” He said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, I don’t know Portuguese!”   The person replied, “Well, I know Portuguese and you were singing a phrase repeatedly in Portuguese: I give all my devotion to you, I give all my devotion to you.”

This is just one of many many stories I can tell. You simply cannot convince me that the gift of tongues through the Holy Spirit has ceased.  You might be asking, how can I speak in tongues?  

You Cannot Earn This Gift

There is this precious woman from my church who came to me recently.  She said, “Pastor Mike, I’ve been praying, fasting, giving my tithe and offering, reading my Bible more, and attending church every Sunday, I never miss. I have asked for the gift of tongues.  Why have I not received it?”  

I politely responded to her, “If the Holy Spirit gave you the gift of tongues after all of that work, it would be ‘the rewards of the Spirit’ not ‘the gifts of the Spirit.’” Rewards are earned, but gifts are received. In my experience, people who devote their lives to helping others and kind-hearted people who are always trying to do for other people have the hardest time simply receiving when they come to God.  They want to know how they can be good enough, ready enough, or knowledgeable enough to speak in tongues. This makes sense because everything else we do is learned, achieved, and accomplished.  But it’s not so with the gifts of the Spirit. We can only receive like children from a good Father.  

The Science Proves It

In 2006, the New York Times reported a scientific breakthrough. Researchers at The University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes – the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do – were relatively quiet as they spoke in tongues.  Even the language centers of their brain were relatively quiet.  The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness, though, were active. The people were not in blind trances. It was unclear which part of their brain was driving the behavior of speaking in tongues.  

Brain imaging of science of speaking in tongues“The amazing thing was how the images supported people’s interpretation of what was happening,” said Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, who was the leader of this study. “The way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them.”  Donna Morgan, a co-author of the study, was also a research subject. As a born-again Christian, she considers the ability to speak in tongues a gift. She said, “You’re aware of your surroundings.  You’re not really out of control. But you have no control over what’s happening. You’re just flowing. You’re in a realm of peace and comfort, and it’s a fantastic feeling.” 

Emotional Stability

Many people look at those who speak in tongues and think they’re out of their mind and they must be lunatics, but according to the New York Times article, a study of nearly 1,000 Evangelical Christians in England found that those engaged in the practice of speaking in tongues were more emotionally stable than those who did not. Contrary to what may be a common perception, studies suggest that people who speak in tongues rarely suffer from mental problems.  

How Do You Receive The Gift?

To receive the gift of speaking in tongues, you simply receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ, you are washed by the blood of the perfect Sacrificial Lamb, and then the Holy Spirit comes and dwells inside of you to fill the believer.  Over and over again in scripture, we see people filled with the Holy Spirit. When you ask Him to give you the gift of tongues, He will increase and you will decrease.  You get out of the way and say, “Okay God, I’m not going to do this through the centers and the regions of my brain that normally produce language, but I’m going to yield and allow it supernaturally to come through me.”

Further Resources

To learn more about the gift of tongues, check out one of my in-depth teachings here in blog and video format:

📝Is Speaking In Tongues For Today?


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

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Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

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One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
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Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

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Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
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Bible Verses About Heaven

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Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

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5 Signs of False Teachers

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Jesus warned his followers that there would be false teachers that emerge and lead people into deception.  

Matthew 24:10 (ESV)
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 

A false teacher appears to be Biblically sound, but past the surface, it becomes apparent that something isn’t right.  We live in a world where it is easy to build a platform without being appointed by God.  Skilled and charismatic people can easily create social media profiles that carry the appearance of authority.  They can even gain a blue checkmark on those platforms that lends itself a measure of respect.  It isn’t necessary for these people to study the Word to show themselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15).  They reach people by understanding an algorithm, but have no connection to the heart of God, and thereby lead sincere believers astray. 

The Penalty for False Prophets 

Deuteronomy 18:20
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.

God never changes.  He is the same today as he was in the beginning, and the same now as he will be forever.  The Word of God is true and consistent through the ages.  So, there are harsh penalties for misrepresenting what God has said.  There are severe consequences for saying that God said something that He did not.  

Jeremiah 14:14
And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.

Jesus says these people are among us, and it’s our job to be discerning through the power of the Holy Spirit to know who they are and avoid them!  Here are five signs of a false teacher so you can be aware and not be deceived. 

 1.  False teachers conform the Bible to their opinion instead of conforming their opinion to the Bible.  

You can twist the Bible to make it say just about anything you want it to say.  We see that over and over again throughout history.  People have used the Bible to justify horrible injustices, like slavery.  They have pulled verses out of context and twisted them to justify horrific sins.  A good Bible teacher or true prophet will encourage you to test a word and not be afraid of people taking it back to scripture and verifying it.  

2.  False teachers use the Bible to make themselves the hero of the story instead of making Jesus the hero of the story. 

If the sermons that they teach make them look better but do not make Jesus known or lift Him up, they might be a false teacher.  In John 12:32 Jesus says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (ESV). If a teacher is preaching to elevate himself but not Jesus, proceed with caution.  

3.  False teachers teach what sounds good instead of what needs to be said.

It is very easy to teach what sounds good instead of what needs to be said.  As a pastor myself, there are things that I know I can say with the right enthusiasm or volume level that can stir a crowd to applause, shouting, or ovation.  A teacher should teach according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not just because the words they say tickle the ears of the hearers.  Preachers, is the Holy Spirit telling you to say that, or are you teaching what sounds good and what will get a response?  The word God asks you to bring may not be light and encouraging.  There are a lot of false teachers who don’t have the courage to say what needs to be said when there is a tough or instructive message that needs to be delivered.  

4. False teachers teach for the income, not for the outcome.  

There is money to be made in ministry.  Jesus himself had a purse holder, Judas, who was over the finances of his traveling ministry and supervised the funds.  This shows us that Jesus made money and accumulated money while doing ministry.  The Apostle Paul supplemented his ministry income through tentmaking.  While he was writing scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, he made and sold tents to make money.  Selling things and supplementing your income isn’t wrong in itself, it is about the heart and the motive. Be discerning of teachers who seem to teach only for the financial gain.  

5.  They have replaced the fear of God with the opinions of people.  

There are some pastors who have allowed the opinions of the biggest givers of their church to matter more than the opinion of God.  There are teachers who are swayed by the opinions of those who are giving, tithing, or ringing the bell notifications on YouTube and live in fear of their opinions, rather than teach to receive the approval of the One who they claim to serve.  A true teacher of the Word cares more about what God thinks than what people think.  This person realizes that one day they will stand before the Lord and give an account for everything they have taught.  This thought fills them with holy fear and awareness of the weighty responsibility to rightly divide and communicate the Word of Truth.  

I hope that you will use these five signs we’ve discussed to discern those who may not have your best intentions in mind.  Test every spirit and make sure that their teaching is leading you to Jesus and not to anyone else, including themselves.  


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for the gifts of the Spirit.  If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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Is Speaking in Tongues For Today?

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megaphone

Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is biblical but is often misunderstood.  Many Christian believers think that speaking in tongues is not for today.  They say that this gift was only available to the early church and that this gift is not accessible to believers in modern times.  However, the Bible clearly points out that it is a gift from God intended for all believers.  

Who Can Speak in Tongues?

Mark 16:17 (ESV)
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

In this verse, Jesus says signs would follow “them who believe.”  He doesn’t say the signs will only follow pastors, apostles, Pentecostals, or Charismatics.  It says “them who believe.”  So if you believe that Jesus is Messiah, then speaking in tongues is for you! 

The Gift of Tongues is for Today

Under the old covenant, humankind interacted with God through a mediator.  Receiving forgiveness required sacrificial systems, which involved the shedding of the blood of animals.  A high priest would go into the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God dwelled, on the people’s behalf.  God takes covenants very seriously.  An existing covenant can only be ended by the establishment of a new one.  When Jesus died and was resurrected on the third day, He began a new covenant.  He promised that he would baptize the discplies with the Holy Spirit.  

man being prayed forActs 1:4-5
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

In Acts 2, the disciples were all in one place and in one accord, and Jesus inaugurated the new covenant by giving the disciples the gift of tongues.

Acts 2:2-4 (ESV)
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What was established by the sacrifice of Jesus is forever – it is not going to change.  Anything that the finished work of the cross brought in place is still in place today.  There will not be a third covenant.  Some say that the gift of tongues ceased with the early church.  Yet, in order for that to be true, there would have to be another covenant enacted. Because again, the only way to end a covenant is to establish a new covenant.  That is not going to happen, because Jesus isn’t going to die again.  His death and resurrection are a finished work.  The gift of tongues is alive and well and never ended.  

The Gift of Tongues is Free

The gift of speaking in tongues is called a gift because it’s free.  It carried a high price that you and I could never pay for with our own good works.  Jesus Himself paid for it with His life, and all we have to do is ask for it.  

It’s a gift. It’s for you. It’s for now. It’s that simple.  


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for the gifts of the Spirit.  If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

Download our FREE 35-day devotional to learn to hear God’s voice and communicate it clearly.

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PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

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